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Will Trump's Armed Army Show Up?

Last week I wrote this op-ed piece for the Washington Times. We're about to find out if gun owners show up at the polls, and if it makes a difference.

As the country races to the finish line marked by the November 8 election day, media pundits, pollsters and operatives for both the Democratic and Republican parties appear to have overlooked a secret weapon about to be unleashed. That weapon, which will appear at the polls, is the army of enthusiastic gun owners found everywhere, but particularly in the swing states.

These aren’t the flannel-clad coterie of hunters who traditionally lean to the right, but who tend to be almost blase about the outcome of elections, believing that their hunting guns won’t attract the attention of the Clinton gun-ban machine she has promised to unleash. (They may want to research the “Australian model” Hillary Clinton said we should consider for the United States, where hunters’ semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and their pump-action “hunting” shotguns were confiscated from law-abiding citizens who faced prison if they didn’t “voluntarily” turn in their guns.) No, this army of gun owners is something new, something younger, something unrecognizable to Democrats, and it’s very much motivated to preserve the right to have guns for personal safety.

Ah. There it is. Personal safety. Not hunting. Not target shooting. Not collecting. More than twelve million Americans have jumped through the hoops and paid the money to get carry permits, and all reports show that fully a third of those getting those permits are women. Yes, women. Carrying guns. To protect themselves and their children. The motivation is as personal as it gets — to stay alive and protect offspring, because these women know that the police will not be there when they need them. The assault, abduction, or whatever, will be over before the police arrive.

When Mrs. Clinton says “The Supreme Court got it wrong” on the Second Amendment, she’s talking about the Heller decision, which confirmed there is an individual right to own a gun. Prior to that, it was the position of the U.S. Justice Department that no person has a right to own a gun. Rather, DOJ argued in various cases, that right is reserved to the government.

Mrs. Clinton has made gun control and gun bans a center point of her campaign, and has even teased the idea of wide-scale confiscation, a la Australia. Imagine the reactions of those who are called “gun owner 2.0” to attempts to disarm mothers committed to protecting their families. In several of the swing states, gun ownership rates remain high, as are the number of carry permits, and in some, no permit at all is required to carry a firearm for protection.

Traditionally, gun owners don’t poll well. Over the last two decades, pollsters badly undercounted the conviction of gun owners who vote to protect their individual right to own and carry guns.

Gun owners do, however, understand that when Hillary says she doesn’t want to “do away” with the Second Amendment, that the careful Clinton parsing of words continues. Her calls for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA) is, in fact, a nuclear attack on the Second Amendment. That law was passed by Congress in response to a Clinton White House-led effort to destroy all gun companies in the United States. The method was to sue the companies for the misuse, by a third party, of legally-produced, nondefective, high-regulated products. Had a single one of the more than 30 lawsuits filed by various cities succeeded, all gun makers would have shut their doors. No company would have been able to get insurance against claims hoping to hold them responsible for the illegal misuse of their products. (Think of holding Ford responsible for the costs of drunken driving.)

Because she was at the center of this scorched-Earth assault on legal firearms ownership 22 years ago, Mrs. Clinton clearly understands the repeal of PLCAA would be the end of firearms manufacturing in the United States. Gun owners understand this, as well.

Swing states Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida have high rates of gun ownership. They have hundreds of thousands, or in the case of Florida, more than a million, people with carry permits.

These are people motivated by the safety of themselves and their families. Women who have decided to stand up for themselves and not be victims. Young adults who make up the gun owner 2.0 population.

Emails and vulgar language pale in significance to the prospect of keeping one’s family safe. These are the millions of voters who may well have been ignored by pollsters who haven’t seen the wave of “guntry clubs” being built, the families shooting together, the women taking advanced classes in personal protection and gun fighting.

