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Why America's Gun Owners Must Stand And Fight

Monday, April 1, 2013

By Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President

You and your freedom are in danger of being buried by a blizzard of lies.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, the gun-ban lobby and anti-gun politicians across America are using distortions, deception and flat-out lies to try to deceive the American public, frighten families, poison public opinion, silence gun owners and hammer the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan into law. 

And the gun-hating national media is helping them every step of the way.

That is why I need you to take action right now

Stand And Fight Now to Stop the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan

In my 35 years with the NRA, never have I seen such a calculated, coordinated, collective assault on your firearms, your freedom and your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And there is simply no substitute for your immediate action now. Here’s why:

In his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama displayed a level of public deception that cannot be ignored.

For proof, just look at all the false statements in that speech. To push the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan, the president talked about “weapons of war”—yet the guns he wants to ban are not “weapons of war.” 

He talked about “massive ammunition magazines”—yet the magazines he wants to ban are not “massive.” Since when is an 11-round magazine “massive”?

Obama used outrage and compassion for the victims of Newtown, Conn., to push laws that he promises will make schools and children safer—yet not one of his legislative proposals would make any child in any school safer.

You and I know that.

But among Obama’s target audience—the millions of Americans who don’t own firearms and don’t understand them—the president’s false statements, and the media’s relentless repetition of them, could give the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan the momentum of a wrecking ball.

So let’s look at some of Obama’s falsehoods in detail and remind him that, as one of his political heroes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, warned, “Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.”

The “Weapons of War” Lie

On Feb. 4, 2013, speaking to law enforcement officials in Minneapolis, Obama said, “We should restore the ban on military style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines ... because weapons of war have no place on our streets ...” 

Semi-automatic technology has been around for more than 125 years. The firearms Obama seeks to ban—countless conventional semi-automatic firearms that are currently owned by millions of Americans—are not “weapons of war.” They are not standard-issue guns in the military.

They’re not “machine guns.” They can’t “spray bullets.” They’re no “more powerful” or “more lethal” than other guns. In fact, most of the guns Obama would outlaw with his gun ban are less powerful than most deer rifles.

Despite their appearances, they don’t function any differently from other guns.

They fire once—and only once—each time the trigger is pressed, no matter how long it is held down.

And the dirty secret is that they’re not the “weapons of choice” of criminals. According to the most recent FBI statistics, less than 2.6 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any kind—so murders committed with so-called “assault rifles” are likely less than 1 percent.

For the sake of comparison, according to the FBI, in 2011 more than twice as many Americans were murdered with “fists and feet” as with rifles of any kind. And nearly five times as many were murdered with knives.

Vice President Biden even admitted, “Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what it is now.”  

In other words, they consider the whole thing a charade!

So why are they pushing a gun ban that they don’t think will work? Simple: Because some people think these firearms look scary, Obama and his allies think their ban is achievable and—when it inevitably fails—the first step toward banning more and more guns.

That’s the rationale behind their demands for so-called “universal background checks.”

You and I know that background checks will never be “universal” when criminals ignore them and the mentally ill are not reported to the background-check database. Only law-abiding people will suffer when they have to wait in lines to fill out forms to pay fees to fund a massive federal bureaucracy that will have no other purpose or function than to impose universal registration of gun owners like you and every gun you own. 

In fact, on the same night that Obama delivered his State of the Union address, Sen. Charles Schumer—who hosted Obama’s inauguration—admitted to MSNBC that the goal is “universal registration” of guns and gun owners.

As we saw this winter in Schumer’s own New York, registries of gun owners are ripe for abuse by antagonistic governments, not to mention hackers and thieves. And as we’ve seen from New York to California, from England to Ireland and from Jamaica to Australia, gun registration means gun confiscation. 

A Strategy of Deception to Turn a Lie Into a Law

What that means is that their strategy amounts to a weapon of mass deception. It’s a lie that uses emotion to trump reason, feelings to overrule facts, and fear to frighten the public into supporting the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan. And the gun-ban lobby admits it!

As the head of the gun-ban lobby’s Violence Policy Center, Josh Sugarmann admitted in 1988: “Assault weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” 

That’s why too many in the national media try to deceive viewers—even after we’ve corrected them countless times—by showing machine guns in news segments discussing semi-automatics. 

It’s why anti-gun mayors and their politically appointed police chiefs blur the distinction between legal semi-automatics and machine guns, which have been virtually banned since 1934.

