NRA, Where Have You Gone?

I write this as a gun owner, a Marine, a Second Amendment advocate, and a firearms industry business owner. Most importantly, I write this as an American.

We expect more out of the National Rifle Association, which is supposed to be the nation’s leading firearms advocacy group. We want a voice that clearly and unequivocally asserts the importance of the Second Amendment.

We need a brave defender that stands up for the right of self-defense.

We require an organized front that fights against anti-gun legislators and special interest groups that routinely spread misinformation for the express goal of eroding the liberties bestowed by the Constitution.

In this regard, NRA, you have failed in your mission.

You were blatantly derelict in your duties in 2018 when President Donald Trump instructed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to issue regulations to treat bump stocks as machine guns. Shortly after the tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, you were one of the first voices to call on regulators to “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”

As I sit here preparing for the National Shooting Sports Foundation convention, SHOT Show, in Las Vegas, I am reminded that the NRA was not our advocate when bump stocks were wrongfully blamed for the shooting in Vegas. In fact, the Department of Justice and the ATF each submitted a letter (revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request), which you have full access to, stating that there is no proof that a bump stock was ever used in a crime, which included the Las Vegas shooting.

Nevertheless, when the need arose to do your duty, you were the first to flee.

Since then, a wave of anti-gun sentiment has spread across the United States. This turning of the public’s understanding about the Second Amendment and the value of responsible gun ownership is fueled by deep pockets who’ve paid to shape the narrative about the right to bear arms.

Even now, in your own backyard, Virginia is preparing to roll out a deluge of gun control legislation that strips Virginians of their rights. A ban on semiautomatic rifles, suppressors and common magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Universal background checks. Restricting the purchase of handguns to one per month. Even your own NRA headquarters range in Fairfax, Virginia, is fixed firmly in the crosshairs of Virginia House Bill 567.

We’ve seen all along how anti-gun activists won’t stop until firearms are outright banned in this country. Their goal is quite clear: to make all Americans defenseless against criminal perpetrators and dependent on government protection.

Where are you in this fight? We see the same trite responses, albeit weakened after three years of sitting idly on the sidelines.

Americans like me implore you to stand up and fight!

As “America’s longest-standing civil rights organization,” your mission is to defend the rights of lawful gun owners across this country.

Your advocates have massive online followings. You have talented legal defense teams. You have whole departments dedicated to telling the truth about the importance of the Second Amendment. Yet, what many gun owners perceive today is that you are more concerned with politics than with advocating on behalf of all Americans.

Fortunately, others are doing what you seem unable to do. The Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) have valiantly rushed to the front lines to fill the void you left open. For that reason, I am imploring all Americans to support these organizations who push back against government overreach against our God-given rights.

I truly believe we are at the precipice of the wholesale abolishment of one of our nation’s greatest traits. America’s Founders never imagined a day would come when citizens would need permission from the government to own and legally use a firearm to defend themselves and the homes of their families. What would they say about legislation that immediately criminalizes the ownership of commonly owned rifles?

Americans need to coalesce and urgently resist the insidious abolition of our right to bear arms.

NRA, without your diligent protection of the Second Amendment, what happens next?

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