So let me get this straight: a couple of Muslim terrorists affiliated with a movement to enslave the world under an Islamic kingdom kill innocent Americans and our political left’s response is to attack the National Rifle Association?
It appears so.
Hillary Clinton lashed out at the NRA before the facts were even known about the attack in California. Liberals in Congress and the media immediately began beating their anti-NRA war drums. And the White House said those who oppose the president’s gun control measures are just “scared of the NRA.”
Perhaps the most telling of these attacks came from the New York Daily News. It called the NRA’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, a “terrorist” and placed his picture below one of the two San Bernardino killers. The headlined charged that the Islamic extremists were enabled by the “NRA’s sick gun jihad against America.”
Okay sure, let’s have a debate about the NRA and forget that this was an attack by two Islamic State agents operating openly in our homeland. Let’s forget that a foreign terrorist easily passed one of those vaunted visa background checks by listing a fake Pakistani address. Most importantly, let’s forget that not a single gun control law being proposed by Democrats would have stopped this terrorist attack or any of the other recent high-profile mass shootings.
But before we suspend these crucial truths to hold a red herring debate about the NRA, there are a few things leftists should know about gun rights supporters like me.
First, the NRA didn’t create us. We created the NRA. Most gun owners probably couldn’t pick LaPierre out of a lineup and certainly don’t base their belief in our Second Amendment rights on whatever he or others have to say on the matter. The “right of the people to keep and bear arms” isn’t simply written into our constitution where it’s at risk of being misinterpreted or repealed. It’s branded into our hearts as freeborn people, woven into our lives as Americans, and it’s passed to our children as an inheritance. It wasn’t an amendment pulled from thin air, but the recognition of a natural right that has always existed, and always will. The NRA does great work for us, but if it vanished tomorrow, you’d be no closer to taking that birthright than you are today.
Second, we don’t believe the Second Amendment is about hunting or home defense, so you can save all your talk about only needing shotguns and six-shooters. We believe that a “well regulated militia” means that the people are well armed, well supplied, and well trained, and that their purpose is indeed “necessary to the security of a free state.” Admittedly, that may sound extreme to some ears considering modern times, but after a bad turn or two down the road, it could be what saves our American way of life.
Third, we’ll never surrender our Second Amendment rights. Charlton Heston once concluded a speech by raising an old flintlock rifle over his head and saying, defiantly, “From my cold dead hands.” Liberals laughed, declaring the old actor to be melodramatic or perhaps a little senile. We cheered, agreeing with every word. As the bumper sticker slogan says, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” We’ll never allow the actions of terrorists or criminals to cause us to surrender our arms, thereby making our communities more vulnerable to their actions. No matter what they do, and regardless of what any White House, Congress, or court has to say afterward, this right “shall not be infringed” as long as we breathe American air.
Fourth, we don’t think our Second Amendment rights are the problem, anyway. We believe that all of this violence is the direct result of a systemic lack of respect for life and law, a generational desensitization to cruelty, and the actions of twisted and evil people. Attacking the Second Amendment isn’t only futile, it’s a costly distraction from the real problems.
With all that said, one might think that trying to convince folks like me to change our minds about the Second Amendment might be a waste of time. And with that, we’d finally agree on something.