This feature appears in the July ’16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Never have we seen a presidential candidate as extreme as Hillary Clinton, who has made shredding the Bill of Rights the centerpiece of her campaign for the White House. To do so, she has threatened executive orders that would make President Barack Obama’s abuses of power look mild. And she plans to drastically alter the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court to render meaningless the right to keep and bear arms altogether. She will do the same with the First Amendment—criminalizing the kind of speech we practice every day to save the freedom of all Americans.
Hillary Clinton has referred to the NRA and its members as “the enemy.” And if she gets the power, she will try to destroy everything we stand for.Hillary knows there is one force in our still-free nation that stands in her way—the NRA. She has referred to our organization, and all those who stand with us, as “the enemy.” And if she gets the power, she will try to destroy everything we are and everything we stand for. Hillary has made dismantling the NRA a seminal objective during her campaign.
As long as I’ve been in politics, I have never seen such a measure of hatred for the freedom of individual Americans. It’s not just Hillary. This hatred marks a large segment of her party’s apparatus. Imagine if Nancy Pelosi were back in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, or if Charles Schumer becomes majority leader of the U.S. Senate. As Wayne LaPierre has so succinctly put it, these people not only hate guns, but they hate us for being free to possess and use them.
Mind you, never lose sight of the fact that the NRA—as a truly non-partisan organization—has always wholeheartedly supported Democrats who stand with us, and we have equally opposed Republicans who denigrate the Second Amendment. The fruit of that honest dedication to our cause, above all else, is the reason that during periods of total partisan congressional deadlock, the NRA wins the day for the Second Amendment with votes from both sides of the aisle.
That does not change with Hillary’s all-out war on what she calls “the gun culture.”
Think about that term, “gun culture,” and what it encompasses—a centuries-old history of a free people owning firearms for whatever peaceable reason they might have. The “gun culture” includes everything we do: recreational shooting, hunting, self-defense, defense of homes, and collecting, studying, designing and trading in firearms.
The good news in this dire political threat is that, for now, you and I have the ability to stop Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in their march to ultimate power—to positions they will all use to liquidate the First and Second Amendments.
Those two constitutional amendments are at the head of the Bill of Rights because the founders understood that the two powers reserved to the people are entwined. One protects the other. Together they protect all our liberty.
As I crisscross this great nation meeting with you, your friends and families, I am never disappointed at the wisdom, knowledge and political sophistication that we as an assembled people collectively possess. When it comes to anything connected with saving the Second Amendment, nobody in the nation can touch the power of individual NRA members.We must be the well-informed nucleus to spread the word about just what is at stake in the next four years.
One of the elements of our dedication to our cause that I preach is mentoring—finding people with the same love and passion for the practice of the right to keep and bear arms, and helping to nurture and guide their interest. This is especially true of young people. We need to give them the same opportunities as they grow up that we were given as kids.
But there is another mentoring that is paramount in this dire time.
Each of us must reach out to friends, family, colleagues—all voters—with our honest message about saving the rights that guarantee our liberty.
There are 100 million firearm owners in the nation, and—with the endless threats from the Obama administration—those numbers are growing as new gun owners are voting with their pocketbooks.
In the coming weeks before the election, we must become mentors for the Second Amendment. We must be the well-informed nucleus to spread the word about just what is at stake in the next four years.
The dangers are real, especially for those among us who get their news only from the big media. It is up to us to break through the fog of media ignorance and untruths we see, read and hear every day.
If we do our job with gentle, well-reasoned persuasion, then we will prevail at the ballot this November by convincing others to join with us to save their freedoms and the future of our liberty.