President’s Column | Anti-Gun Politicians Owe Answers

by
posted on February 20, 2024
Charles L. Cotton

Registered Democrats are buying guns like never before, and they’re headed our way. Are you ready?

Before anyone misconstrues my words: No, I’m not suggesting that the legacy media’s fever-dream fantasies of “civil war” or widespread “insurrection” in this election year are founded. No, when I say Democrats are buying guns and “heading our way,” what I’m saying is that they’re agreeing with us. They’re coming over to our side of this debate. That’s good news.

In case you missed it, last November, an NBC News poll found that the number of Democrats who reported owning firearms jumped significantly over the previous four years.

Between August 2019—when a similar survey was done by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal—and the survey last November, the number of registered Democrats who reported living in a home with a firearm increased from 33% to 41%.

What’s more, since 33% of registered Democrats also reported owning guns in a 2004 survey, that means the jump from 33% to 41% apparently occurred mostly over the past four years.

It’s not hard to understand why.

Over the past several years, Democrat politicians have been pushing policies that make America less safe: Defunding police. Abolishing bail. Redefining felonies as misdemeanors. Flinging open our southern border to anyone who wants to sneak in. Clearing out prisons through reduced sentences and early releases.

For example, California passed a ballot initiative that raised the felony threshold for shoplifting from $450 of merchandise to $950. Other states have followed suit. Today, 40 states don’t consider shoplifting a felony until at least $1,000 worth of loot is stolen. Of those, 16 states set the felony threshold at $1,500. The result? Flash-mob shoplifting sprees and organized retail theft—losses they politely refer to as “shrink,” which amounts to a $100 billion-per-year “tax” on every one of us.

Violent crime has been rising as well. Between 2019 and 2020, homicides increased by almost 30%—the largest single-year increase in six decades—to the highest number of murders since 1995. In 2021, murders increased again by another 4%. The latest statistics available, for 2022, show a decrease in homicides nationwide, but you’d never know that if you lived in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Memphis or other cities where homicides continue to increase.

What’s maddening about all this is that even as their policies put more Americans at ever-greater risk, anti-gun politicians continue pushing gun bans and restrictions that further diminish our ability to protect ourselves.

In January, I wrote about how Israeli and Ukrainian authorities had awakened to the reality that they can’t always protect their own people, and that ordinary armed civilians are the first line of defense against those who would harm us, whether they’re armed invaders or terrorist butchers.

Here in America, many Democrat voters are evidently waking up to that same truth, as they increasingly seek out the tools to defend themselves and their families through the right to keep and bear arms.

Make no mistake: No particular political party “owns” the Second Amendment. But the fact is, most of the politicians pushing gun bans and prohibitions are Democrats. Most of the leaders fighting to stop them are Republicans.

The National Rifle Association is strictly nonpartisan. We support those who protect our Second Amendment rights, and we oppose those who don’t, regardless of political party.

So, it’s encouraging to see more self-identified Democrats joining the ranks of gun owners.

Black Americans are embracing the Second Amendment even more. Between 2019 and 2023, gun ownership among black Americans rose from 24% to 41%. Again, this is good news for the freedom and safety of all of us.

Maybe these new gun owners will succeed in persuading their leaders that the fundamental right to protect yourself shouldn’t be a partisan issue. And if their leaders abandon them, maybe they’ll abandon those leaders.

So, I would urge our new gun-owning allies to demand answers from their leaders: Since when is it a virtue to relinquish the rule of law … to surrender American cities to the violent … and to treat honest, peaceable, law-abiding people as second-class citizens by relentlessly attacking their God-given right to protect themselves and their families?

As president of this Association, I call on every one of you to reach out to these new friends of the right to keep and bear arms. Freedom needs all the protectors that we can possibly muster. Reasonable minds can disagree on some issues, but the preservation of innocent lives through the use of self-defense firearms should be a point concerning which all Americans, all parties, all courts and all elected officials agree.

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