This feature appears in the August ’16 issue of the NRA official journals.
The NRA held its 2016 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Louisville, Ky., May 20-22. More than 80,000 NRA members attended, and it was an outstanding event on all levels.
One of the highlights was our 10th annual ILA Leadership Forum, where some of the leading voices in the nation spoke to thousands of NRA members about the importance of our fundamental Second Amendment-protected rights. I’d like to share part of the message I delivered that day here in my column for members who were unable to attend or view online.
Friends, this past year has been crazy.
I’ve traveled all over America, and gun owners know that there’s far more at stake in this election than just left vs. right. There’s a growing belief that this is a do-or-die fight for the soul of our country.
Because after eight years of dishonesty, corruption and failure, the America we know is becoming unrecognizable. Everything we believe in—everything we’ve always known to be good, right and true—has been twisted, perverted and repackaged to our kids as wrong, backward and abnormal.
NRA is now one of the toughest, best-organized and most-respected defenders of American values. And tens of millions of our fellow Americans look to us for leadership.
They’re realizing what we’ve known for years—that dishonesty, corruption and contempt for ordinary Americans hits a breaking point. And that breaking point is now. If we don’t show up at the polls in force this November, we will witness the end—the end of individual freedom in this country.
That’s not hyperbole. It’s the truth.… after eight years of dishonesty, corruption and failure, the America we know is becoming unrecognizable.
But first, we’ve got to get together. It’s time to unite.
If your preferred candidate dropped out of the race, it’s time to get over it.
Now, were there differences between the candidates for the nomination? Of course.
Were there valid arguments in favor of some over others? Sure.
Will any of it matter if Hillary Clinton wins in November? Not one bit.
Let me ask you a simple question: If you’re at home and someone kicks in your door and tries to murder you and your family, should you have the right to defend yourself with a firearm?
Friends, that question will be answered for all of us this November. Because the next president’s first decision will be who to nominate as Justice [Antonin] Scalia’s replacement on the U.S. Supreme Court. His [Scalia’s] majority opinion in the Heller case set legal precedent for what we have always known—of course we have an individual right to own and use a firearm to protect ourselves in our own homes.
And in case you don’t know where Hillary Clinton stands, here is what she said:
“And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get, so I will need your help on that.”
Think about that for a second.
So challenge every gun owner you know. If they haven’t joined the NRA, they need to join now. If they don’t know what’s at stake, they need to know now.The Supreme Court said you have the right to protect your life against a murderer, in your own home, and Hillary Clinton says that’s wrong. That’s how little she values our freedom and how little she values our lives. Here’s what will happen if she’s elected. She’ll put a radical, anti-gun activist in Scalia’s seat as soon as she can.
Friends, let me say this clearly. Hillary Clinton has a legitimate chance to be the next president as long as people like us stay home. And she is dedicated to eliminating our rights, [saying]:
“I am here to tell you, I will use every single minute of every day, if I am so fortunate enough to be your president, looking for ways that we can save lives, that we can change gun culture.”
We love our country and the freedoms that make us great. And we’re going to fight for the America we believe in.
Friends, that fight is already on. If we wait until November, we will lose everything. So challenge every gun owner you know. If they haven’t joined the nra, they need to join now. If they don’t know what’s at stake, they need to know now.
This is a fight for our freedom! And if we stand united, we can be the key to denying Hillary Clinton the opportunity to destroy those freedoms.