Remember when then Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand loved the NRA?

During a Fox News townhall Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) was ask about stopping gun violence. In her reply she called the National Rifle Association (NRA), “the worst organization in the country.” Watch:

A friend sent me a link to a letter dated September 19, 2008 sent by then Congresswoman Gillibrand to the NRA. Here are some excerpts:

To begin with, I want to be very clear that I always have and always will believe that the correct interpretation of the 2nd amendment is that it applies to an individual’s right to carry guns, and does not apply generally to the National Guard or a group of individuals in a State. Moreover, I do not believe that public housing authorities should have the right to ban firearms by people living in their homes. Not only is this discriminatory, but it violates the right of citizens living in their homes.

On the question of outright banning certain firearms for cosmetic features, bullets of an random size, or banning magazine holding an arbitrary number of cartridges, I am adamantly opposed and do not believe that laws should be based on random limits just for the sake of limiting gun ownership or usage. Furthermore, the attempt to limit the purchase of firearms to arbitrary time periods – such as “one-gun-a-month” – will not solve any crimes and will only curtain the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens. I share your concerns about these and other attempts to that could contribute to the slippery slope of government confiscation of people’s firearms based on the arbitrary whims of politics and public opinion.

[ … ]

Lastly, I agree with the NRA that sportsmen should be allowed to hunt on federally-owned lands and that we need to do all we can to create more hunting lands. I even authored an amendment to the Farm Bill to provide matching grants to local communities that want to buy land to provide sportsmen and women.

I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners rights and I look forward to working with you for many years in Congress.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Member of Congress

[Emphasis added]

Read the full letter to the NRA by clicking here.

Oh, how the worm turns.

VIDEO: Hickenlooper’s Gun Control Laws in Colorado Were an Absolute Failure

As governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper passed all sorts of gun-control laws with the promise of lowering the violent crime rates. But he’s still trying to dodge the fact that violent crime went up by more than 30% since their passage.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-TV video is republished with permission.

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual lock-step promoting a laundry list of today’s most popular anti-gun proposals. Whether it is banning semi-automatic firearms and placing limitations on magazine capacities, pushing “universal” background checks, imposing potentially endless waiting periods, or trying to use financial institutions to drive their political agenda, anti-gun Democrats are looking to exploit every opportunity they can to promote their attacks on our freedoms.

At every step, Pelosi and her minions push anti-gun legislation with the lie that each proposal will be the death knell to violent crime committed with firearms. Of course, we’ve all heard this mantra for decades. And for decades we’ve seen every anti-gun law that has passed fail to put a dent in crime, only to be followed by a new proposal that the gun-ban extremists insist will get the job done…this time.

Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw; criminals don’t obey the law. They ignore or circumvent the new laws just as readily as they ignore or circumvent the old ones. If they are willing to commit robbery, why would they not also be willing to commit armed robbery? If they are willing to commit assault, why would they not be willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon? And if they are willing to commit homicide, again, why would they not be willing to commit homicide using a firearm? One more law will not stop a violent criminal from being a violent criminal.

The people actually impacted by gun control laws are, of course, law-abiding gun owners, who were never part of the problem to begin with. They may not agree with anti-gun laws, but they tend to obey them while working to change them.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for addressing violent crime. The secret, which isn’t really a secret, is to go after the actual offenders. One good example is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).

Started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, PSN is a collaborative effort, utilizing the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to target violent crime at the local level. Specific priorities are identified based on the local environment, and solutions are developed, with the primary objective of going after the most violent offenders and putting them in prison.

It should come as no surprise that the simple concept of getting violent criminals off the streets to keep them from committing violent crimes has proven to be a very effective tool for law enforcement. While violent crime in the US has been in a state of general decline since its peak in 1991, PSN programs have shown to accelerate declines. According to the United States Department of Justice, from 2000 to 2006, PSN program areas saw overall reductions in violent crime from 4%-20%, and specifically-targeted violent crimes were reduced by up to 42%. By comparison, locations where PSN was not implemented saw reductions, but of only 0.9%.

There is, of course, little evidence to indicate that gun control reduces violent crime, and plenty of evidence that indicates fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners leads to such reductions. But even if Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot be convinced of this, one would at least think they would support a proven law-enforcement program like PSN, which has clearly been shown to reduce the violent crime they claim to want to see reduced.

Then again, maybe not.

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies recommending de-funding PSN. Chaired by U.S. Representative José Serrano (D-N.Y.), the subcommittee’s recommendation seems to indicate a continuing trend by House Democrats to oppose President Donald Trump whenever possible.

The program, as previously stated, started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama, even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate during Obama’s first term. So why is there an issue now?

It may simply be that Democrats are reflexively opposed to anything Trump supports, and the current administration has promoted the program. It would be a shocking abuse of power if Democrats actually chose to end a program that has been so successful at reducing violent crime simply out of spite for a president the party clearly loathes.

Fortunately, there are still many steps left in the process for approving the U.S. Department of Justice budget, through which PSN is funded, so we can only hope that cooler heads within the Democrat leadership will intercede and ensure PSN remains fully funded.

