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Freedom is Celebrated, But Not in the White House

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

A fellow NRA member recently sent me a great video that is making the rounds on YouTube. It’s a short clip of a group of bloggers spending the day at a shooting range with Texas Governor Rick Perry (see it here). On its face, there is nothing terribly unusual or special about this. But to the millions of NRA members and patriotic Americans who have spent years fighting to protect and preserve our Second Amendment rights, this is a remarkable scene.

Though frequently framed through the lens of a camera capturing an idyllic hunting event, high-profile candidates for national office rarely appeared on camera while firing a handgun at a shooting range. And they certainly didn’t do it with a group of reporters who were eager to learn about the world of recreational shooting.

Over the years, many elected officials, like Gov. Perry, have embraced NRA and our firearm freedoms. Indeed, many of the other Presidential candidates also display hunting and shooting videos, and have made commitments to defend the Second Amendment.

My point is that years ago, you weren’t likely to see such a high-profile, public celebration of our rich tradition of gun ownership. Yet today, almost all find the Second Amendment good principle and good politics.

Despite the gun-ban lobby and the mainstream media’s attempt to lump all 80 million of us gun owners into one group (or one stereotype, as the case may be), the reality is we are among the most diverse groups in America. We come from all races, income brackets, political parties, religions, professions, cultural backgrounds, and geographic locations. We are also one of the most politically active segments of society and we vote with a passion befitting our allegiance to the Bill of Rights.

As firm believers in the Bill of Rights and individual responsibility, most of us naturally gravitate toward the principles of limited government. As students of history, gun owners and NRA members are liberty-minded Americans who understand that the most important barrier standing between freedom and oppression is our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

And though freedom may be back in style in broader America, it is clearly out of fashion in the White House. Why?

Because when President Barack Obama sees Americans celebrating their Second Amendment freedom at the local gun range, he sees only through the eyes of the elitist he is – looking down on those Americans, whom he has disparaged as “clinging to their guns.”

Obama has proven this with every anti-gun judge he’s nominated, every gun control regulation he’s dictated, and every United Nations initiative he’s embraced. He proved it during his entire political career by voting for every gun-ban law and taking leadership positions in the gun-ban movement.

In his brief tenure, Obama has demonstrated that there isn’t a single aspect of our American society – not our free market principles, our time-honored traditions and values, nor our Bill of Rights – that he isn’t willing to steamroll on his way to recasting America in a European mold. He would much rather America be a disarmed society like the one we witnessed in Great Britain, where innocent civilians were rendered helpless against rampaging thugs.

Our President does all of this to cheers, but not here at home. The applause he hears comes from foreign nations who are eagerly anticipating America’s demise. There is a growing enthusiasm among the international community that America will fail on every front – and when we do, we’ll fall prey to a new system where our republic no longer exists to protect our rights, but to ration or ban them.

And yet, the more President Obama tries to suffocate our freedom, the more popular freedom becomes – it’s the American way.

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