The original feature was printed in the November 2019 issues of the National Rifle Association’s Official Journals. The original article can be found here.
Growing up in New York City during the ‘70s and ‘80s, I saw firsthand the tremendous injustices created by so-called “gun-control” laws.
Crime wasn’t just something we saw on television. It was part of daily life in the city. I had friends who were mugged on the way to school. And I remember praying to see a police officer on a street corner or in a subway station because criminals roamed the city streets and victimized innocent citizens.
In short, my views on the Second Amendment were cemented at a very early age—long before I studied America’s founding documents.
That’s why I joined the NRA before I ever owned a gun. And today, thanks to the NRA and our millions of members like you, I’m able to carry a gun. It’s a freedom I exercise every day. I do it to protect the people I love. I also do it with a profound sense of gratitude to people like you who’ve fought for this freedom—a freedom that was denied to many law-abiding Americans where I grew up.
Now, it’s my sincere honor to serve you and to serve our Second Amendment cause as the new executive director of our NRA Institute for Legislative Action.
Since 2005, I’ve had the privilege of working on the front lines with Wayne LaPierre and other NRA leaders—first as an NRA-ILA federal liaison, then as deputy director of Federal Affairs, then as director of Federal Affairs.
I’m proud to have played a role in advancing the cause of Right to Carry throughout this nation. I’ve been privileged to work one-on-one with U.S. House and Senate leaders to win critical legislative victories—like protecting the U.S. firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits, and defeating Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s infamous gun-ban bill at a time when no one thought it possible.
Fighting together, we stopped the government from confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens during times of national emergency—when, arguably, they need them most. We won monumental victories for our freedom with the Heller and McDonald decisions, which affirmed our individual right to keep and bear arms.
And we defeated Hillary Clinton against all odds—effectively ending the substantial threat another Clinton administration posed to our rights.
In the time ahead, I look forward to continuing our fight together as we defend our gun rights in Congress, all 50 state legislatures, courtrooms nationwide and, of course, at the ballot box.
The fact is, when I stand face-to-face with a governor, U.S. senator, congressman or any legislative leader—I know I’m not alone. I know that you and millions of NRA-ILA supporters are right there with me.
And let me tell you, the politicians know it, too.
There isn’t a single gun-rights victory—big or small—that I’ve witnessed in my 15 years at NRA-ILA that wasn’t a direct result of your hard work, your courage, your leadership and your generous support.
So, more than anything, I’m excited to have this opportunity right now, in this new role and in my first official communication to you, to say Thank You. Thank you for voting, for standing and fighting, for never backing down, for being an NRA member and for being a freedom-loving American.
There is no question that the forces aligned against you, me and our Second Amendment rights are more organized and better-funded than anything we’ve faced before. But no one has done more to make this country a better, safer place than you and your fellow NRA members. And I know that if we continue to fight hard and work together, our long legacy of protecting and strengthening freedom will prevail for years and decades to come.