It is mind-boggling that we're now living in 2015. I like to think I'm not so old, but I also remember when 2001 was a distant date in a science fiction movie. I'm still waiting for the flying car I was promised. But flying cars weren't the only things we were promised back in the good old days. Looking back at when we were looking forward to these days, I remember predictions about a coming ice age, a one-world government and the end to crime, hunger and poverty. There were also lots of predictions about the end of gun ownership. Back when groups like the National Coalition to Ban Handguns and Handgun Control Incorporated were new, they were describing a process whereby they were going to completely do away with handgun ownership by slowly adding one little restriction on top of another over a couple of decades. More than 40 years later, they are sticking to that strategy with new language and new tactics, but the target, destruction of the "gun culture" and the right to keep and bear arms, remains the same.
They've made some progress on some fronts and are positioning themselves to make more in coming years, but rights supporters have been working hard, too. We've installed strong rights protections into the laws of most states, spread the gospel of lawful concealed carry to every state in the nation and proven that more guns doesn't mean more crime, but that as gun and gun ownership have gone up, crime and firearm accidents have actually gone down – dramatically. Those efforts have pushed the anti-rights extremists to back completely away from their demands for banning and confiscating handguns; instead they call for thinner and thinner slices off of the Bill of Rights. Instead of calling for national registration of all guns and gun owners, they now call for "universal background checks," something that sounds completely different but accomplishes much the same thing. Under their "background check" proposals, government records would be created for every firearms transfer – records that could then be computerized to identify almost every legal gun and gun owner – thereby accomplishing a major step in their goal of universal registration, but hiding the goal behind camouflaged language.
The anti-rights crowd depends on misleading language, hidden agendas and a gullible, uninformed public to accomplish their goals because they know they will never win if they openly express their true objectives. They have the financial backing of self-righteous billionaires like Mike Bloomberg, George Soros and Bill Gates to inundate the uninformed masses with their emotion-laden propaganda, and the full cooperation of the mainstream media to reinforce their misleading message.
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Anti-rights groups consist of a few paid staff members, a few deep-pockets "angels" who fund their endeavors and a few supporters who might show up for a rally or write an occasional letter to a politician. The anti-rights support is broad but shallow among people who don't know much about the issue.
Rights groups, on the other hand, range from the NRA with its 5 million-plus members, to local gun and shooting clubs in almost every community. There are state associations and genuine grass-roots gun-rights groups in every state as well, along with several smaller, national rights organizations like Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and The Firearms Coalition. Beyond these single-issue groups, gun owners also enjoy the support of a variety of broader interest organizations with a conservative or libertarian slant.
Gun-control groups have demonstrated that they and their media friends can produce polls showing broad popular support for their carefully worded proposals, but rights groups are able to turn out truckloads of mail to politicians, thousands of activists at rallies and game-changing numbers of voters in elections. In short, the anti-rights "movement" has money and an appealing, though misleading, message, but few committed supporters. The rights movement, on the other hand, has tens of millions of active supporters, hundreds of small and large organizations and a message that doesn't resonate as well with the general public. Simply put, that message is: We, and our guns, are not the problem. Leave us alone and focus energy and resources on actual problems and workable solutions.
The one thing gun owners and supporters of liberty can do in 2015 and beyond to protect our rights and prevent the tyranny of an ill-informed majority is to sign up for email alerts from state and federal rights groups, and resolve to make a phone call, send an email, or post a letter every time those groups raise an alert. Most of the organizations offer a service whereby a supporter can easily send a pre-composed message with just a few clicks of a mouse. Nothing could be easier, but rarely do more than 10 percent or so of alert recipients take the few seconds needed to accomplish even that simple task.
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If you care about protecting the Bill of Rights, be sure you're tuned in to groups that can keep you informed, and make a New Year's resolution to take action every time your local or federal rights groups call for your help. You can find many active, state and local rights groups listed at www.GunVoter.org. Reading this column every Friday in WND is also a good plan. You can sign up to be notified when columns post or just check my archive to see the latest columns, then be sure to share them with your friends.
Education and organization are the keys to defeating assaults on our rights. Resolve to make a difference in 2015. Be informed, be involved, take action and be part of the solution.
Media wishing to interview Jeff Knox, please contact [email protected].