This feature appears in the January ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
On November 8, you, the 5 million men and women of the National Rifle Association—along with the tens of millions of gun owners all over this country who followed your lead—achieved a truly extraordinary, historic—even heroic—accomplishment.
In Florida and Pennsylvania—throughout Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan—in small towns and communities all across America—you were the special forces that swung this election and sent Donald Trump and Mike Pence to the White House. You did this! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. These goals, and more, are now possible because of the historic work you have done. It is only because of your sacrifices that we have this unique opportunity to defend the one freedom that protects all the others: our Second Amendment.
In the wake of this historic event, the same disgraced group of so-called experts, talking heads, pundits and pollsters that got everything wrong before the election are trying to deceive you once again. So let me remove all doubt: Gun owners made this election happen. Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she is on permanent political vacation.
Your determination to defend individual freedom, joined with the other issues at the heart of this race, ensured that only one candidate could receive the approval of the American people: Donald Trump.
The disgraceful media attempted to manipulate your emotions. They tried to suppress your enthusiasm, your speech and your vote. But you would not be distracted from the core freedom that was truly at stake.
And for that, you deserve the gratitude of the entire nation.
You proved the founders right—that the ultimate check and balance in this country is the American people.
I joined this quest to restore Second Amendment freedom almost 40 years ago. Many of you were there with me. Together, we have restored, expanded and protected the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States—and are preparing to pass it forward to the generations of Americans who will take up this cause.
Our victory in this election is a monumental step toward securing the future of this freedom. Soon, President Trump will nominate a constitutionally sound justice to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Make no mistake: That will be a generational victory for the Second Amendment. And you made it happen.
But we must face the reality that still confronts us. For eight straight years, Barack Obama flooded the appellate courts and the federal judiciary with judges who truly despise Second Amendment freedom.
More than 300 Obama-appointed anti-gun judges represent an infection for which there is no cure, other than time and vigilance. They will pose a threat to our gun rights for decades to come.
We also face a growing group of anti-Second Amendment elitist billionaires, led by George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. By pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into federal, state and local elections, they have succeeded in confusing many voters into believing clever labeling like “universal” background checks and so-called “common-sense” schemes will make a difference in the safety and security of our communities.
The truth is, the anti-gun billionaires have one goal, and one goal only—the absolute eradication of Second Amendment freedom for the average American.
Not for their security forces, their families and themselves. But for you: the everyday Americans who stormed the polls in an act of ultimate defiance of the elites.
They will continue to enjoy the support of an openly dishonest media that truly hates your right to speak, your right to worship, your right to vote and—most of all—your right to keep and bear arms.
In the face of the bitter hatred and elitist condemnation, this is our historic moment to go on offense and defeat the forces that have aligned against our freedom once and for all.
The individual right to carry a firearm in defense of our lives and our families does not—and should not—end at any state line. I call on Congress and the president-elect to pass national Right-to-Carry reciprocity as quickly as it can be written and signed.
And it is time, once and for all, to end the absolute fallacy of gun-free zones. Not one more American serviceman or woman should be murdered on a military base because the government denied their right to defend themselves with a firearm. We revere the men and women in uniform who defend our freedom, and their rights must be restored immediately. Our time is now. And we must approach the coming fights with the same urgency and determined action that ended the political future of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I also call for protections that stop the tyrannical erosion of gun rights in states and cities where corrupt leaders use political power to abuse the rights of American citizens. I’m talking about a deceitful web of gun bans, ammo bans, magazine bans, exorbitant fees, taxes and registration schemes—all designed to undermine the meaning of the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court decisions that uphold it. The court’s Heller decision recognized the right of Washington, D.C., citizens to own a firearm in their home. But eight years later, it is still almost impossible to legally buy a firearm in that city. If the anti-gun forces can get away with sanctuary city-type exclusions where they unilaterally defy the rights of American citizens, then your Second Amendment protections only exist if your local government recognizes them. It must be illegal for corrupt, bureaucratic elites to deny law-abiding Americans their full measure of firearm freedom.
These goals, and more, are now possible because of the historic work you have done. It is only because of your sacrifices that we have this unique opportunity to defend the one freedom that protects all the others: our Second Amendment.
But before we can say that it has been secured and is intact for us to pass on to the next generation, we must face these very real challenges with the strength, courage and purpose you have proven to possess.
Our time is now. And we must approach the coming fights with the same urgency and determined action that ended the political future of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
That’s why I need you to renew your membership, upgrade your membership, join this organization, and be part of the hard work and victories yet to come.
You have proven to be ready for the challenge. And I’m counting on you.