Tag Archives: Second Amendment

Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington DC

Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington DC IMG iStock-Matt Anderson
Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington IMG DC iStock-Matt Anderson

Gun owners, rights activists, and lovers of liberty will be gathering on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, at 1:00 in the afternoon.

If you live within 200 miles of DC, there is little excuse for missing this critical event, and many people who live much farther away will be doing whatever it takes to be there. Buses are being arranged by local groups from as far away as New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. Check with your local groups to see what arrangements are being made, and if they aren’t doing anything, take the initiative and volunteer to be the local coordinator to take reservations and rent a bus or van.

This is a grassroots effort, and you are the grassroots. Without the active participation of you and other grassroots activists, this isn’t going to work. At the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, activist Nicki Stallard characterized the difference between rights activists and gun control extremists, saying that we’re herding cats, while they are stampeding cattle. That’s pretty accurate, though I think sheep or lemmings would be more appropriate in describing anti-rights activists.

As I said in my presentation at GRPC, the most powerful force in the U.S. political system is YOU. You are the Gun Lobby. We can no longer let someone else do it for you, or say “I gave at the office.” It’s up to You. You must communicate with your elected servants – whether they agree with you or not – and be sure that they know what you expect from them. You must help elect politicians that understand and respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You must be sure that your family, your friends, your coworkers, your church family, your kids’ friends and their parents, all know the importance of the Second Amendment and the fallacy of gun control laws.

You don’t have to be a scholar or an expert, but you do need to do what you can. Politicians don’t actually read your letters and emails, nor do they get detailed notes about your phone calls. The majority of the time, a low-level staffer looks at your correspondence and puts a check-mark in a “For” or “Against” column, which is then relayed to the politician in the form of a report: “362 constituent comments opposing Bill xyz, 48 supporting it.” That’s it. So find a couple of resources you trust to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in Washington and your state capitol, and when they ask you to take action, take action – every time they ask. And call your elected servants once a week to make sure your check-mark is counted.

Anti-rights extremists think they have the upper hand right now because of the troubles at the NRA and the public’s emotional reaction to the horrific acts of a few murderous lunatics. Those anti-rights extremists are counting on you to shuffle around in circles wringing your hands and wondering what to do.

Even some in our own movement are more concerned about how it might look if only a few rights activists show up at the Capitol on November 2nd. What a self-defeating attitude. They’re not going to attend or encourage others to attend because there might not be enough people in attendance to make a good showing…? Get on-board or get out of the way. Call that defeatist attitude out for what it is.

Others worry about how our opponents might capitalize on one of our number saying something stupid to a reporter or being arrested for illegally bringing a gun into the District. Such concerns show a serious lack of faith and trust in their fellow gun owners. Antagonistic reporters roam the aisles of gun shows and pro-rights meetings on a regular basis. Of course, they’ll try to make us look bad. But refusing to stand up for rights, on the basis of such fears, is tantamount to surrender in advance.

Still others argue that they won’t attend because the laws of the District insist that they be disarmed, and they refuse to do that. I get that, I truly do. I well know the discomfort of “going naked,” especially in “enemy territory.” I spent years commuting into the District almost every day, and it was uncomfortable. But I did it for my wife, my sons, and my grandsons. I was willing to endure that discomfort and degradation, because that was the only way to do what needed to be done, and the risks of running afoul of law enforcement in DC are much greater than the risks of criminal assault. Of course it’s possible that some crazed “Beto” or Bernie, or Elizabeth Warren supporter might decide to take out their misplaced anger and frustration on a “mob of deplorable gun nuts,” but they’d be operating in one of the most densely policed areas in the country, and besides, everyone knows that leftists are lousy shots. If such fears don’t deter Representative Steve Scalise, they shouldn’t deter you.

The core message of the 2nd Amendment Rally, is “We Are the Gun Lobby,” as in “We the People,” and we demand that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights be respected and adhered to. The speakers list is still under construction, but President Trump, Vice President Pence, Representative Scalise, Representative Massie, Senator Paul, and other congressional leaders have been invited, to join with grassroots rights leaders and activists from around the country.

Are you going to be there, or are you going to come up with an excuse?

Is your favorite grassroots group actively working to inform members about the rally and encouraging them to attend, or are they making up excuses? Will you volunteer to change that?

It all comes down to YOU and what you’re willing to do. Get three buddies and plan a road-trip, or better yet, get six buddies and borrow your wife’s minivan. Or even better, get forty or fifty buddies and charter a bus. Push your groups to be involved, and volunteer to help. You can make all the difference.

This could be the most important Second Amendment event of our lifetime. Only You can ensure that it’s a success. Go to www.2ndAmendmentRally.com to register and get more information. Together we can shake up Washington and save the republic. Let’s roll.

A Call for New-Blood Candidates for NRA BoD

The NRA is in trouble. Continuing to elect the same people who keep making the same mistakes, is not going to solve the problems. We need new ideas, new perspectives, and new approaches. That means we need new people on the NRA Board of Directors.

Do you know individuals who are qualified?

