American Rifleman - March 2015 - 16

OFFICIAL JOURNAL

political report
By Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Continue the March to Victory

I

ncredibly, gun control supporters
are still claiming that crime rises as
Americans continue to acquire guns,
and that gun violence has grown to
"epidemic" proportions.
In reality, just the opposite is true.
Since its all-time high in 1980, the
nation's homicide rate has been cut by
more than half, to what may be an alltime low, as the number of guns owned
by the American people has more than
doubled to an all-time high.
I know this isn't news to you. I bring
up the opposite trends in gun owner-

Your membership dues
are not enough.
If you want to defend your right to own and
carry a firearm ...

If your freedom to hunt and shoot is
important to you ...

Then you need to support the NRA
Institute for Legislative Action.

We are the only arm of NRA specifically charged
with defending your Second Amendment
freedoms on Capitol Hill, and in state
legislatures and courtrooms across America.

Visit www.NRAILA.org/donate
to support NRA-ILA today!
ship and violent crime to make the
point that they didn't happen overnight. Americans bought their nearly
200 million additional guns at a rate of
several million a year, during a span of
more than 30 years. Over almost as long
a period, courts got tougher and law
enforcement agencies got smarter, with
both sides keeping the pressure on to
help bring crime down to today's levels.
Some of our most important victories
have taken time as well. When NRA

formed the Institute for Legislative
Action in 1975, only six states, accounting for 6 percent of the nation's population, had right-to-carry laws. Today, it's
42 states and 74 percent. Some years we
got right-to-carry adopted in one state,
sometimes in more than one, and sometimes none. NRA members just kept
plugging away until we got the job done,
just as we'll keep plugging away until fair
carry laws are in place in all 50 states.
At the same time that those right-tocarry laws were being passed, Don Kates,
Stephen Halbrook and other constitutional scholars were publishing the results
of their research, showing that anti-gun
groups, the American Bar Association, and
a few 20th Century courts were wrong in
claiming that the Second Amendment
didn't protect an individual right. Those
scholars' efforts, which began in the late
1980s, didn't yield immediate results.
The Supreme Court's decisions in the
Heller and McDonald cases, striking
down Washington, D.C.'s, and Chicago's
handgun bans on the grounds that they
infringed a fundamental, individual right
to keep and bear handguns for protection and other lawful purposes, took two
decades to achieve.
Gun control supporters, as well, know
that some things take time. Last summer,
Rolling Stone magazine said that antigunners could "start carrying the day" if they
would "commit to a generation-long battle."
Gun control supporters might want
to look elsewhere for advice, however.
For one thing, Rolling Stone doesn't know
much about guns. At the same time it
told gun control supporters to adopt a
long-term strategy, it laughably claimed
that the "five most dangerous guns in
America" were pistols, revolvers, derringers, rifles and shotguns.
More importantly, though, the
evidence continues to mount that gun
control supporters' near-religious belief in
the inevitability of their eventual victory

borders on fantasy. The louder, more
disingenuous, and more hysterical their
rhetoric has become, the less that the
American people have listened to them.
In December, the Pew Research Center
for the People and the Press released
polling data showing that support for gun
rights has grown since President Barack
Obama, former New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg's
proxies began their joint campaign for
mandatory background checks on private
sales, trades and gifts of firearms as a step
toward national gun registration. Most
Americans now believe that it's more
important to protect the right to bear
arms, than to restrict it, and most believe
that gun ownership does more to protect
people than to put them at risk.
Furthermore, the belief that it's more
important to protect gun rights has
increased among men and women, all age
groups, individuals of all levels of education, Republicans, Independents, conservative and moderate Democrats, parents,
non-parents, urbanites, suburbanites, and
rural dwellers; it decreased only among liberal Democrats. Very importantly, the belief
that it's more important to protect gun
rights has sharply increased 8 percentage
points among Americans 18-29 years of
age, and the belief that guns help people
protect themselves has nearly doubled
among African-Americans.
All of this tells us that America and
the Second Amendment will have a
bright future, if we keep the faith and
stay on course. Going forward, we will
have significant victories and occasional
setbacks. But with every NRA member
committed to the fight, and with help
from above, we will defeat our opponents and end their desperate attempt
to render the American people unable to
defend their lives and liberty.

NRA-ILA: (800) 392-8683 * NRA-ILA website: www.nraila.org * View this column online at www.nrapublications.org

16

MARCH 2015

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


http://www.NRAILA.org/donate http://www.nraila.org http://www.nrapublications.org

American Rifleman - March 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - March 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 6
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 7
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 8
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 20
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 26
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 27
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 28
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82f
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover3
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW3
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