It is with great pleasure that I address you, my fellow patriots and members of the NRA, in my first monthly column as president of the NRA Board of Directors.
It’s an honor to serve as NRA president and also to work alongside Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president, and Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA-ILA. I’m also looking forward to fighting the good fight with John Frazer, secretary; Craig Spray, treasurer; and Joseph DeBergalis, Jr., executive director of General Operations. I also want to welcome our new Board officers, First Vice President Charles L. Cotton, and Willes K. Lee as second vice president. We are very fortunate to have them leading the NRA.
Last year when I served the NRA as interim president, I wrote about the great honor of being able to address NRA members in this column. Growing up, I came from a family active in hunting and competitive shooting. Our country has changed in many ways since those times. The freedoms we all grew up with in this great nation, as given to us by God and enumerated by our Founding Fathers, are being threatened like never before. Not only are guns being vilified, but so are law-abiding gun owners who face attacks on every side. The fundamental rights of all Americans—you and I, even those who will follow us—are at stake.
We have a right to bear arms. We have a right to defend ourselves. We have a right to hunt as a sport or to put food on the table. We have a right to free speech. We have a right to buy our firearms or conduct any other lawful business without financial discrimination. We have a right to exist with those whose opinions are different from our own. We have a right to provide protection to the students in our schools. We have a right to elect those who will support our cause in the halls of government. Our government is by the people and for the people. The NRA shares these beliefs. I share them and so do over 5 million NRA members.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet many NRA members at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Ind., attended by over 81,000 people. For the second straight year, we had both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum.
It’s ordinary people like you and me who are called upon to make a stand. Together, we become extraordinary. That’s what makes a difference. That’s what wins the fight. That’s what we’re all about as Americans.
President Trump vowed he will protect the firearm freedoms of law-abiding Americans and oppose efforts to restrict the Second Amendment. Vice President Pence also reaffirmed this administration’s commitment to stand strong against attempts to undermine our rights. It’s important for every NRA member to continue standing with them as we head toward Election Day 2020.
We are proud of our country, proud of the NRA and proud of all the generations of patriots who have stood up to fight for freedom. It’s time to stand up again. All of us. Use your voice, your wallet, and enlist your family, friends, and neighbors to stand with the NRA as it defends freedom in the corridors of power and on Election Day.
We can and will win this together. We’ve seen it happen throughout our history when those who act mighty and try to impose their far-fetched oppressive ideas on the American people are met with defeat and failure. Tyrants don’t succeed no matter how hard they bluster or shout into a microphone. It’s ordinary people like you and me who are called upon to make a stand. Together, we become extraordinary. That’s what makes a difference. That’s what wins the fight. That’s what we’re all about as Americans.
I look forward to helping our Association chart its course for the future. As NRA president, I can tell you that the Board stands behind our leadership as we represent members concerned about the future of this great nation. Let’s come together to fight for our rights and the other freedoms at stake. Let’s show them what we are made of at the NRA.