The NRA Board of Directors only meets four times a year. They are tasked with setting policy for the organization and overseeing the proper execution of those policies on behalf of the members, including ensuring that money is raised and spent responsibly. This responsibility is officially reported as requiring about one hour per week from each director, but actually fulfilling the role will probably take much more time than that.

The Bylaws list a minimal set of qualifications, but the real qualifications go well beyond the minimums listed in the Bylaws.

First and foremost, an NRA Director must have an understanding of – and dedication to – the principles of liberty, as described in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. An NRA Director must be a Second Amendment absolutist who recognizes that rights cannot be compromised or bartered. Political pragmatism has a place as a short-term tactic, but the NRA must never put political considerations above the core principles our nation and our organization were founded upon. Every NRA Director must be well-versed in that history and those principles, which must be the foundation for every decision made as a director.

Second, a Director must bring to the Board some professional-level expertise about business, finance, fundraising, membership organizations, politics, or some other topic that may affects the Association and might require a Board policy directive. No one can be an expert in every topic, but every Board member should be an expert in his or her particular field and be able to assist the other Directors in developing a well-grounded policy on that topic.

Finally, an NRA Director must be widely recognized as honorable and respected members of the firearms community. That doesn’t necessarily mean having a wall of trophies, but guns and shooting should be an important part of any Director’s life, whether it be focused on hunting, target shooting, or collecting.

The best candidates are people who have had leadership roles in state or local organizations, while also building or working for successful businesses, or other complementary careers. The ability to effectively speak in public, or experience lobbying politicians, can be useful, but it’s not critical, and that ability or experience doesn’t trump the qualifications listed above.

Good candidates are typically going to be older individuals with significant amounts of experience under their belts, but that does not mean that there isn’t a place for younger candidates who have earned the respect of the community by demonstrating their commitment and abilities. To the contrary, it is critical that the organization have representation from a wide variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skill-sets to offer.

Candidates must be nominated either by the Nominating Committee [tightly controlled by insider board members] or by petition of fellow members. It takes signatures from the equivalent of 0.5% of the number of ballots cast in the preceding BoD election, this year that’s about 730 valid signatures from NRA members who are eligible to vote. That might not seem like all that many, after all, there are hundreds of people at gun shows every weekend, but the catch is the “eligible to vote” clause. There are around 100 million gun owners in the U.S., but only about 5.5 million NRA members, and only about half of those members are eligible to vote in NRA elections. That means that among any 100 random gun owners, only about 5 will be NRA members, and only 2 or 3 will be eligible to sign a nominating petition. So, even at a gun show or a busy range, you’ll have to ask about 2,000 people, in order to find 100 eligible voters – and then you have to get their NRA Member Number. Do you carry your NRA membership card or a mailing label from your NRA magazine around with you? Most people don’t. That means that the signature gatherer will have to do some followup to try and collect that information. In the end, it will typically require talking to at least 16,000 people, in order to find 730 NRA members eligible to sign the petition, but many of those won’t sign, because they don’t know enough about the candidate, and aren’t willing to take the time to learn.

There’s no question, getting the valid signatures needed to qualify a petition, is a whole lot of work to go through just to get your name on a ballot to run for a thankless job that pays nothing. Still, last year, past-President Marion Hammer had the temerity to suggest that someone nominated by petition of the members is somehow suspect, and unworthy of the members’ trust.

Of course, getting the petition signatures is only the first hurdle, then comes the matter of being elected. The elections are held by mail among all 2.5 million NRA Voting Members, but only a small segment (historically less than 7%) of those members actually cast a ballot, and the vast majority of those who do vote, get all of their information about the candidates exclusively from NRA magazines – which of course, are controlled by the NRA establishment. This gives incumbents a huge advantage that is very difficult to overcome.

But the current members of the Board of Directors is never going to make the changes needed to make the NRA the principled, effective, organization that the members deserve, so changing the Board has to be the first step in restoring the NRA, and that’s going to take at least 3 or 4 years, even if we’re wildly successful.

Do you know people with the principle, integrity, and experience willing to take on this challenge? Are you ready to go to work to help get them elected? It might be too late for the next election, but there’s one every year, and we need to be ready. Reach out to me or the folks at Savethe2A.org, and let’s get started.

Surrender or Die!

The Knox Update

From the Firearms Coalition

 

Interpreting the Second Amendment

 

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,

the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

 

By Jeff Knox

 

    (February 5, 2009) It has been famously said and often repeated that the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means. While this statement is generally true, it is incomplete. Regardless of what the Supreme Court says, the Constitution ultimately means what the People believe it to mean.

 

    So far in our history the Supreme Court has refrained from any interpretation of the Constitution that was so flagrantly at odds with the beliefs of the People that a serious, violent uprising ensued.  But they may have come perilously close in last year’s decision in DC v. Heller. In that case the Court unanimously agreed that the Second Amendment refers to an individual right to arms, but disagreed in a 5 – 4 split as to whether the District of Columbia’s virtual ban on handguns violated that individual right. Even in the prevailing opinion, the justices expressed positions which are completely at odds with the understanding of those of us in the Second Amendment community.

 

 

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