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Gun Owners and Gun Vendors Take A Stand

Monday, April 1, 2013

By Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President

Across this nation, gun stores are virtually empty. There is simply no ammunition to be had. Backorders are running into the late fall or next year, or maybe never. Gun sales are higher than at any time in history: more than one million in one month. And first-time gun buyers are exercising their right to keep and bear arms in unprecedented numbers.

All of this adds up to a massive civil rights protest the likes of which America has not seen before.

It is political spontaneous combustion. And I guarantee what we are seeing at the cash box will be repeated at the ballot box in 2014 if Congress votes for any gun control.

In all my years fighting the battle to preserve the Second Amendment, I have never seen a mass protest of this magnitude. As Americans learn more about the threat to their rights and freedom, it will continue to grow.

Politicians had better wake up to what it means for them in every corner of the nation. The men and women exercising freedom in this consumer-driven protest cross every personal political boundary and represent every walk of life.

And, yes, they are motivated by a palpable and very well-founded fear of what President Barack Obama’s government and the likes of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and self-appointed gun-ban nanny, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have in store for free, peaceable Americans.

Feinstein has introduced a presumptive ban on virtually all semi-auto rifles and shotguns with detachable magazines. 

The New York law passed and pushed by Gov. Cuomo is worse. The news media called Cuomo’s massive ban “a good first step.”  That’s what they will say about his next step. “Confiscation is not off the table,” he bragged.

Bloomberg is bankrolling huge propaganda efforts to convince Americans that he loves the Second Amendment while disarming law-abiding citizens across the nation. Even Bloomberg admits none of these laws would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook because, “there are too many guns.”  He says he doesn’t want guns in schools carried by cops or trained guards. He doesn’t even want NYPD cops to take their guns home.

And Barack Obama is the worst. His administration promised “revenge” and he is delivering it—for starters in the form of 23 “executive” sneak attacks on our freedom—actions he claims have the force of laws. Orders so bad, they would never clear any Congress.

This is what is driving the consumer civil rights protest.

But it’s not just consumers who are voting economics. Every year in Harrisburg, Pa., more than 200,000 people attend the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. This year, the event organizer (owned by a British company) announced it would ban semi-auto rifles, saying the presence of such products “would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests.”

That statement is straight out of the gun-ban playbook—you know the lie; these guns have nothing to do with “legitimate sportsmen.”

As a result of the exhibition ban, following the lead of giant retailer Cabela’s, a diverse group of vendors began pulling out by the hundreds and the show was shut down. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called it “an act of pro-gun solidarity. … The ban triggered a revolt among the show’s gun exhibitors that grew to a boycott by vendors and sponsors, including hundreds of companies, many of which do not sell guns.”

Nothing like this has ever happened before. These companies are putting their financial future on the line. They lost millions—and they did it for the principle of the Second Amendment.

The next time you hear someone in the media say “sportsmen” don’t care about semi-autos, tell them about Harrisburg. Every politician in America ought to understand what happened and contrary to media reports, it was not led by NRA.

It was a spontaneous combustion reaction to Barack Obama’s obsession with erasing our very culture of peaceable gun ownership.

 NRA didn’t empty the gun stores. NRA didn’t close down the sports show gun-banners. You did it. Your friends and neighbors did it. In a time of harsh economic hardship, millions of ordinary Americans are speaking with their pocketbooks. And they are hammering the Congress as never before.

A member of Congress recently implored me to “turn it off.” I told him, “NRA didn’t turn it on. Barack Obama turned it on.” His “revenge” turned it on.

I told him, “Only you have the power to turn it off and you do that by simply saying and voting ‘No’ to any gun control scheme.”

We have the greatest solidarity in the history of the defense of the Second Amendment. Each of us needs to do our part. We need to let Congress know, repeatedly, that our freedom, and their tenure, is on the line.

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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.