Law-abiding American gun owners are presently facing the most vicious and broad-based attacks this nation has ever seen on our cherished right to keep and bear arms. And your NRA is the focal point for those who want to abolish the Second Amendment.
Indeed, our adversaries seek to discredit and then to erase the Second Amendment altogether, while stripping away our guns, our ability to defend ourselves, our freedom to participate in shooting sports and our ability to feed our families as part of the most-successful conservation system on earth. The enemies of freedom and their fake-news media allies love the idea of forbidding the sale of guns and ammunition. They have done just that in once-great American cities and now want to export their failing ideology to all corners of our country. Corporate titans are even putting their personal anti-gun politics above free-market common sense in an attempt to bully loyal customers with hostile and discriminatory business policies.
There is little the gun-haters won’t stoop to. Lies, name calling, and now the most vile and divisive slander of all, branding the NRA and our members “domestic terrorists,” as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently did in an official act.
As your NRA president, I have not been immune to personal attacks, nor have members of our Board of Directors. But the chief target of our adversaries’ desperate assault is NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. There is a reason. Wayne represents an insurmountable roadblock to the ambitions of:
• Bored billionaire despots jealous of the greatness of true patriots, from the Founding Fathers who gave us the Second Amendment to those of us today who remain true to the U.S. Constitution;
• Partisan gun-grabbers trying to outdo one another to gain political advantage;
• Arrogant media celebrities who have warped the honorable “people’s-right-to-know” mission of real journalists into a “people’s obligation to think like I do,”; and
• No-name, no-constituency gun-control agitators eager for headlines.
Misinformation and factual distortion are essential elements of their shared tactics when it comes to discussing what to do about firearms and law-abiding gun owners. With lies and blame for the acts of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill, they are attempting to destroy the NRA—from the organization itself to Wayne, myself and even you, the members, who stand more than 5 million strong.
Make no mistake about what we face. The Second Amendment is a legal foundation. That’s why the most-serious threats to it rise at the time of tragic events sensationalized in the media. When you parse all the outrageous, politicized statements made by anti-gunners at such times, it’s clear the only “do something” they seek is our destruction.
And you understand how important it is, and has been, for the NRA to fight each and every battle—in legislative bodies, through the judicial system, and in the court of public opinion—to preserve the fundamental right that guards all other rights.
Leading these complex and time-consuming efforts—and scoring win after win for you, me, and the NRA for four decades—is our political quarterback, Wayne LaPierre. Soon after the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action was founded, he began his career as a lobbyist in the thick of battles at the state level, in Congress, and head-to-head with anti-gun Presidential administrations. Wayne has seen it all. He knows the legislative power plays. He knows the opposing players and their tactics. I encourage you to read Standing Guard in this month’s magazine to learn much more about the legacy of success compiled on Wayne’s watch.
If ever the NRA and America needed a battle-tested leader to spur us to victory for the Second Amendment, it’s now. Opposition lawmakers in Congress, state capitals and city councils are doing their worst to drum up fervor for legislating your gun rights out of existence. Off-year elections are taking place in various states this month, and next year, the White House and control of Congress is at stake. History has called us to this place in time. We must take action, foremost of which is standing with Wayne LaPierre.
We must stand up for what we believe. We must unite behind the NRA, as the NRA. Never forget, we are America’s oldest, most effective civil-rights organization. As your president, I ask each and every NRA member to be proud of who we are and to join in facing the challenges that lie ahead. We’ve got a lot of work to do to keep our Second Amendment as strong as ever. Let’s do it!