23 May 23
Between 1951 and 1964, the US Army produced a series of programs, mostly for television, called “The Big
These programs were, of course, promotional, but they provided a link of understanding and empathy between the American public and our armed forces. As a teenager, I remember enthusiastically watching them on black-and-white TV!
At least one such program (you can see it at https://youtu.be/sQ0qD60UEt4) was made in cooperation with the NRA, and it emphasized the importance of the American rifleman and universal principles of marksmanship and gun-handling in defending freedom.
It was partly narrated by actor, Craig Stevens (the “Pierce Brosnan” of the era). Stevens starred, along with Lola Albright, in the popular “Peter Gunn” TV series (1958-1961)
The American rifleman (in an out of uniform) is correctly identified as “The Ultimate Weapon” when our nation has been threatened, but I had to chuckle when the Army’s (at the time) M14 Rifle was described as “lightweight!”
But, what really struck me when recently re-viewing this program (sixty years later) is that back then America’s Democrat politicians did not malevolently regard American gun-owners as “domestic enemies,” as they do today.
Back then, American gun-owners were regarded as valued fellow citizens, by all politicians.
We’ve come a long way!