Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

After Election Day 2012: Moving Forward

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Four years ago, an anti-gun activist group celebrated the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden by proclaiming, “Never in our nation’s history have we had an incoming president and vice president more supportive of strong gun laws.” Now, for reasons that have nothing to do with gun laws, President Obama and Vice President Biden will remain in power for another four years.

Exaggeration has become the norm in politics, but in this case it’s no exaggeration to say that the next four years could turn out to be the toughest that the Second Amendment has ever faced. Second Amendment supporters retain a majority in the U.S. House and Senate, but President Obama can damage the right to keep and bear arms severely in ways the House and Senate can do little, if anything, to prevent.

First and foremost, Obama can nominate anti-gun justices to the Supreme Court and anti-gun judges to other federal courts. Of course, the Senate blocks judicial nominations only in unusual circumstances, as demonstrated by its approval of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan during Obama’s first term. 

It will be bad enough if Obama has the opportunity to replace the high court’s two oldest anti-gun justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, with like-minded people who will carry the same views forward for decades. It will be far worse if he is able to replace one or more of the five justices who protected the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). Even a one-vote change would create an anti-gun majority that could reverse those two decisions, declare that the Second Amendment does not protect a fundamental, individual right, and authorize new bans on guns, ammunition and accessories under government “police powers.”

Second, just days after the election—and with the Obama administration’s strong support—the United Nations voted to renew talks in March on the arms trade treaty that stalled this summer.  The current draft of the treaty includes, among other things, provisions that would require registration of gun owners who buy imported firearms and require a “national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms.” 

The treaty’s supporters have pretended that the only controls they seek are those that would prevent Third World guerrillas from waging civil wars with military weapons obtained on the international black market. But the Control Arms Campaign, a coalition of civilian disarmament groups such as Oxfam International and Amnesty International whose campaign for the treaty has kept it on the U.N.’s front burner, now openly insists that the final document must also apply to “sporting or hunting firearms.”

As John R. Bolton, who served as the United States’ ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, once explained, “Gun-control groups, frustrated by years of failing to impose harsh measures on American firearms owners, have pursued a covert strategy. … [T]he hidden agenda of the gun controllers is to craft treaty language that, while seemingly innocuous, has long-range implications for the use and ownership of guns here in America.” Even a treaty that’s not immediately ratified by the Senate can pose a threat, as it could be taken off the shelf for ratification years or decades in the future, or simply pointed to as an international “norm” that the U.S. must follow.

On the domestic front, President Obama said during his second campaign debate with Gov. Mitt Romney that he supports a new federal “assault weapons” ban. Since then, staff members for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, d-Calif., have met with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to work on drafting the necessary legislation. According to published reports of the meeting, Feinstein seeks to reinstate the federal ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which was imposed along with the federal “assault weapons” ban of 1994-2004. However, her new gun ban proposal is said to be significantly worse than the 1994 ban in two important respects. 

First, while the 1994 ban allowed rifles like the ar-15 to be manufactured with pistol grips (as long as they didn’t have flash suppressors, bayonet attachments, or adjustable-length stocks) the new ban would prohibit pistol grips altogether, essentially banning the rifles entirely or requiring a radical redesign. The same criteria would also ban the detachable-magazine m1 carbine and perhaps also the fixed-magazine m1 Garand rifle. Such a ban would be the death knell for the most popular rifle marksmanship competitions in our country, and would prevent millions of Americans from acquiring the most popular home-defense rifles currently available.

Second, while Feinstein apparently isn’t calling for abolition of the right of inheritance altogether, as radicals on the political left have urged for centuries, her gun ban reportedly would prohibit passing on any banned firearms and magazines to your heirs, let alone selling them while you’re still alive.

In the debate with Gov. Romney, Obama also opened the door to restrictions on “cheap handguns,” the firearms that gun control supporters have always most loathed, but which were expressly brought under the Second Amendment’s protection by the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller. Needless to say, given Obama’s statement and his longstanding opposition to private individuals carrying handguns for self-defense, his reelection will give us a much tougher fight for federal legislation establishing national recognition of state-issued Right-to-Carry permits.

Despite our best efforts, we were not able to deny Barack Obama and Joe Biden another four years in the White House.  However, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “The greatness of America lies . . . in her ability to repair her faults.” This year, five states—Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia—will hold elections for statewide offices. Next year, 20 Democratic and 13 Republican U.S. senators, and all 435 members of the House of Representatives, will be up for re-election. Record turnouts among voters who care about the Second Amendment can solidify our position at the state level and in the House and Senate. A stronger Senate majority, in particular, could block Obama’s most anti-gun nominees to the federal courts and reject any U.N. treaty that threatens the individual right to arms. Most important, record turnout could set the stage for the election of a pro-Second Amendment president in 2016.

 

Your NRA did everything in its power to protect our rights in 2012, and will continue to do so in the years to come. Political victories as important as the one we were denied in November will come when all Americans who care about the future of our country exercise their right to vote. 

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Thursday, May 18, 2017

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Today, May 18, a draft copy of the "Assault Weapon" regulations has been made available

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Federal Lawsuit Challenging California’s Ban on Standard Capacity Magazines Filed

Today, May 18, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s ban on the possession ...

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

We have yet to reach Memorial Day, but the fun police have already set their sights on at least one cherished summer childhood activity. In an article for Pupsugar.com, titled, “Why Kids Should Never Play ...

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bloomberg's Everytown Creates "Authors Council" to Push Anti-Gun Propaganda

As if the country’s media weren’t already sufficiently co-opted by anti-gun advocates, this week, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety announced an effort to pervert an additional facet of American entertainment. The billionaire bank-rolled interest group has ...

New York: Outrageous Insurance Bill Headlines Long List of Anti-Gun Bills

Monday, March 13, 2017

New York: Outrageous Insurance Bill Headlines Long List of Anti-Gun Bills

The yearly onslaught of anti-gun legislation in the Empire State is concrete proof that anti-gun politicians will never be satisfied until guns are completely banned.  Even though Albany lawmakers passed arguably the nation’s harshest gun ...

Nevada: Anti-Gun Bills Fail to Pass Second Chamber Policy Committee Deadline

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nevada: Anti-Gun Bills Fail to Pass Second Chamber Policy Committee Deadline

Today, May 19, was the second chamber policy committee deadline.  Two anti-gun bills, Senate Bill 115 and Senate Bill 387, both failed to pass out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and are now dead for the 2017 legislative ...

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

The Illinois House of Representatives may consider Senate Bill 1657, legislation that could put your local gun dealer out of business, at any time! It is imperative that you contact your state Representative IMMEDIATELY and ...

California: Department of Justice Submits Assault Weapon Regulations to Office of Administrative Law

Monday, May 15, 2017

California: Department of Justice Submits Assault Weapon Regulations to Office of Administrative Law

Today, May 15, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted draft regulations on "Assault Weapons" to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL).  

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.