It’s just one of the many lies behind the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan.

Here’s another: On Jan. 16, Barack Obama said, “As many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check,” and “nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are made by private sellers who are exempt from this requirement.”

If the president’s calculated qualifiers—“as many as” and “nearly”—raised red flags for you when you heard them, you’re not alone.

The Washington Post gave Obama’s claim the sniff test, and as much as said it stunk to high heaven.

Why? Because the gun “sales” weren’t necessarily sales, and the “purchases” weren’t necessarily purchases. They were merely “acquisitions” and “transactions”—including gifts and barter—from a tiny survey that was almost 20 years old.

After hearing from both sides of the question, The Washington Post wrote, “We can understand why the president might want to use a word like ‘purchases’ rather than ‘transactions’ ... But that is no excuse for the president’s language ...”

And in the end, the same newspaper that fawns over Obama and seems to support every anti-gun scheme ever proposed, awarded the president with two “Pinocchios”—its distinction for politicians who don’t tell the truth.

“Expanding Gun Rights”—by Excising the Second Amendment?

On March 13, 2011, the Arizona Star published an opinion piece in which Obama proclaimed, “My administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners, it has expanded them ...” 

“Expanded gun rights”? How? 

By appointing two anti-gun justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of them, Sonia Sotomayor, who claimed she considered it “settled law” that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right—but then turned around and voted to deny that right?

By sidestepping Congress to impose an illegal order requiring registration of semi-automatic rifle sales in four Southwestern states?

By trying to gut the armed pilots program that protects airline travelers from terrorist hijackers?

By allowing his Department of Justice to smuggle guns from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels who used them to murder a U.S. Border Patrol officer—and then using his “executive privilege” to stonewall investigators?

How, exactly, do any of these actions by Obama expand the rights of gun owners?

And how does trying to outlaw 125-year-old firearm technology—and standard-capacity ammunition magazines—“not curtail the rights of gun owners”?

In that same Arizona Star article, Obama wrote, “First, we should begin by enforcing laws that are already on the books ...” 

Yet Obama would rather pass new laws that only punish lawful gun owners like you, than enforce existing laws against armed, violent criminals the police have already caught.

In fact, Syracuse University, which tracks enforcement of federal gun laws, reported that under Obama, “weapons prosecutions declined to [the] lowest level in a decade.”

Out of more than 76,000 firearm purchases denied by the federal instant check system and sent on for further investigation in 2010, only 62 were referred for prosecution, and only 

13 resulted in convictions. That’s less than two one-hundredths of one percent!

Think about what all this means.

Help Us Defend Your Firearms and Freedoms with the Truth

What kind of politician claims, as Obama did on Sept. 9, 2008, “I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away… I am not going to take your guns away”—but then pushes legislation to ban millions of guns?

What kind of commander-in-chief doesn’t understand the difference between the machine guns his armed forces use, and the semi-automatic firearms millions of Americans use?

Why can the elites not understand that honest, law-abiding, peaceable people want semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines for the exact same reasons that the rich, the powerful, the politically connected and the police want them? To protect themselves!

If you limit the access of law-abiding people to these technologies—especially when criminals will not be limited in any way—you limit the ability of good people to survive.

It’s as if the president and the gun-ban crowd can say whatever they want—even if it’s not true.

In 2000, after President Bill Clinton said that the reason other countries have “a lower gun death rate” is “because they don’t have an NRA in their country,” NRA President Charlton Heston called Clinton to account.

Appearing in TV spots from coast to coast, the Oscar-winning actor corrected Clinton’s false statements and said, “Mr. Clinton, when what you say is wrong, that’s a mistake. When you know it’s wrong, that’s a lie.”

Today, you and I face an even more aggressive, coordinated cultural war against our firearms and our freedoms—a war waged with distortions and deception that only the truth can combat.

We can’t match the power over public opinion wielded by MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York TimesThe Washington Post and the rest of the anti-gun media who endlessly repeat the lies behind the Obama-Biden Gun-Ban Plan.

But with your immediate help, we can and must Stand and Fight now.

Make no mistake: This will be the fight of our lives for firearm freedom. But it’s winnable.

If you’re not an NRA member, please join us. If you are a member, please renew or upgrade your membership, or make a contribution. Whenever you hear someone repeat the distortions and lies behind this plan, do whatever you can to correct them with the truth.

Remember: The Constitution is on our side. The Bill of Rights is on our side. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution. 

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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.