Originally published in the August 2018 Official Journals of the National Rifle Association
Editor’s Note: This month, we’re pleased to feature a guest column by Second Vice President—and soon to be the NRA’s new president—LtCol Oliver L. North, USMC (Ret.)
This is one of the most critical times in the 147-year history of the National Rifle Association. That’s not an exaggeration. In fact, it might understate the challenging reality we face today. The all-out assault against the NRA is unprecedented. Financial, digital and physical attacks over the past several months have been vicious. So, too, are the extralegal coercion and the mounting flood of legislative and media threats from adversaries who seek to destroy the NRA and obliterate our Second Amendment freedom.
Despite these affronts, you and our fellow NRA members have been unflinching in the support of our honorable organization. For that, you have my gratitude. When my friend, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, approached me about becoming the next president of the NRA, I was truly humbled by the unexpected honor. I discussed it with our NRA leadership and with my wife and family, and after prayerful consideration, accepted this new call to duty.
In 1961, I raised my right hand to become a U.S. Marine and took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” That pledge ends with the solemn words, “So help me God.”
When NRA’s leadership asked me to serve, I turned to the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord say, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’” I am a U.S. Marine. I have always answered the call to duty. When asked to serve this association, I made an unwavering commitment to help lead the NRA through the grave challenges we face.
The malicious attacks against us are immoral and unjust. We also know our adversaries’ goal: eradication of the Second Amendment. To achieve that, they intend to elect members of Congress who support that abysmal objective. The enemies of our freedom lust for control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives so they can set their sights squarely on the White House in the 2020 presidential election.
Standing in their way is one organization whose members have always made a critical difference in preserving our precious liberties. That’s why NRA is enduring vicious personal attacks and media slurs. Our opponents seek to demonize us, divide us and overwhelm us in the November elections. Well, I say, “Bring it on!”
There is no better defender of American freedoms than the NRA. No other organization has taken a tougher stand against violent criminals, shown greater support to our military and law enforcement personnel, or done more to protect this nation’s most precious resources: our families, homes and children.
NRA members tell the truth about what we believe, and we never surrender. We vote and work and contribute and stand and fight for liberty. The NRA really is “Freedom’s Safest Place”!
Our countrymen are responding like never before, ignoring the hollow cries from the political class and the media elites. That’s why membership is at an all-time high, as nearly 6 million Americans are now enrolled as active NRA members.
But I also know from other desperate fights, once the battle has been joined, reinforcements will be needed.Here’s how you can help defeat the political and media elites who hate our stand for freedom: Recruit Another NRA Member.
Think about it. If each of our 6 million members recruits just one person, we’d be at almost 12 million by Election Day (Nov. 6). I am personally committed to doubling our membership and need your help in recruiting at least one of your family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors to join us.
Our mission is clear: Defend the U.S. Constitution. Protect the Second Amendment and our precious Bill of Rights. Preserve the freedoms that have made America the greatest nation on Earth. I am proud to stand strong beside you in this fight for our association and our great nation. Now, go out and recruit another NRA member!
Semper Fidelis, Oliver North