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President`s Column: Grassroots Activism Is A Powerful Force

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Everyone now knows the danger the Obama-Biden White House poses to the rights of law-abiding gun owners. We watched as President Barack Obama assembled his team from among the most anti-gun zealots to ever hold public office. With Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle and Eric Holder in the cabinet, and Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, America’s gun owners know the dangers we face and that our friends in Congress will be mightily challenged in their defense of America’s beloved Second Amendment.

But do America’s gun owners know about the anti-gun legislative onslaught poised to strike their state capitals, or their own hometowns? Do they know that Obama and Biden aren’t alone in promising to “change” our lives?

It’s true. The gun-banners have proclaimed the Supreme Court’s historic Heller decision as an anti-gun victory that they will use to push gun-control schemes in cities and states from coast to coast--and NRA needs your help to stop them!

No issue is more mainstream than exercising and protecting the freedoms that make America unique in the history of the world.

In a paper outlining their legislative strategy, the gun-banning Brady Campaign wrote, “Unless and until the Court holds otherwise, the Second Amendment does not restrict state or local laws. As direct precedent, Heller could not be used to support the invalidation of any other gun law in America.”

“[T]he Heller decision could well mark a turning point,” they concluded. Already, anti-gun groups nationwide are preparing a state-level legislative blitzkrieg.

Example: A rich, San Francisco-based organization of lawyers calling itself The Legal Community Against Violence recently assisted anti-gun legislative efforts in at least 15 states, including Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio.

Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley, who brazenly defies the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, is hosting a “gun conference” for like-minded politicians around the country to plot their gun-ban strategy.

“I believe the court’s ruling presents us with an opportunity to continue our efforts,” Daley said.

These are historic times. The potential for profound and radical changes at the state, local and federal levels is greater today than ever before.

Consider these examples:

In Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh City Council--in open defiance of that state’s firearm preemption law--recently passed an ordinance to punish gun owners like you for failing to report immediately the loss or theft of a firearm.

In Oregon, the state’s firearm pre-emption law is under attack.

In Washington, the state govern-ment has been considering bans or restrictions on lead-based ammunition.

In New Jersey, the Trenton statehouse has been considering “one gun a month” restrictions and an outright ban on .50-caliber rifles.

In my home state of Delaware, the state police have usurped the power of the legislature in matters of fire-arm transactions.

As one who has served as a state-level legislative activist for many years, I cannot overemphasize the impact your personal involvement can have. Politicians respect the power of numbers and react to constituent communications.

If you doubt the power of grassroots activism by gun owners like you, please consider just two more examples.

Thanks to NRA-ILA lobbyists and activists like you, the Ohio state senate--in a middle-of-the-night vote just a week before Christmas--reversed its earlier decision to increase fees for Right-to-Carry permits.

In Tennessee, the Department of Safety instituted--and then retracted--a de-facto gun registration scheme because gun owners like you expressed their outrage.

Over the next few years, your personal political activism must play a larger role in protecting our children`s future and our nation’s heritage.

That’s why I am asking every NRA patriot to get informed and get involved now. Whether you choose to participate or not, our opponents will.

When your state crime sub-committee or fish and game com-mission solicits public comments, tell them exactly what you think. If you don’t, our enemies will win by default.

Call, write, e-mail or fax your state legislators, city officials, sheriff, governor and county leaders early and often. Tell them you care about freedom. Tell them you expect them to defend your Right to Keep and Bear Arms for hunting, self defense and every other lawful purpose.

Visit www.NRANews.com for timely intelligence about developments at home and around the country.

Call (800) 392-VOTE (8683) or visit www.NRAILA.org/ActionCenter to subscribe to customized e-mail alerts notifying you of late-breaking legislative and regulatory developments in your city or state.

Join other activists by contacting your NRA state association or by calling NRA-ILA Grassroots at (800) 392-8683.

NRA-ILA lobbyists and activists are working in every state legislature to protect your rights, but there is no substitute for your personal involvement--as taxpayers, constituents and freedom-first voters.

We must be vocal and we must be heard. United, we can do anything!

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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.