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 Revolutionary War reenactment at Cantigny Park.  September 10, 2011 (courtesy Jan Crites @

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.

Richard Pearson
ISRA Executive Director


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  1. Now this is a message I can get behind. Maybe now people on our side will wake up and realize what we are really up against.

  2. Mr. Pearson hits this one right out of the park. This is an important reminder that the battle to defend our 2A rights extends from sea to shining sea sea across America- it’s not just in IL.

    The US Senate reconvenes Monday, April 8. Please call your Senators and leave messages with their aides expressing your position on the Gun Control package heading to the floor. (202) 224-3121 is the switchboard number. A phone message can be more effective than an email.

  3. Sounds like Richard is finally starting to get it. I have gone around with him in the past about the ISRA being too soft and too willing to compromise. The vehemence of this latest round of anti – gun, anti freedom hatred must have woken him up to the real agenda.

    • +1

      I’ve been saying this since the Sandy Hook: This isn’t just about owning guns, the anti-2A folks are on a vendetta. This is about politics and power, not public safety. They’re using “public safety” as a wedge to marginalize the right. Their intent was to follow-up the presidential win by beating down the right when they saw their chance on the back of those 26 souls. I know, there’s lots of folks on the left/Democrats that stand up for the 2A, but practically speaking, the Progressives have left you behind. They’re at war.

  4. Right on Mr. Pearson. Without a doubt one of the most clear eyed assessments of the political and social battle space that we’re operating in that I’ve seen recently. It is a street fight and now is the time to crush them. There is no other option.

  5. I regularly contact various in and out of state politicians expressing my opposition to gun rights infringement and I always wonder how many other gun owners do so. I know several gun owners in my neighborhood who are too lazy, ignorant and self absorbed to bother. My home state senators are the absolute bottom of the barrel in every respect (Feinstein & Boxer) and I still contact them even though it’s a waste of time. Most gun owners, like most Americans in general are complacent, ignorant, self absorbed and short sighted. I am frankly ashamed of my countrymen, most of whom have the mentality of feedlot cattle.

    • Too lazy & self-absorbed, or realistic & clear-eyed ?
      Unless you’re super-rich, nobody gives a shit about what you say.

    • I agree, the other people I know who say they support the 2nd Amendment are not active, don’t belong to the NRA, ISRA, or other such organizations. Recently while in Nevada, I urged an acquaintance to call senator Reid to oppose these gun control bills, and this person said senator Reid would do whatever president Obama said. Obviously this is not true as Reid made the gun ban separate from the other gun control legislation. All of this gun control legisation needs to be opposed. I think for this acquaintance and others like JimInCO it is an excuse to remain lazy and do nothing, inertia. I think it is because of the NRA and activists contacting elected officials that we have as much left of the 2nd Amendment that we do. Look at concealed carry bills in the past. Wouldn’t the conventional mass media wisdom be it is DOA? Yet Constitutional carry and shall-issue is more prevelant than may-issue and the ban in IL. Bottom line: Get active, contact your elected officials.

  6. Mr. Pearson is right on point.

    One need only look to the California legislative history and the current agenda to see how “incremental restrictions” have, are now and will continue to play out for the gun control crowd.

    Lack of paying attention and apathy by the huge population of gun owners has let this happen. Gun owners queue right up to buy the latest and greatest firearms as soon as they are being offered for sale.

    Then they go home and decry state restrictions without making an effort to stop those creating them; and then they go to the polls and waste their vote.

    As with many here, I’ve bought my collection.

    Now I’m joining and donating and writing in an effort to preserve our freedoms.
    I’ve become a one issue voter.

    The gun grabbers will never give up until we’re extinct.

    As Mr. Pearson laments, EVERYONE needs to step it up now.

  7. I don’t think I have ever, unfortunately for me, heard of this gentleman Richard Pearson before. Maybe I heard him on Cam & Co. but then again maybe not. Anyway, in all my years as a 2nd Ammendment supporter I have NEVER read a better reason on the importance of standing up for our rights. Incredibly well done Richard Pearson!

  8. To ensure freedom we must not only have the means but the will to employ them.
    The question is
    Are you willing to employ your arms against the government to remain free?

    I think that the answer for the majority of people is “no”. That means we will lose every battle for our freedoms. If the answer is “no” it is just a mater of time. I fear that we are already America in name only.

    There is no law regulating any weapon that is not in violation of the supreme law of the land. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is being violated. I am currently complying with these “laws” however, as an American, I am under no obligation to. I just will not likely get a jury that understands that the law restricting my ownership of machine guns, explosives, or suppressors is in violation of our rights and our constitution and unenforceable by the government. If they simply vote “not guilty” they pass judgment on the law its self.

    Then if the answer is “yes” and we finally realize that we need to think about doing something soon, I fear the wrong people will get in to the right places and lead us to ruin even faster. I fear if we must use force of arms in an attempt to save America we drive in the last nail.

  9. Penn should copy Texas example..
    We have killed two birds with one stone.. We have a lot of unemployed white guys…
    Just send them to marksmanship class and then they can protect our schools…

    protect children and give men a chance for employment.

  10. Dear Residents in Illinois, If you would like to know just exactly what your legislature can do take a look at
    the law Maryland put into affect October 1, 2013. The theory being that if the law abiding citizens couldn’t get guns than neither could the criminals yes it is an over simplification but the Governor was bound and determined that it pass; and pass it did. Beretta couldn’t open their mouths being in the middle of a 10,000 unit contract t0 the Federal Government(tyrant). There was enough stink raised that
    they did Grandfather in anything owned prior to Oct. 1. So please continue to call, so what has happened to us in Md. won’t happen to you. Good Luck, and may God Bless all of you.
    P.S. My second son who was an EMT worked in an E.R. in southern Chicago, I asked him if they were a level 1 trauma center,his response was my God no we get enough gunshot wounds in being a Level 2. Yes he is one of those young men who was military, with a sharp shooters ranking. He saw every night the damage guns could do in the hands of criminals.

  11. “Why do gun controllers hate us so much? The answer is actually very simple. The armed citizen is symbolic of freedom and self determination. ”

    Nope, they are simply afraid cause they can’t and don’t want to shoot back.

    Unfortunately for them, Darwin’s thoughts, are alive and well.

  12. While I support everything the ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson says. There is one point where I diverge.

    The gun grabbers need us for 3 things; 1) the point he made; 2) our money to fund their liberal agenda; and 3) our votes to change the constitution to what they believe it should read.

    The only way the Constitution becomes relevant again, in their eyes, will be by making those changes.

    The rich stay rich by spending our money for us, they never spend much of their own.

    I also encourage everyone to keep fighting for our rights!

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