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Protecting Our Rights

Protecting Our Rights

This feature appears in the September ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association 

Gun banners are claiming your constitutional rights are outdated. 

As Election Day draws closer, the stakes for our right to keep and bear arms continue to rise. Over the past few months we’ve seen a new argument emerge from anti-gun advocates: While Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and other Bloomberg-backed groups might still be trying to appear supportive of just a few “reasonable, common-sense gun safety measures,” more and more activists are expressing their total disdain for the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights and even the U.S. Constitution. It’s old and outdated, or so they claim. The Founders could have never envisioned life in the 21st century, goes their argument, so we should just toss the whole thing and start over. Maybe just make it up as we go along.The Founders could have never envisioned life in the 21st century, goes their argument, so we should just toss the whole thing and start over.

This dangerous philosophy won’t go away, even if supporters of the Second Amendment win in November. But it’s vitally important to check this impulse to gut our constitutional rights with our votes and our volunteer efforts between now and Election Day. Long term, we have to do a much better job of educating ourselves and others on our rights and why they’re so important to a free society and the United States. 

You might have seen the news story recently about U.S. history courses not being mandatory for history majors at many high-ranking U.S. universities. If that level of ignorance is acceptable among those who are supposed to be experts, imagine the gaps in civic knowledge that exist in the minds of most Americans. If we don’t protect these rights, they will disappear. And if we don’t know enough about our rights to realize they are worthy of protection, how will we fight for them in the first place?