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Standing Guard November 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

STANDING GUARD

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA Executive Vice President

That intrinsic tyranny is why the Founders created the Bill of Rights. That is why we have a Second Amendment. And that is why federal judges who will uphold that right in the face of a radical majority are so important.

or the November 7 elections, the worst enemies of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms--New York U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi--are counting on low voter turnout to give them control of Congress. It’s a sure bet that if they depose our hard-won pro-Second Amendment majorities in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, we will face unprecedented new attacks on our freedom. As informed voters, and as NRA members, we must do everything possible between now and Election Day to mobilize fellow gun owners to hand the gun-ban crowd a day of profound disappointment.

The media is playing a stealth propaganda game this year, giving the impression that gun control is not at issue. They are floating stories predicting an inevitable takeover of legislative power by staunch enemies of the Second Amendment. All of this is to fool less-savvy gun owners into believing that losing control of Congress doesn’t matter.

Where the media is predicting “regime change” in the Congress, there is one force that can stop it — the nation’s firearm owners.

Nothing is further from the truth.

House Minority Leader Pelosi, along with ally and fellow Californian, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will surely press for new federal confiscatory firearm bans. She has hinted that gun control will be a priority “when the issue is ripe.” If our pro-gun majority in the House is routed in this election, as speaker of the House, Pelosi will make it “ripe.”

To Hillary Clinton--who is amassing a war chest approaching $50 million for her 2008 run for the White House--control of the U.S. Senate is key to shaping the courts and thus killing the Second Amendment. She recently said, “There is truly a profound struggle occurring over the future direction of the country … hardest fought of these struggles is over the future of the judiciary.”

Charles Schumer, masterminding a multi-million-dollar iron-hand campaign to overturn our pro-gun Senate majority, has teamed with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a national scheme to wipe out your local gun dealers, one at a time--through lawsuits defying NRA-supported congressional bans on such punitive misuse of the courts. Bragging “I was the author of the Brady law and the assault weapons ban in the House of Representatives,” Schumer called Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign to shut down the firearm industry an “all fronts war.” At a recent press conference, Schumer boasted, “The lawsuits he put together are just brilliant …. Just at a time when the issue seemed to be fading, the mayor has really breathed new life into it.”

I have always said that in politics, one thing counts above all--the biggest number wins. But in places like Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City and California--where oppressive gun laws have forced law-abiding gun owners to flee to other states--the biggest number now rests on the side of tyranny. That intrinsic tyranny is why the Founders created the Bill of Rights. That is why we have a Second Amendment. And that is why federal judges who will uphold that right in the face of a radical majority are so important.

To define what a gun-ban majority leadership under Pelosi, Clinton and Schumer would have in store for us, look no further than the nightmare scenarios unfolding in California, which provide the perfect medium for metastasizing the political cancer of civilian disarmament to the rest of the nation.

When the gun-prohibition majority in that state’s legislature banned a host of semi-autos, they demanded registration of “government-approved” self-loaders. But it was a double-cross. Many Californians who complied were informed their registration was “illegal” after all and were told by government agents that they had four choices: Give up their guns to police or face prosecution and prison; get their guns out of state; or move. The same thing is happening with large-bore, single-shot, bolt-action target rifles banned as “assault weapons.” It’s insane.

In my travels, meeting with NRA members across the nation, I can’t begin to count the number of heartsick former Californians who told me they gave up their homes, careers, friends and family ties to flee to freedom in other states. And for every gun owner who understandably chose to leave tyranny behind, the pool of voters left to fight was diminished. Americans should never be forced to make that choice.

Where the media is predicting “regime change” in the Congress, there is one force that can stop it--the nation’s firearm owners. As NRA members, we must forcefully communicate the importance of the electoral process this year to others. Vote to preserve the Second Amendment and make sure that your friends, co-workers and family do the same. We must make our collective voices count at the ballot box so that on November 8, Pelosi, Schumer and Clinton will still be facing the defiant wall of a pro-Second Amendment majority.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.