Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) writes:
Just today I had a member call me and ask how much longer the ISRA was going to pester him to call his legislators about gun control bills. My answer was, “Until we win.” . . .
Ladies and gentlemen, I need to speak to you very plainly about what we are facing in Springfield. What’s going in the Capitol is not some sort of new-age encounter group where gun owners and gun grabbers are searching weepy-eyed for an elusive piece of common ground.
No, what we are engaged in is a nothing less than a good old fashioned street fight. This is the kind of fight where – in the end – one guy goes home while the other guy gets carted away in a box. If you and your fellow gun owners do not stand up for what you believe in, your gun rights will be carted away and dumped on the scrap heap of liberties sacrificed in the name of political and social “progress.”
Many of you may believe that we will win this battle because the facts are on our side. Indeed, if this was a battle over the facts about private firearm ownership, our freedom would be assured.
Unfortunately, the battle for gun rights is not about facts – it is about out and out hatred. The followers of the gun control movement hate people who own guns, plain and simple. There is no way around it – if you own guns, you are the object of the gun controllers’ hatred. As we have witnessed the past few months, the hatred is so deep that these people will stop at nothing to eradicate your freedoms.
Why do gun controllers hate us so much? The answer is actually very simple. The armed citizen is symbolic of freedom and self determination. As our nation’s history has shown, that freedom bestows prosperity and well being. As long as a person is armed, they are free – unrestrained by social convention, unburdened by the priorities of others, unshackled by the intrusion of government.
On the other hand, gun controllers see self-reliance as being an obstacle to social progress. They view freedom as a selfish pursuit that reaps only inequality and despair. The gun controllers and their ilk yearn for a society where the government enforces equity among all citizens at the expense of liberty.
So, ladies and gentlemen, you see that the armed citizen just doesn’t fit into the gun-controllers’ recipe for social and political progress. The gun controllers demand that the underlying philosophy of personal liberty and self reliance be eradicated. Thus, guns and those who own them must be purged from society if society is to “progress.”
Our refusal to submit to their ideal of a gun-free America is why they hate us. And this hatred is nothing new. The following is a quote from an editorial appearing in the February 2, 1997 edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer.” In the editorial, author Jack Cobbs depicts the hatred gun controllers feel towards gun owners:
“I may have to live in a world with NRA members, but I don’t want them on the school board, or the vestry of my church, or as leaders of my children’s Scout troops, any more than I want KKK members or people who think it’s OK for terrorists to bomb airplanes.”
Cobbs goes on to say:
“Like most of us, they (NRA members) cherish their positions as responsible citizens, and if it becomes clear that the price they must pay to belong to the NRA is to become social pariahs, most will opt for responsibility.”
Cobbs’ editorial plainly shows what we are up against. Don’t fool yourself, Cobbs is not an extremist – he is a moderate among those who support gun control. These people are not interested in any sort of “national dialog” or “balancing the rights of gun owners with public safety,” or any of the other post-Newtown claptrap we’ve seen in the press. The only thing the gun controllers want is to see you hand over your guns – all your guns – to the local police and then just go away.
This is why we must continue to fight in Springfield. This is why you need to keep calling your representatives and senators. They need to be reminded day in and day out that the right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable. They need to be reminded that incremental diminishment of our rights is not acceptable.
The gun controllers are patient. Their plan is to rely on gun owner complacency – to wait us out. The gun controllers expect you to stop making calls to your representatives and senators. They expect you to get distracted by other pursuits while they remain focused on taking your guns away from you.
Gun owner complacency is responsible for people like Obama and Quinn being elected. The more complacent gun owners become, the worse the political landscape becomes. The more gun owners let others make decisions for them, the more oppressive the outcomes of those decisions become.
Remember – preservation and protection of the right to keep and bear arms is a moral imperative. With a diminished Second Amendment, this country will become unrecognizable to those who cherish freedom and self determination.
ISRA Executive Director