These are the men and women of Donald Trump’s silent, armed, army. They will vote. They will act to retain control of their own safety.
Published on November 3, 2016 in The Washington Times:
Image credit: The Vote of Gun Owners Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times
First Person Defender®: Season 4
From Monday, November 28th through Sunday, December 4th, one episode of First Person Defender will be released every day at 12:00 pm Central. Get ready for all new defenders, scenarios, and training tips! A big Thank You to our S4 sponsors - Crimson Trace​, Springfield Armory​, DoubleTap Ammunition​, Ruger, Taurus​, Liberty Safe, and Simunition​!

First Person Defender takes regular "good guys" and puts them in intense, real life, self-defense situation. We use Simunition guns and ammo, and force on force training to see what works, and what doesn't.

Subscribe to Gun Talk's YouTube channel, "Like" Gun Talk's Facebook page, or add our Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV channel for direct access to First Person Defender.
Watch past seasons of First Person Defender on YouTube here:Season 3   Season 2   Season 1

After The Election: Time To Cowboy Up

No matter who gets elected to the White House, gun owners will face continued and increasing attacks on their rights. We all need to "cowboy up" and face the reality that this is a constant and never-ending battle. Lawful gun ownership is being attacked daily in Congress, in the states, in cities, in the media, in movies, and sometimes even from within the firearms community.
The assaults come in many forms: continued calls for the phony "universal background check" which is really a savage attack on our ability to give, sell or even loan a gun to someone. One would hope that all gun owners have seen the chaos the UBC has caused in states where it's been enacted, where even loaning a gun to a buddy for a weekend of hunting can be a felony crime. Regrettably, some gun owners don't know about this, and they will even say (to the media and others) "I don't see a problem with a background check." The urge to seem "reasonable" clouds their ability to look at the real consequences of this highly-restrictive concept. 

Knowing what is a good measure to support, and which ones are bad, really is pretty simple. Just look at who is promoting each one. In the case of the UBC, it's the gun-banning, megalomaniac billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Anything he is for can not be good for gun owners. Any gun measure he promotes is designed to erode the human right of self protection. Look at who supports a measure. You will know it by its champions.
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We Can Win Every Fight on Gun Rights

It's a frustrating realization when you understand that U.S. gun owners can actually win almost every fight on gun rights, but that we are unwilling to do what's needed. It's not as though we have to charge a machine gun or run through artillery. Nope. All we have to do is get more gun owners engaged, committed, and on board.

There's an old line I like. Question: What could the NRA do if it had 20 million members? Answer: Anything it wanted.

And there it is. Numbers. Pure and simple. Votes and dollars. It's not really about the NRA, because I strongly support the Second Amendment Foundation, also. It's about getting on board. Every. Single. Gun. Owner.
What about this? Every time you introduce someone to shooting, you say that the guns and ammo you supply are free, but there is a fee. That person must become a member of the NRA. And, you have the form with you, and you have them fill it out at the range. Keep a bunch of NRA membership forms in your range bag, the glove compartment of your truck, and even fold one into your wallet so you can bring it out when needed. When someone you're talking with pronounces his support for gun rights, ask if he or she is an NRA member. If not, pull out the form and have that person fill it out on the spot, and get his money. Right there. Shame him or her into it, if you must.

Because you have committed. Because you are a member of the Gun Talk Truth Squad. Because you get it. You are in the prime position to start the movement which will destroy gun control. Yes, destroy gun control. 

Here's the reality. Many politicians take us for granted. Many dismiss us. Why? Because we don't show up. We don't sign up. We don't make gun rights something we think about and do something about every day. And because we don't, we are -- in fact -- dismissable. 

But when we show up in large numbers at city council meetings and at state legislatures, we stop bad laws and get good ones passed. We simply have to show up, speak up, and pay up.

Or, we can tell our grandchildren about the time when private citizens could own guns. Or we can fear that our grandchildren will turn us in for having unregistered and unlicensed guns.

The future starts November 9, and no matter who is in the White House, we can determine our own future. If only we will.
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First Person Defender: Season 4
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