"In the nineteen-sixties, gun ownership as a constitutional right was less the agenda of the N.R.A. than of black nationalists. In a 1964 speech, Malcolm X said, “Article number two of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun.” Establishing a constitutional right to carry a gun for the purpose of self-defense was part of the mission of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which was founded in 1966."
In the wake of Trayvon Martin, it occurs to me that if you wanted the NRA to get behind gun control laws, we might do well to heavily arm all of the constituencies which oppose them. There’s a line from a West Wing episode where a congressman says something like, I never understood why gun control supporters don’t all just join the NRA and change the organization from within. Pie-in-the-sky perhaps, but not without some merit.