It's time to take stock of where we stand as a nation. The election of 2012 offers us a stark contrast, between candidates who are looking to protect our Second Amendment rights and those who seek to restrict those same freedoms. Over the past month, I've been alerting you to some dangers on the horizon. As we consider the path we are about to embark upon, it's good to recall what's at stake.
We need to prevent the next president from appointing a Supreme Court that will reverse the two landmark Second Amendment cases – Heller and McDonald. In those decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that all American citizens, no matter where they live, have the right to legally possess a firearm as a means of self-defense. These decisions were a tremendous accomplishment, and they finally ratified what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they drafted the Second Amendment.
As much as I wished this issue was solved once and for all, it is not. The Heller and McDonald decisions were decided by razor-thin, 5-4 majorities in the Supreme Court. Those who want to overturn these decisions are betting on at least one of the five Supreme Court justices who voted for these laws to retire or otherwise leave service during the next four years. It's possible that the next president may have as many as three vacancies to fill on the high court.
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Every plan needs a backup, and this one is no different. We also need to make sure we have a U.S. Senate that is supportive of our fundamental freedoms, since the Senate votes to confirm new judges and justices alike. Several of the key 2012 Senate races are in highly competitive "battleground" states that may tip the balance of power in this country. If you live in these states, it's important to make your voice heard.
Having the right president and Senate is also essential when we are dealing with the United Nations. Last summer, the U.N. debated a global "Arms Trade Treaty," and we came dangerously close to the treaty actually passing. This would be disastrous for gun owners in the U.S. The focus of the treaty would demand that governments regulate the sale and possession of firearms worldwide – all of them, including yours and mine.
The goal was to disgorge a treaty in time for the Obama administration to sign it before Election Day. The draft treaty would have required the United States to "maintain records of all imports and shipments of arms," register the identity of the "end user" of those firearms and then report the user's information to a U.N.-based gun registry. In several drafts, the treaty would have mandated that every round of ammunition be tracked globally. The treaty may have stalled this summer, but the negotiations are still ongoing. We must ensure it never gets ratified by the Senate or signed by the president.
On Election Day, we must ensure that we have confidence in our leaders and their objectives. One issue that has troubled me for nearly two years now is "Operation Fast & Furious." The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, or OIG, released a report last month about the bungled "gun walking" operation, and most of the media accepted its findings unquestioned. For me, there are still lots of critical questions unanswered. Who on earth decided that facilitating the smuggling of guns to drug cartels was an appropriate law enforcement mission to begin with? Thousands of guns walked into Mexico are still on the loose. Where are they, and how many are out there? Does the U.S. government have a plan to recapture them, or will we simply spend years wondering how many more victims they are being used to kill? And who will make sure that BATFE admits it if and when these guns surface at crime scenes here in the U.S.? It is my dual hope that these questions will soon be answered and that we will elect a government that has the foresight never to let this happen again.
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Now, if you pay any attention to the polls, you might think this election is over already, or close to it. Don't fall for it! I personally believe that the media polls are being intentionally rigged to be self-fulfilling. This is a complex issue, but it boils down to sample selection. Every poll is dependent upon its sample – the number of people who are surveyed, and their demographic distribution. Before issuing results, pollsters analyze these numbers and "weight" them to adjust the poll results. In an ideal world, the weighting process is intended to ensure the poll results accurately reflect the voting population's demographic distribution. What's happening this year is that many media polling operations are weighting their samples based on the results of the 2008 election. But the vast turnout in that election was a historic anomaly, especially when considering the youth vote. It is virtually inconceivable that the 2012 results will be a historic parallel. Weighting the samples to the 2008 turnout automatically favors the winner of the 2008 election. I believe the polls are wrong, and the bottom line is that turnout will be the factor that wins the 2012 election. So don't be discouraged by the conventional wisdom among the Beltway pundits; it's all built on a house of cards.
I have stood for justice my entire life. This election is too important to sit home and not vote. I urge you to register to vote in this election because you truly can make a difference. The deadline is approaching fast in most states. Visit TriggerTheVote.org today – all the information you need to register is there. Together we can build a brighter, safer future where we know our fundamental constitutional rights are preserved by our national leaders – not threatened and undermined.