American Rifleman - July 2011 - 16

OFFICIAL JOURNAL

SPECIAL REPORT

president's column
By David A. Keene, President

I Will Continue The Fight To Preserve Our Freedoms

M

ore than 71,000 NRA members
and supporters traveled to
Pittsburgh for the 140th Annual
Meetings in April. In a show of strength that
should give heart to Second Amendment
supporters and remind those who would
deny us the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,
their presence proved that NRA remains
strong and ready to do whatever is needed
to protect America's freedoms.
Those of us who have been entrusted
by our members with positions of
leadership met with, talked to and-more
importantly-had a chance to listen to
members we encountered in the halls of
the hotel and convention center or while
we surveyed the more than four acres of
exhibits. The message we received was
clear: We know our opponents aren't
about to give up, and we're ready to meet
whatever challenges come our way.
And there will be real challenges
ahead. We've won some remarkable
legislative and regulatory battles over
the course of the last few years against
incredible odds. We've beaten back
our opponents at the ballot box and in
the courts when they have confronted
us directly, but they are regrouping to
continue their decades-long assault on
American freedoms and our Constitution.
These opponents know that they
can't take us head-on in a fair fight
because they've tried that and lost too
many times. That strategy has cost them
dozens of Senate and House seats over
the years and, as former President Bill
Clinton has admitted, led to the defeat
of their presidential candidate in 2000.
Since then they have tried to "take guns
off the table" at campaign time while
scheming to restrict gun ownership in
every possible way between campaigns.
In spite of our past victories, we are
facing some of the most dangerous
challenges ever. President Barack Obama

and Attorney General Eric Holder are
without a doubt more hostile to the
Second Amendment than any two men
who have ever occupied the offices they
now hold. They've tried to use tragedies
and crises like the Mexican drug wars to
whip up sentiment against gun owners
and sportsmen and, having failed, are
doing all they can to harass gun owners
and deny hunters and sportsmen access
to public lands. They're doing it by
regulation and through executive orders
that they hope to sneak through without
much public scrutiny and without having
to force their allies in Congress to openly
vote against the Second Amendment.
We aren't about to let gun-haters
get away with this, but imagine what
will happen if they muddy the political
waters sufficiently between now and
November 2012 to lull gun owners to
sleep and win the votes they'll need to
continue to control the White House and
Senate. If that happens and a vacancy
opens up on the Supreme Court, you can
bet President Obama will appoint the
one additional anti-gun justice he'll need
to overturn Heller and McDonald to gut
the Second Amendment.
And he'll work with international
anti-gun forces in the United Nations
to win approval of a treaty that could
virtually outlaw the private ownership of
firearms in this country. If that happens,
our opponents will have achieved their
lifelong dream and the America we
inherited will be forever lost.
We can defeat them in spite of the
billions of dollars they have at their
disposal and in spite of the adoring
treatment they get from an anti-gun
media-if we do what we have done
when our rights have been threatened
in the past-stand together and be
prepared to step up to the plate to
support our friends. Then together we

will let our opponents know that we will
extract a heavy political price from those
who ignore the Constitution and the
wishes of their constituents. If this feels
like a never-ending battle, it is because
the threats are constant.
Before we left Pittsburgh, the NRA
Board honored me by allowing me to
serve as your president during these
dangerous times. Before accepting, I
looked back at how we've succeeded
in the past and how NRA has come
to be the single largest and most
effective advocacy organization in this
nation's history. Our most effective
leaders-from Harlon Carter to Marion
Hammer to Charlton Heston and
many others-have realized, as Wayne
LaPierre so often reminds us, that it is
the energy, dedication and willingness
to do whatever might prove necessary
to defend America's freedom that have
allowed us to win battle after battle
against enormous odds.
Those of us who have the honor and
responsibility to provide leadership in
this continuous struggle must never
forget how dearly freedom has cost
so many American families. As your
president, I pledge to continue to earn
your trust and the faith of those who
march with us in these battles of a free
people to remain free. It's my goal; it
is your desire; it is freedom's price. It's
an awesome responsibility to be your
president during these times, and I
pledge to continue to listen and walk
beside you for freedom every step!

For news about legislation and your NRA, visit: www.nraila.org, www.nranews.com and www.nra.org.

14 J

ULY

2011

WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG


http://www.nraila.org http://www.nranews.com http://www.nra.org http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 2
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 3
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