In response to a Democratic presidential debate question on Oct. 13, 2015, Hillary Clinton put the 5 million members of the NRA at the top of the list of enemies she is most proud of.
This is unprecedented: On national television, a candidate for president of the United States named peaceable, law-abiding gun owners, who are simply trying to protect the Second Amendment, as her biggest enemies. She even listed NRA members ahead of Iran—the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Drug cartels, Vladimir Putin, North Korea and ISIS terrorists didn’t even get a mention.
Clinton’s declaration made us wonder how NRA members feel about being recklessly declared her enemy. So we decided to ask them: How does it feel to be named Public Enemy Number 1 by Hillary Clinton?
Today we hear from Becky Yackley, founder of 2AHeritage.org, member of the D.C. Project, military wife, and a competitive shooter who not only holds national records but is raising three boys with their own shooting records.
The story of how I learned to love firearms is one Hillary Clinton doesn't want you to hear. It's as apple-pie American as the parents, family and friends in the firearm community who shaped me into the person I am today.
Hillary has said that the “gun culture” is out of balance, and she called all 5 million NRA members her enemies. But what is the gun culture? Who are the people in the firearm community?
Hillary uses the term “gun culture” in a derogatory manner in an attempt to paint gun owners as villains. But I know what the gun culture really looks like. I've lived in it my entire life, and I haven’t found a reason why anyone would speak about it in a derogatory way. My best childhood friends had a father and a grandfather who manufactured rifle barrels. We attended school and church together, had sleepovers, worked in the shop, and saw the late hours our mothers spent in the office and shipping departments. We saw the inside of a small business—the fathers sitting around a table during lunch break in the shop, trading stories about their kids. The gun culture Hillary is so afraid of is made up of families and small businesses like these that comprise much of the firearm industry—the same families and small businesses that make up America.
My proximity to the gun culture led me to begin competing in everything from high-power rifle and air rifle, to summer biathlon, and now NRA Bianchi pistol and 3-gun. The gun culture granted me opportunities such as the chance to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, and allowed me to be involved in shooting teams throughout high school and college that resulted in earning a college shooting scholarship. This “gun culture” has further shaped my life through the friends I've made all over the country, both during my own time on high school and collegiate teams and later as my children have grown into world-class competitors. The “gun culture” is full of families helping families—people who will take your child under their wing, mentoring them in sportsmanship and building their confidence in themselves and their abilities. … I know what the “gun culture” really looks like. I've lived in it my entire life, and I haven’t found a reason why anyone would speak about in a derogatory way.
The shooting community itself is like a family, and it has had a profound impact on my life and my children's lives—and we, in turn, impact others by the work we do. Our involvement in the gun culture has led to the creation of a nonprofit group called 2A Heritage, which is focused on increasing awareness of the Second Amendment and educating youth in firearm safety and sportsmanship, along with sharing an appreciation for our right to live a life pursuing our own happiness.
While those of us immersed in the gun culture excel at teaching our children why our Constitution is so unique and important, we also need to put those beliefs into action. One of the ways I've worked to do that is through the D.C. Project—an organization of women working to share the faces and the stories behind the label “gun owner.” I've been to Washington, D.C., three times in the past year as part of that effort, but I also know that communicating within my own state is just as important—especially during this election year.
Hillary Clinton would like you to believe that the gun culture is made up of people who don't deserve to possess guns and ammunition. She and those who share her views need to demonize gun owners in order to distract you from the elephant in the room—her end game of taking Americans’ freedom and their means to protect it.
Sure, that sounds extreme. I mean, Hillary doesn't really want to keep Peggy-Jo So-and-So and her kids from being able to protect themselves ... right? Would you tell your children not to worry if someone outright declared you an “enemy” and said she wants to take away your family's means of protection, even going so far as to name the countries she wants to model this gun control after? How can we stand by silently and let ourselves be declared the enemy by someone who hopes to lead our country?
My gun culture is full of values that Clinton advocates for on many fronts. When it comes to education, she said, “It takes a village.” Yet when that “village” is the firearm community, somehow the village is now the enemy! Why is that? Why is Clinton so full of hatred for American families and small businesses? The answer lies in what she wants—power. But her ploy to vilify us can only win out if we allow ourselves to forget that we hold the power. And that's what scares her—that’s why she's declared us enemies and needs to paint us as villains.
But my “village” won't allow it. It’s time for gun owners to stand up, speak out and show Clinton that it does “take a village,” and that that village is America, where we are free to tell our elected officials "no," and free to fire them from public service. We're not free because of the government or any laws, but in spite of them—the laws exist to protect us, and the government is our servant. … her ploy to vilify us can only win out if we allow ourselves to forget that we hold the power.
Laws exist to protect my gun culture, your gun culture, your children's gun culture. Without that culture—that heritage of proclaiming personal liberty and freedom, and the means to protect it—we would all be slaves. That's what Hillary wants—she wants you declared an “enemy” so she and her allies can create a village of dependents who don't mind being enslaved by big government.
I say it's our village, and she can't have it. Our village is stronger than hers because we don't need to threaten, ridicule or demonize those who want our freedom—we simply have to tell them “no.” The war has already been fought, the Declaration has already been made, and it's our job to hold the government to it! The only reason Hillary wants to rein in the “gun culture” is because she knows it's the village she will never have, and she's scared. Just the members of the “gun culture” who are part of the NRA number 5 million strong, and that's not counting those who aren’t in the NRA but hold the same values when it comes to guns. So grab your family, grab your friends, stand up and show her that us apple-pie Americans are the “gun culture”—we are mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, hard-working small business owners. We are America, and we have power.
The power is in our voice. The power is in our Constitution. The power is in our vote. The power is in our village.
It's my village, not Hillary Clinton’s. Just try to come and take it!