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Change . . . For The Worse

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For eight long years, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Janet Reno mocked and attacked gun owners’ rights. Now, despite our hard-fought battles, we are poised to see history repeat itself under a gun-hating Obama-Biden administration.

Change ... for the Worse.

by WAYNE LAPIERRE,
NRA Executive Vice President,
and CHRIS W. COX,
NRA-ILA Executive Director

The 2008 elections are over. America has spoken, and proven enemies of our Second Amendment rights will soon take power in Washington, D.C.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden stand ready to lead an unrelenting attack on our rights that will likely come on every front—executive, judicial, legislative and international.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will take oaths to uphold the Constitution, but we know by their deeds and their words that they believe the Second Amendment rights of American citizens must be harshly curtailed. With Obama’s election, the anti-gunners have seized control of every lever of power in the federal government—the White House, near veto-proof majorities in Congress and the power to pack the U.S. Supreme Court and the vast federal bureaucracy with extremist gun-banners to attack our rights from a thousand directions.

The fight is coming, and NRA will hit it head-on. We’ll have to work night and day to protect our freedoms from the onslaught of the Obama-Biden administration and its gun-ban crowd on Capitol Hill.

We can expect that Obama’s appointees within the executive branch will begin an assault on the Second Amendment with regulatory and enforcement decisions from day one. Those appointments will be guided by a transition team run by John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff. Podesta helped mastermind the lawsuit abuse designed to bankrupt our American firearm industry.

In another Clinton flashback, The Washington Post suggests that Eric Holder—who served as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno—is on the inside track to become attorney general. Holder recently burnished his anti-gun credentials in District of Columbia v. Heller, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Second Amendment guarantees no real right at all. Whoever becomes Obama’s attorney general, we can count on the Department of Justice being an active ally of the gun-ban groups, fighting in court to prevent the landmark Heller decision from being made applicable to state and local governments.
Further, the Obama attorney general will have a tool that Reno did not—the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). With BATFE now under the direct control of the attorney general, rather than the treasury secretary, the agency’s full powers will be unleashed against the Second Amendment. A large majority of federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) were driven out of business under Clinton-Reno—an Obama BATFE will likely be even more ambitious.

When the time is right—after a terrorist attack or some other atrocity—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will fast-track gun-ban legislation that Obama and Biden will lobby for tirelessly. The weight of the White House will be brought to bear on twisting the arms of Democratic senators and congressmen elected on their promises to support gun owners’ rights.

The gun control wish list includes: bans on semi-autos, bans on centerfire rifles (by calling them “sniper rifles”), bans on .50-caliber guns, bans on small handguns, bans on hunting ammunition (of course, they won’t say that, but don’t be fooled), gun rationing (“one gun a month”), national registration, national licensing and repeal of the ban on predatory lawsuits designed to put gun manufacturers and gun stores out of business.

At the top of the Obama anti-gun agenda in Congress will no doubt be a new, permanent ban on semi-autos, repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment (so that gun control groups and anti-gun politicians can get private gun owner records from BATFE) and national legislation against gun shows.

We don’t know whether President Obama will have the opportunity to make one or more Supreme Court appointments during his term, but we do know that from his first day in office he will stack the lower federal courts with judges determined to twist the Heller decision so that it allows unlimited state and local gun bans and allows any federal ban, short of a complete ban, on all handguns.

On the international front, whomever Obama picks for secretary of state, it is now full speed ahead for Obama patron George Soros and the international gun prohibition lobby. The United States delegation at the United Nations will no longer resist international gun bans, but will now be an active supporter of using international law to impose severe gun controls on Americans.

The next step in that campaign is the draft Arms Trade Treaty. Another United Nations gun control conference will convene in 2010 where, unlike during the Bush administration, the U.S. delegation will be an enthusiastic ally of the most extreme gun-ban groups, such as the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) funded by billionaire Soros.

During the past eight years—with your support—we have succeeded in rolling back much of the Clinton anti-gun agenda. Despite our best efforts in the 2008 elections, the dark days for gun owners will soon return, and the first of many attacks on our rights as free men and women will be unleashed. Once again, we must all be ready to stand together to protect freedom—for ourselves and for future generations of Americans.

These next few years are either going to be our proudest moments together as NRA members and as freedom-loving Americans, or they are going to be the worst nightmare that gun owners have faced or will ever face. And the difference will be decided by whether or not you and your fellow members rally together with us today and make a new commitment to stand your ground and never give an inch to the gun-ban army.

To win the battles that are surely headed our way, we are counting on your strength and your courage—every bit as much as our nation has counted on the service of our brave men and women in uniform who’ve pledged their lives in battle.

More than ever before in your life or in the life of our nation, you need to send a message to every member of the U.S. House and Senate, every federal judge, every entrenched gun-hating bureaucrat, every legislator in your home state and every enemy of freedom ...

That you’re standing tall with the NRA for the next four years and, as Charlton Heston said, it is “We the People” who rule this country—not the politicians and not the media—and we will protect our cherished freedoms. Standing together, we will prevail.

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NRA ILA

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.