That is, if there are any cooler heads left.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Colion Noir Calls Out Mayor Pete, Challenges Him to a Debate on Gun Rights

Colion Noir tells Pete Buttigieg that if he wants to explain his position on firearm freedom, he’s welcome to do so on NRATV: “So what say you, Mayor Pete? You always talk about wanting to civilize politics. Well, here’s your chance now to have a civil conversation about gun rights in this country. Are you willing to come on and have that conversation?”

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRATV video is republished with permission.

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully licensed handgun owners from leaving the city with their own firearms. The plaintiffs in the case have raised a number of objections to the regime, the foremost of which is that it violates the Second Amendment. The case is New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. New York City.

Given the uniquely oppressive and bizarre nature of the challenged restrictions, many observers believe the real question in the case isn’t whether New York City will lose but on what grounds and how badly. The City itself, in fact, recently made a desperate attempt to avoid a ruling on its laws by claiming to the court that it was in the process of revising the regulations to address the issues raised in the case. The court rejected that gambit, and proceedings in the case have continued, with a number of stakeholders filing friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs this week to help inform the justices’ deliberations.

Chief among them was none other than the Trump administration, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) filing a brief in support of the plaintiffs. The DOJ offered two possible bases for finding New York City’s regulations unconstitutional, including that the “transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.”

The government’s brief offers the most detailed account to date of how the Trump administration views the Second Amendment. Critically, it makes clear that the Second Amendment does not end at the property line of one’s own home.

“The Second Amendment guarantees both the right to ‘keep’ and the right to ‘bear’ firearms,” the brief states. “Read naturally, the right to ‘bear’ firearms includes the right to transport firearms outside the home; otherwise, the right to ‘bear’ would add nothing to the right to ‘keep.’”

The administration also seeks to establish a method for resolving future cases that is faithful to the Supreme Court’s opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, which has been largely ignored by lower courts. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision being challenged in the New York City case, like many other lower court Second Amendment decisions before it, used a judicial balancing test that Heller specifically rejected to uphold the disputed gun control measures.

The government’s brief, on the other hand, urges the court to “look first to the text of the Second Amendment, the history of the right to keep and bear arms before ratification, and the tradition of gun regulation after ratification” to judge the validity of a gun control law.

Applying this test to New York City’s travel ban, it states:

Few laws in the history of our Nation, or even in contemporary times, have come close to such a sweeping prohibition on the transportation of arms. And on some of the rare occasions in the 19th and 20th centuries when state and local governments have adopted such prohibitions, state courts have struck them down. That is enough to establish that the transport ban is unconstitutional.

Also filing in support of the plaintiffs was a coalition of pro-gun states led by Louisiana and including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgie, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Like the DOJ’s brief, the states’ brief urges the Supreme Court to use text, history, and tradition to find that New York City’s travel ban violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendment.

Alternatively, the states’ brief argues, if the court should adopt the Second Circuit’s approach to applying a tiered level of scrutiny, it should subject the law to a rigorously applied heighted scrutiny. “New York City could not possibly meet such scrutiny here,” the brief concludes.

One hundred and twenty pro-gun members of Congress, led by Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), urged the court to rule in favor of the plaintiffs as well. Emphasizing that “[t]he Second Amendment enshrines the fundamental right of citizens to protect themselves from violence and tyranny,” the congressional brief joined the chorus criticizing the dismissive treatment the Second Amendment has received in the lower courts.

“This case,” according to that brief, “is a quintessential example of how courts of appeals have treated the right to keep and bear arms as a second-class right by not reviewing regulations infringing on the right with any meaningful scrutiny.” It then argues that whether the court applies text, history, or tradition or a suitably stringent level of scrutiny, the challenged New York City regime must fail.

The NRA weighed in on the case with an amicus brief of our own. That brief amplifies the arguments of the government, the states, and the pro-gun members of Congress. It points out that “[i[n the decade since [Heller] was handed down, most lower federal courts have openly flouted [the Supreme Court’s] instructions” on how to resolve Second Amendment cases.

It goes on to state that “because Respondents’ transport ban restricts both the right to keep and to bear arms, and because it is unsupported by any even remotely analogous restriction historically accepted by the People as consistent with the Second Amendment, this Court should strike it down categorically, like in Heller, without resorting to the interest-balancing ‘tiers of scrutiny.’”

Tellingly, even certain well-known gun control groups – including the Giffords Law Center and the Brady Campaign – filed briefs that made no attempt to argue that New York City’s travel ban survives Second Amendment scrutiny. Rather, their briefs merely urge the court to rule narrowly in the case and in a way that preserves ample leeway for states and localities to continue to regulate firearms.

