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Presidents Column

By David A. Keene, President

Election 2012: The Future Is In Our Hands

At the 2011 NRA Annual Meetings, Wayne LaPierre made it clear that we’ll lose the rights we have all fought so hard to protect unless we do all we can to deny Barack Obama another four years in the White House.

That was before we knew just how deeply involved Attorney General Eric Holder, his Justice Department and the White House were in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ outrageous program to provide “evidence” that our Second Amendment freedoms are somehow responsible for the Mexican drug wars, and long before we learned that the BATFE kept one of the worst actors in the scandal on full government salary while he worked full time at J.P. Morgan.

… before senior Justice Department officials mimicked mafia dons by invoking their Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to testify before Congress on the grounds that it would open them to criminal prosecution.

…before this president promised Sarah Brady and her fellow gun-ban activists that he’ll do what they want, but has to operate “under the radar” for now.

… before most NRA members even knew that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his cronies published a manifesto detailing ways a president can undermine our Second Amendment rights without involving Congress. This is advice a president who has intimated that he wishes he could govern by fiat must relish.

… and before the Democratic Party convention reiterated its official support of a gun control agenda.

As I travel the country, reporters ask me why the NRA membership is so “obsessed” with replacing a president who, they think, hasn’t restricted our rights yet in any significant way. It’s because we know that if Mr. Obama believed he could take us on in Congress or beat us in a public forum he would have done so already, but he knows a head-on assault puts his political future at risk. He knows what happened to Al Gore 12 years ago, so he is waiting until after the election to strip us of our rights without an electoral backlash.

Reporters might not understand, but Second Amendment supporters who follow politics do—and know it is the job of each of us to make sure gun owners follow gun politics. The thousands of NRA members and supporters I have met at sports shows, banquets and conventions from one end of this country to the other know that everything is at risk this year. In their bones they know that we could lose it all in 2012, that a second Obama term would bring with it as many as three anti-gun Supreme Court justices to rewrite the Second Amendment. They know, too, that the president favors a federal ban on the right to carry concealed, and they know how jurisdictions from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Chicago are acting as if the Supreme Court holdings in the Heller and McDonald cases are meaningless bumps in the road on the way to further restrictions, registration and even confiscation of privately owned firearms.

Barack Obama’s hostility to the Second Amendment pre-dates his involvement in electoral politics; as a board member of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation before he ever ran for office, Obama helped fund anti-Second Amendment activities across the country, encouraged acceptance of a “revisionist” view of the Second Amendment that would exclude its protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms; and carried his hostility to firearms and those who participated in the shooting sports into his political campaigns.

The fear of a second Obama term is not alarmism, but a clear-headed view of what will happen if we don’t elect a Second Amendment-friendly president this November. The NRA and every single member need to be “ALL IN” for the freedoms we are pledged to protect. As you read this, we have very little time remaining before Election Day, but in the time remaining we have to do all we can to make sure that we prevail. As we have proven in the past, we hold the key to the outcome. If we do what we need to do, we will have both protected our rights, and guaranteed that the nation we pass on to our children and grandchildren will be as great as the one we inherited.

The future is in our hands.