By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President
The other day, I heard a phrase every first-year law student knows well: If the law is against you, pound the facts; if the facts are against you, pound the law; if both the facts and the law are against you, pound the table.
In the 30 years I’ve worked for the NRA, I’ve heard a lot of anti-gun table pounding. But I’ve never witnessed the level of desperation and fear they’re resorting to now.
This September, I gave a speech that set the left-wing media and bloggers on fire. I laid bare the Obama administration’s clear intent—once freed from the political restrictions of a first term—to assault the Second Amendment.
Honestly and factually, I noted the president’s long, detailed and irrefutable opposition to the Second Amendment—as a senator, as a candidate and in the White House.
I reminded the audience that historically, when presidential politics and gun control mix, the NRA wins decisively. Just ask Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
I reasoned that a politician as pragmatic as Barack Obama isn’t foolish enough to revisit that fight; not out in the open and not when he has to win another election.
Predictably, the media raced to smear, mock and slander the NRA. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews attacked us as the “crazy far right” who “hate” Obama while Rachel Maddow labeled us “insane” and “paranoid.” They all laughed, scorned and jeered. They did everything but argue the facts.
Gun banners know they won’t win reelection on what they’ve accomplished. To win next November, they have to deflect the debate away from the truth.
Gun owners know the facts and the law. The American people are on our side.
We’ve had enough of the lying, deception and outright failure of the Obama administration, and we refuse to be shouted down.
Not by a media that ignores the biggest cover-up since Watergate.
Not by an administration that submits our fundamental rights to “global norms.”
And not by a president who put two of history’s most anti-gun Supreme Court justices on the bench.
Before our opponents’ rhetoric escalates, let’s ground the debate in fact. We’re not imagining Operation “Fast and Furious,” a deadly, criminal scheme concocted by the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They spent our tax dollars to arm Mexican drug cartels and smear law-abiding gun dealers; now a federal agent is dead and more than a thousand guns are missing. Now that the secret’s out, the Obama administration stalls and obstructs the investigation, while an agency order with no legal authority slaps gun registration on four border states. It might take years for the political mess to unravel, but recovering the guns will take decades—crime scene after crime scene, heartbreak after heartbreak.
We’re not imagining this administration’s consent to move forward with an international Arms Trade Treaty that ignores our Constitution. The anti-freedom proposals on the table are frightening—from registration and surveillance to tracking and tracing and even outright confiscation of civilian firearms.
We’re not imagining Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, President Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees who both, during their confirmation hearings, described the Second Amendment as “settled law.” After being sworn in, Sotomayor immediately reversed course. In the landmark, razor-thin 5-4 victory for freedom in McDonald v. Chicago, she agreed she could “find nothing in the Second Amendment … that could warrant characterizing it as fundamental.”
These are the facts gun owners face today, the unvarnished details of an arrogant, elitist anti-gun administration. In the face of these facts, our opponents offer rhetoric rather than reason.
Well, perhaps they need to be reminded of what we’ve done. Because in terms of freedom, the NRA has done more good for more people than any other organization in America.
We are the reason Otis McDonald, Dick Heller and residents of Chicago and Washington, D.C., have access to the same protection as their big-city mayors.
Our tireless fight for Right-to-Carry laws in every state means no single mother, elderly veteran or any other law-abiding citizen is left defenseless.
Our Eddie Eagle GunSafe program replaced anti-gun propaganda with fact-based instruction, teaching tens of millions of kids to avoid firearm accidents.
Decade after decade, the NRA has expanded and defended firearm freedom because we rightfully believe the Second Amendment is the essential foundation of a free and equal society.
That belief is under assault from people who’ve shown they’ll do—and say—anything to attack our rights.
To win in November, we have to be more coordinated, more motivated and stronger than ever before.
The most powerful way you can swing this election is by renewing your NRA membership. In the face of the anti-gunners’ massive, unending smear campaign, we have to get the facts to America’s 90 million gun owners—and then get them pulling pro-gun levers in every state.
Look for your 2012 membership card in the mail soon. When it arrives, please renew your commitment to defend and preserve the Second Amendment.
Then, on Election Day, our answer to the lies, ridicule and desperate attacks will ring loud and true: Whenever freedom is threatened, the NRA will rise to its defense.