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Chris W. Cox's Message to Gun Owners on Their Victory in the Senate

Friday, April 19, 2013

While both sides in the gun control debate regroup after our victory in the Senate earlier this week, I want to give credit where credit is due. The credit for Wednesday’s defeat of gun control goes to the countless gun owners and other Americans who drew a line in the sand--who sent emails and letters and made phone calls to their U.S. senators, urging them to protect private firearm transfers, semi-automatic firearms, and the magazines that millions of Americans own for self-defense.

There is no question that you shocked the enemies of liberty two days ago. Going into Wednesday’s votes, they thought victory was within reach. Many in the media had pushed the idea that resistance to the gun control agenda was futile, and some of our more aggressive adversaries may have started to believe their own propaganda. I’m sure some had convinced themselves that the intensity of their anger toward gun owners was all that was necessary to assure victory.

But you and your fellow gun owners proved them wrong. As you know, the best Americans do what they have to do, not for personal praise, but because it’s the right thing to do. They do what has to be done not only for themselves, but for their fellow Americans today and for generations of Americans to come. Nevertheless, on behalf of all of us at NRA headquarters, I want to thank you for answering the call.

As you know, however, we can take only measured comfort from this week’s success. In his bitter response to the Senate’s votes, President Obama said that this fight is far from over, and that’s the one thing that he is right about.

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), sponsor of the gun control bill debated this week, has promised to bring his bill up at a more opportune moment. Obama’s “Organizing for America,” billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Gun Guns,” and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ “Americans for Responsible Solutions” will focus their efforts on defeating pro-Second Amendment senators in 2014.

I say to those groups and their leaders, that pro-Second Amendment senators stood with us and we will stand with them, as we have with other elected representatives who have supported the Second Amendment before them.

Over the last generation, gun owners have had tremendous success advancing our cause. The refusal of the Obama administration and anti-gun radicals in Congress to attack us during Obama’s first term is a testament to our strength. They became emboldened by Obama’s reelection and over the last four months, we have weathered an anti-gun public relations campaign as severe as any we have experienced. And we have won the first legislative battle at the national level.

Our adversaries are well-funded, though, and as determined as any we have seen before. The fight ahead will be as difficult as this organization and the gun owning community has ever faced. Prepare for what’s ahead. Every gun owner will be needed on the team. Elected officials who support the Second Amendment will be subjected to a well-financed, cleverly conceived campaign designed to convince them that they are on the wrong side of history. Our job and yours will be to expose that claim for the fraud that it is. Please find strength in the knowledge that the victories best savored are those that are hardest fought, and encourage our friends in Congress to do the same.

Thank you for all you did to win this fight, and for your readiness to win the fights that will come.

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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.