We’ve covered a great deal of NRA history, but now we need to address making history. There simply is no future for the Second Amendment if NRA members, and all those who support our right to keep and bear arms, do not take the lessons we have learned from a century-and-a-half of NRA efforts, and form a strategy that will preserve our rights for generations to come.
Our goal must be to ensure that, 150 years from now, those reading an account of what we do in the next few years will deem our efforts to be remarkable accomplishments in the struggle against those who hope to disarm law-abiding gun owners.
Perhaps the most-impactful action we can take for long-term protection of the Second Amendment—as well as restoring its protections to the condition envisaged by our Founding Fathers—is to promote a successful strategy in the courts. By the time this article is published, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will have already heard oral arguments in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen—a challenge to New York’s prohibitive carry-permit law we have covered on a number of occasions.
This case could very well put to rest the debate over whether the protections offered by the Second Amendment apply to most public spaces—as our Founders intended—or if they are simply relegated to within the home, as those opposed to the right to self-defense would have you believe. It’s as if they simply don’t understand the meaning of the word “bear.”
Beyond the courts, though, we also can make history at the polls.
Although elections appear far less permanent than landmark judicial cases, each cycle has the potential for both short-term and long-term benefits to those who support the Second Amendment. These days, control of Congress seems to constantly swing back and forth between pro-gun and anti-gun majorities. And whoever controls the White House has an obvious impact on what can be achieved.
But complete control isn’t always necessary.
During part of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. House of Representatives was in the hands of anti-gun extremists, and the Senate had an exceptionally narrow pro-gun majority. Nonetheless, President Trump was able to make incredible advancements for our gun rights by appointing jurists to the federal judiciary who understood and supported the original intent of the Second Amendment. This included adding three justices to SCOTUS. That’s a clear, long-term benefit.
Now, with Joe Biden at the helm of the most anti-gun administration ever, and anti-gun extremists in charge of both chambers of Congress, we are facing an onslaught of legislation that seeks to kill our fundamental freedoms protected under the Second Amendment.
The reason Biden hasn’t yet seen his desk covered with anti-gun bills awaiting his signature is because of a rather simple rule when it comes to the legislative process; it is generally easier to defeat controversial legislation than it is to pass it. In the short term, we need to keep up the pressure on lawmakers to ensure Biden’s anti-gun legislative goals are not met.
However, with the 2022 election season soon going into full swing, we have the opportunity to swing the congressional balance back to supporting the U.S. Constitution. If we are successful at replacing enough anti-gun extremists with Second Amendment supporters, we can ensure that Biden’s anti-gun legislative agenda is derailed.
And a successful 2022 election campaign will feed directly into the 2024 elections, where we will have a chance to replace Biden with someone far more supportive of our right to keep and bear arms. With Second Amendment supporters in control of the White House and Congress, long-term success can be achieved, both with solid judicial appointments, as well as through passing pro-gun legislation.
So, what can you do to help us make history today? The most-obvious answer is to get anyone you know who supports the Second Amendment, but is not currently an NRA member, to join today.
After that, if you are not already involved with our grassroots activities, get involved. Contact the NRA-ILA FrontLines Activist Leader (FAL) for your area to find out what you can do. FALs are NRA members who coordinate and implement NRA-ILA’s grassroots activities and programs in their areas. FALs work with NRA staff, NRA members and pro-gun supporters in their area to provide ground-level support for NRA-ILA programs and activities on a year-round basis. This includes election and legislative efforts. For more information on FALs, and how to get involved, go to nraila.org/grassroots/find-your-frontlines-activist-leader/.
Together, we can make history today!