I am the president of the largest civil-liberties organization this nation has ever seen. No, it’s not the ACLU. It’s not the NAACP. It’s the NRA.

With our 136-year history and almost 4 million members, the National Rifle Association of America is the oldest and largest civil-rights organization in the history of the United States. We’re dedicated to the protection and advancement of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, with a special focus on protecting the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

We’re committed to educating and training every willing American in the safe and responsible use of firearms. Whether for hunting, sport, self-protection or any other lawful purpose, it doesn’t matter. Most people are surprised to find that the NRA has almost 200 programs to make sure that Americans know their Second Amendment rights and can exercise them in a proficient and safe manner.

Our charter is based on the simple words: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Do those words look familiar? I hope they do; they’re from the Bill of Rights. Those words of the Second Amendment are few and simple, yet their meaning is profound.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right of every law-abiding, peaceable American citizen the right to purchase, own, keep and bear firearms for any lawful purpose. And the NRA continues its never-ending mission to protect that right against all who oppose it.

Founded by Union officers in the aftermath of the Civil War to make sure America’s young people were trained in the use of arms to be able to defend our great nation, the NRA has been honored to educate and equip tens of millions of Americans from every walk of life how to hunt, shoot and defend themselves, their families, their nation and their freedom. Ever since 1871, in every type of political environment, during times of peace and times of war, under both political parties, the NRA has never faltered from its mission of protecting American freedom.

This mission can be seen in countless ways through the years. We’ve trained hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Marines in the basics of firearms safety and marksmanship through pre-induction courses during wartime since before World War I and II. Over the decades, we’ve developed many of the firearms programs used to train law enforcement officers all over the country. We’ve developed most of the hunter safety courses taught (and often required) to get hunting licenses across America. And today we’re also teaching hundreds of thousands of women how to be safe on the streets and in the cities, and millions of children through our Eddie Eagle program are taught how to stay away from untended firearms and avoid injury.

As NRA president, I’m honored to be a part of this organization and have happily served for years.

When Joseph Farah first asked me to write some columns for WND, the first thought that went through my mind was that I can’t figure out why it took us this long. So many WND readers are deeply concerned about constitutional liberties, whether regarding religion, government power, family values, American culture and many other issues. Those are matters that involve our constitutional rights.

The NRA is committed to constitutional rights. While most people think of us as focused on firearms, we are rather more focused on freedom. Yes, we concentrate on the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment is about liberty. It’s an insurance policy for all of your constitutional rights. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that you have the ability to protect your life, liberty and property, and those of your loved ones, against any who would try to take them from you. That includes your freedom to speak, worship, protest and vote. It includes the things you hold most dear.

Readers of WorldNetDaily should be glad that the National Rifle Association is around. I know many NRA members read WND regularly. In coming weeks, I’d like to explain more of who we are and what we are about, and you’ll find there’s a great deal of common ground under our feet.

One of the great things the Internet provides is the ability to bring people together. Individuals that the mainstream media has always ignored or ridiculed, be they people of faith or gun owners, have a way to connect and share that did not exist 10 or 20 years ago. WorldNetDaily is just such a place, and people of faith and values, whether they focus on the Constitution or on other institutions or practices that form the heart of American culture, can draw encouragement from one another and work for the common good.

That’s what I hope to do with you in writing these columns from time to time. And I’m sure we’ll help each other along the way as we do.

The National Rifle Association of America is an organization for all Americans who love freedom and our wonderful country. If that’s you, then we call you a friend and look forward to getting to know you.

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