President’s Column | What Happens When Gun Owners Stand Together

at President, NRA posted on August 24, 2021
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This September, tens of thousands of NRA members will descend on Houston, Texas, to celebrate 150 years of our NRA. Our Annual Meeting will showcase NRA’s strength in defending the Second Amendment, supporting the shooting sports, and teaching law-abiding Americans how to safely and responsibly use firearms. At every NRA Annual Meeting I attend, I’m reminded of the patriotism of NRA members and gun owners, and how powerful we are when we stand together.

The anti-gun left hated last year’s record of first-time gun owners, estimated at around 8.4 million Americans, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). And they were even more enraged that an estimated 23 million firearms were sold in 2020 alone. Women and minorities make up an ever-increasing portion of these purchasers.

Despite these impressive numbers showing that most Americans see the need for self-protection and are willing to embrace the concepts of personal responsibility and freedom, the gun-control crowd continually tries to paint gun owners as some extreme element of society. If each and every gun owner would commit to making their voices heard in the political arena, they could drown out the slander, misinformation and outright lies of those who are actively working to destroy our Second Amendment.

We now live in a free country with our Bill of Rights intact, although these protections are under constant attack. We have the right to defend ourselves and our families from threats. But if we want to keep this right, we must stand up and we must act. We must loudly use our First Amendment rights in support of our Second. We must outmaneuver, outspend, out-strategize, and remove those from power who would subvert and undermine the principles our Founding Fathers knew would be necessary to create and keep a free nation. We must support candidates for public office who support the Second Amendment and who understand the words, “Shall not be infringed.”

We can stop the slide away from freedom, but only if we come together.

Purchasing a gun is a first step toward understanding and embracing our freedom like never before. We welcome each of our family members, co-workers and neighbors who have taken that recent step. Now let’s teach them gun safety, train them and take them to a range—all important parts of gun ownership. But we cannot stop there!

We must educate ourselves and show others the political aspects of gun ownership. It’s the way to secure and keep our cherished rights. Contact your elected representatives at all levels and let them know the importance of gun ownership. Several states are holding elections this fall, and midterm elections are next year. Candidates for public office need to know that gun owners pay attention. We are the grassroots—the citizens those politicians are supposed to work for.

Here’s the good news—you don’t have to fight this battle alone! There are many ways to connect with like-minded gun owners. Go to an NRA event, join a club or association, donate, take part in NRA-ILA grassroots efforts and share your own story to help remind people that gun owners are their neighbors (about one-third of the U.S. population!). Stay involved and engaged. Go to and for more information on how to stand up for your rights in solidarity with the millions of other gun owners in America.

We can stop the slide away from freedom, but only if we come together. Gun-grabbers know how powerful we are when we work as one—that’s the reason they always target the NRA. Together, we can show the real face of gun owners—the face of citizens who care deeply about their families and their country. And we can share our knowledge and our passion to positively influence our culture.

Together, we must remind politicians that they work for us, the American people, and that we will never give up our foundational freedoms. We must remind anti-gun politicians that we expect them to uphold the Constitution, just as they vowed to do when they took office. Together, we can oust from office those who don’t stand behind our individual rights as enumerated in our founding documents and replace them with those who will. That’s what happens when gun owners unite. And it is necessary that we do just that. Why? Because, as I always say, we have a country to save!


Don Young
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