Only a few short months ago, just before the 2016 presidential election, it appeared as though Second Amendment supporters like myself might soon be facing some very dark days. Then the election results rolled in, the people of this country were heard, and, thankfully, we were granted a reprieve. President Trump then nominated Judge Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, he was confirmed by the Senate, and things were looking very bright indeed.
Yet despite things seemingly going our way, I can’t help but keep asking myself one question: “Now what?”
What should we freedom lovers who believe so strongly in defending our Second Amendment rights do next? Should we rest on our laurels? Or should we continue to fight, while we have the numbers, to not only maintain the status quo but gain back some of the valuable ground we’ve lost over the years? I strongly believe it’s the latter, and that maintaining and gaining ground requires a three-pronged approach: (1) keep giving, (2) keep communicating and voting, and (3) keep recruiting.
It’s human nature to figure that, since things seem to be going our way, we don’t need to give quite as much money, time, and effort to support the organizations on the front lines of the battle for our Second Amendment rights. In reality, people get comfortable and don’t feel their way of life is at risk, so they scale back their contributions. For those that are aware of this, and are willing, we need to dig deeper, and give more to compensate the natural decline.
I’m guilty of feeling this way myself. But I know that now, more than ever, organizations like the NRA, the NSSF, and ASA need our support, especially financially. If donations go down, those who seek to curtail our gun rights only gain strength and momentum. So I encourage you all to continue supporting the organizations that do much of the heavy lifting in support of the Second Amendment.
Keep Communicating and Voting
We need to stay vigilant in communicating not only with each other but also with our legislators. Second Amendment supporters now have the pulpit, but if we stop conveying our desires to those who make and enforce our nation’s laws, we could lose ground even though we hold most of the cards. I implore all of you to stay on top of your legislators and let your voice be heard. Believe me when I tell you the other side will do all they can to make sure their voices, and wishes, don’t fall on deaf ears.
We have two bills that should get voted on this year that take back some of the freedoms we have lost over the years: The Hearing Protection Act and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. I encourage you to vote for Representatives that support these two bills and to vote against those who do not.
I don’t know if “recruiting” is the best word, but I do know this: We’re going to ultimately lose the battle if we don’t introduce more people to shooting—especially the younger generation. At age 54, I still vividly recall the day and the experience as a youth, when I took a hunter safety course and got a chance to shoot skeet for the first time. This is an opportunity for you to take someone you know shooting. It will be an experience they will always remember.
Formative experiences like this go a long way toward encouraging younger people to learn about and develop an affinity toward firearms and Second Amendment rights. And it’s precisely these young people we’ll need to carry on the fight. Along with introducing younger people to shooting, supporting organizations such as the Friends of the NRA, which raises funds for the future of shooting sports, is very important.
Let’s not forget the importance of introducing women to shooting. It’s definitely something women can, and should, enjoy as well. This is evidenced by my wife, Cindy. She recently told me, “I think it’s important, when introducing a new female shooter into the sport, that they are comfortable with the environment and the trainer, as well as the equipment. It’s all part of the experience. Having equipment that best fits the new shooter, a respected and inviting range, and the right people, will make for a better experience.”
I would encourage every shooter, male or female; to take a lady shooting and expose them to the activity/sport you enjoy so much yourselves. Maybe even teach them on a suppressed weapon, so they don’t react to the “bang” and the recoil, which the suppressor helps mitigate. We need their support, and getting them—as well as our youth—aboard ensures the Second Amendment will remain strong. This will also create opportunities the whole family can enjoy.
So remember, the stakes are simply too high to let up. Even though the pendulum seems to be swinging our way at the moment, we need to play to win. Had the Falcons been playing to win-instead of playing not to lose in the second half of the Super Bowl – they would be champions today! We have not won this battle. It is only half-time and we must play to win. We have to continue to give and give big; we have to communicate with our legislators and vote for our issues; we must make every effort to recruit and bring new people to the shooting sports. Let’s play to win!
Marty Daniel is the president, CEO, and founder of Daniel Defense and a guest columnist for “Bullet Points with AWR Hawkins.”