This feature appears in the January '18 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Last year will go down in the history books as a year when NRA members won what some would call more than our fair share of the battles we fought in trying to save the Second Amendment. But as we leave 2017 behind and enter another new year, one thing is for certain—the need to fight for our right to keep and bear arms is greater now than ever before.
As I write this letter, news stories of the week include a congresswoman proposing an exorbitant tax on any ammunition that can be used in semi-automatic firearms, a call by a major newspaper for widespread confiscation of millions of firearms, and a well-known gun-ban group’s ignorant call for banning an assortment of firearms and accessories since they could be the “next bump stock.” Additionally, one anti-gun website posted a cartoon implying NRA members are worse than ISIS and al-Qaida, and some Democrats have begun promoting Joe Biden (who just called for a national ban on semi-automatic rifles and standard-capacity magazines) as a possible presidential candidate for 2020.
Yet all these things reveal something important—namely, what kind of people we are up against in this cultural war for our rights.Of course, taxing ammunition, confiscating millions of privately owned firearms, and whining about scary firearms and accessories are all utterly nonsensical actions to anyone who understands anything about gun ownership and violent crime. The same goes for comparing law-abiding gun owners to terrorists and pushing a presidential candidate who is arguably as anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment as Hillary Clinton is.
Yet all these things reveal something important—namely, what kind of people we are up against in this cultural war for our rights.
Ask yourself: What kind of person wants to tax law-abiding gun owners because of violent acts by criminals? What kind wants to confiscate firearms from the law-abiding, when criminals wouldn’t even be affected? What kind compares law-abiding citizens who band together under the NRA to protect their rights to terrorists bent on destroying our way of life?
While anti-gun groups and their enablers in the so-called “mainstream” media like to talk about “reasonable gun safety measures,” they are really trying to ban guns, confiscate guns and control those who want to own guns. If you’re not taking this personally, you should be. They want you to pay a high tax on the ammunition you purchase. They want to take your AR-15 and your standard-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. They want everyone to see you as a terrorist threat and as someone who should be demeaned, shunned and controlled.
As we usher in this new year, let’s certainly take some time to celebrate the past year and welcome new beginnings. But let’s not let ourselves become complacent when it comes to our right to keep and bear arms. The battle this year promises to be a tough one, indeed.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.