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John M. Snyder -- 'The Dean of Gun Lobbyists' Died at Age 77
John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace
Washington , DC
Sunday, November 05, 2017

John M. Snyder

"The Dean of Gun Lobbyists" Died at Age 77

John Michael Snyder called "The Dean of Gun Lobbyists" by the Washington Post and New York Times, died October 22, 2017 of a sudden heart attack. Born in Kingston, NY, he spent time living in both Bethesda, MD and Viera, FL.

A former Jesuit seminarian, John Snyder was an articulate defender of freedom and traditional values. For over half a century, he fought masterfully against gun-control and defended the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

In the field of Second Amendment rights, John Snyder made a difference. Back in the nineteen sixties, when he was an editor of the American Rifleman, the NRA's flagship magazine, he advocated for the NRA to get politically involved to counter the growing hostility toward the Second Amendment. When the NRA did not take up the challenge, he coordinated with others to start The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation. When the NRA realized John Snyder was right, it mounted a revolution that transformed the organization to perhaps the most successful advocacy organization in American history.

Wayne LaPierre noted John Snyder was "a true warrior for the Second Amendment. So many of us stand on his shoulders. We honor him and will honor his legacy"

David Keene, past president of the NRA, said in his eulogy, "John was there first; a precursor to the NRA leaders that followed . . . leaders like Harlan Carter, Marian Hammer, Charleton Heston and Wayne LaPierre. He was a Second Amendment Warrior, in short, before it was cool"

John Snyder's credo was, "human beings have certain inalienable rights, one of which is the right to life. Inherent in that is the right to the means to defend life, including firearms. Denial of the means to defend your life is a denial of the right to life itself"

Washington Post reporter Bill Heavey was the first to call John Snyder The Dean of Gun Lobbyists in an article at appeared in The Washington Post Magzine on December 8, 1991. Since then, the New York Times also called him The Dean of Washington Gun Lobbyists. The Washington Times named Snyder a "Champion of the Right to Self Defense" Human Events called him the "Gun Dean"

John Snyder even took his lobbying efforts to Rome. In 2001, he had a private audience with Pope John Paul the Second at the Vatican. He sought official Vatican designation of St. Gabriel Possenti as patron saint of handgunners. He later presented a specially designed gold medallion, featuring a profile of St. Gabriel Possenti, to the Holy Father through the Secretary of the Papal Household and later received an official papal letter of appreciation signed by a Vatican Assessor.

The St. Gabriel Possenti Society promotes the historical, philosophical and theological basis for the doctrine of legitimate self-defense. In 1860, Possenti rescued the villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy from a band of 20 terrorists. With a one-shot demonstration of handgun precision, he shot a lizard that happened to be running across the road. The terrorists were so impressed by Possenti's marksmanship, they did not challenge him when he marched them out of town. St. Gabriel Possenti became know as the "Savior of Isola" He died two years later of consumption and in 1920 Pope Benedict XV canonized him.

In 2003, John Snyder published GUN SAINT, a book about St. Gabriel Possenti.

For over half a century, John Snyder was also famous for his original Christmas cards showing Santa Claus in various roles as protector of gun rights. Every year the timely cartoons on the cards elicited lively debates among friends and foes alike in the media.

John Snyder graduated from Georgetown University with AB and MA degrees in government. In addition to having been an editor at the NRA, he was a founder and Public Affairs Director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms where he was editor of Point Blank. He was also an editor of Gun Week at the Second Amendment Foundation. John Snyder served as a director of Council for America. He was founder and chairman of the Saint Gabriel Possenti Society and directed Telum Associates, LLD. A past national vice-president for Public Affairs of the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens, he was also served as vice-president, Washington Liaison of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and had been serving on both boards.

John Snyder is survived by his beloved wife Ling, his sister Agatha Oertel and niece Gathie Connelly.

Submitted by

Ling Snyder

PO Box 183

Cabin John, MD 20818

202-725-5837 (mobile)

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