We live during a time when monsters and menaces stalk among us.
We see it here at home, in the midst of a historic crime wave spawned by the pro-criminal policies of President Joe Biden and his anti-gun counterparts at all levels of government.
And we’re witnessing it on the world stage with Vladimir Putin’s full-scale, murderous invasion of Ukraine.
We’ve watched Ukrainians, isolated and under assault, stand up in defiance to the powerful Russian military. In the face of bombs, tanks, missiles and military aircraft, ordinary citizens—many armed with privately owned firearms as well as government-supplied firearms—have taken it upon themselves to defend their country, their families and their freedom.
The collective defense was fully backed by the Ukrainian government. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pledged to provide armaments to anyone who would fight to resist the Russian invasion.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country,” he said in a tweet. “Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”
Later, he issued another statement: “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend the country.”
The Ukrainian parliament quickly worked to lift legal restrictions to the bearing and use of arms in self-defense, declaring: “The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society.”
The Ukrainian government also instituted conscription of military reservists and ordered males aged 18 to 60 not to leave the country.
As we’ve watched from afar, it’s impossible for us, as NRA members, to not see the parallels between what’s happening in Ukraine and what happened over two centuries ago when our nation was founded. Our Founding Fathers, who had lived under the tyranny of King George, wanted to make sure that in this new country Americans would never again be subjugated.
How many times have we heard anti-gun politicians, and their parrots in the media and Hollywood, deride our Second Amendment rights as outdated—a relic from a bygone era that needs to be changed, restricted or outright scrapped. They claim these are modern times, and no one needs a gun today like folks did back then.
In fact, just two months ago, Biden let loose with this familiar illogic, when he said: “We talk like there’s no amendment that’s absolute. When the [Second Amendment] was passed, it didn’t say anybody can own a gun and any kind of gun and any kind of weapon. You couldn’t buy a cannon in—when the—this—this amendment was passed.”
That, of course, is a lie, and Joe Biden knows it. Even the fact-checkers at The Washington Post gave him four “Pinocchios”—the harshest rating the paper gives when “fact-checking” politicians and public figures—when he made the same claim last year.
The fact is, and you’ve heard me say this before, the Second Amendment is the most modern freedom we possess. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is as relevant now as it has always been, and it always will be.
What is happening in Ukraine proves the enduring wisdom of our Founding Fathers in drafting the Second Amendment. They wanted to make certain the American people would never be subjugated—not only as a collective nation, but also as individuals.
The Second Amendment at its core is, and has always been, about preserving innocent life, human dignity, self-destiny and freedom. These natural, inherently virtuous and ethical standards don’t have an expiration date—and neither does the one freedom that protects and guarantees them all.
It is flat-out tragic that in so many other countries across the world, the inability of the people to form an organization like the NRA is the reason they lost their gun rights. Their most essential freedom was beaten into the ground by a steady drumbeat of lies—that private gun ownership was outdated, problematic and ill-suited for modern times.
And so, as you and I pray for the people of Ukraine, we should also give thanks for the wisdom of our Founders. And we should take pride in knowing that you, me and our fellow NRA members are the one thing standing between the Founders’ noble vision of everlasting freedom and of human dignity, and those like Joe Biden who would take it all away.