This case illustrates what the legacy media and other anti-gun interests are hoping gun owners ignore: that the election of President Trump, his appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the work of the National Rifle Association all continue to play a vital role in preserving the right to keep and bear arms.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

State of “Gun Violence” in the United States

Politicians treat so-called “gun violence” as a lever issue, hoping to energize their base and guilt law-abiding Americans into supporting policies that would have no effect on crime or help the mentally ill. Part of this effort entails presenting as large a number of fatalities as possible, and so researchers, the media, and anti-gun politicians combine suicide, homicide, accidents, legal interventions, and incidents in which the intent is unknown.

They’ve chosen to sensationalize tragedies time and again to advance an anti-freedom agenda. The media misrepresents old data by using current-tense headlines. Anti-gun organizations the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action politicized memorial services held the day after a shooting when the community wanted a chance to mourn properly. Anti-gun politicians ignore pre-existing trend data if it means they can claim gun control works – no matter how many caveats are included in the underlying analysis.

What does “gun violence” really look like? CDC non-fatal injury data is not reliable, but fatality statistics are accurate. The most recent data available is for 2017; there were 39,772 total firearms-related fatalities. Sixty percent were suicides. Thirty-seven percent were homicides, which is a rate of 4.5 fatalities per 100,000 people. The rate held steady between 2016 and 2017, but it has increased slightly since the start of the decade. However, the 2017 rate is 34% lower than it was in 1980 and 36% lower than in 1993. In other words, the firearms-related homicide rate dropped by 36% in the last 25 years for which we have data. Rates don’t tell the whole story; the total population grew by more than 99 million people from 1980 to 2017 and the number of firearms-related homicides decreased by 958.

Let’s look at the specific wording used in a recent article supporting gun control. “In 2017, the United States had the highest rate of firearm fatalities since 1996.” This statement is specifically crafted to make a dramatic point. The rate of all firearms-related fatalities in 1996 was lower than it was in the previous 15 years, and the rate was lower every year from 1997 through 2016. The data tell a clear story, even in the presence of a recent and moderate increase. Perhaps more importantly, the data shows that suicide is increasing as a percentage of all firearms-related fatalities.

Not all charts are as clear. Some seem designed to support a certain perspective rather than to present data without bias. Doctor Eric Fleegler, affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, recently published the above-referenced article titled, “Mass Shootings and the Numbing of America” in JAMA Internal Medicine. He presented firearms-related fatalities by age group and intent. The bars represent the percentage of all fatalities within that age group that involve firearms.

This representation is technically correct, but it suggests at first look that there are more firearms-related fatalities among younger people, specifically those within the 15-19-year-old and 20-24-year-old age groups. The chart really indicates what is not shown: that younger people face fewer potentially fatal injuries and health complications than older generations. In other words, younger age cohorts are generally healthier than older people, some of whom unfortunately pass away due to falls, to heart disease, cancer, or any number of other issues that are not common among teenagers and young adults.

This commentary is not designed to trivialize any deaths, but efforts to address firearms-related fatalities should be targeted and the data needs to be considered sincerely. Unfortunately, we too often see the presentation of data sensationalized to make a point. But, that’s the shell game that anti-gun activists and politicians want to play.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: We Must Defend Our School Children From Evil

Grant Stinchfield talks to trainer and SWAT team member Quinn Cunningham about the school shooting in the Denver area and how to end such attacks.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-TV video is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Gun Control & Socialism Is a Recipe for Chaos, and Venezuela Proves It

“What is now occurring in Venezuela is what happens when you have a socialist leader and disarmament policies.” —Dana Loesch

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‘Blame America First’ Crowd Is Undermining the Fight for Freedom in Venezuela

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA video is republished with permission.

VIDEO: The Disarm America Movement Seeks To Rob You Of Your Right To Defend Your Family

“Every day, citizens across America exercise their Constitutional right to defend themselves, their families, and their communities—that’s a Constitutional right. And they want to take it away from you.” —Donald Trump

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA video is republished with permission.

New York Is Illegally Targeting the NRA, Trump Says

President Donald Trump on Monday called the New York state attorney general’s newly announced probe of the National Rifle Association illegal, and an expert on laws regarding nonprofits contends that the probe is at minimum improper.

Trump said it was a concerted effort to “take down and destroy” the NRA.

“When a state attorney general uses the power vested in the attorney general’s office to improperly use [it] against organizations for political purposes, it could be illegal,” Cleta Mitchell, a Washington lawyer who advises nonprofits and was co-counsel to the NRA in a 2002 Supreme Court case, told The Daily Signal.

“The NRA, in court, would have a good predicate to argue political bias against the organization to show that hostility toward the organization’s existence,” Mitchell said.

Over the weekend, the attorney general’s office announced it commenced an investigation into the NRA’s nonprofit status and would be subpoenaing financial records.

The announcement came in the midst of turmoil in the organization, after the NRA ousted Oliver North as president in what became a public dispute between North and NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre. North reportedly said he was forced out because he alleged financial improprieties.

New York state has taken separate action against the finances of Carry Guard, the NRA’s branded insurance program.

Even the liberal American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief on behalf of the NRA last year that argued New York “indisputably targeted the NRA and similar groups based on their ‘gun promotion’ advocacy.”

The ACLU brief continued: “It is important to note that, however controversial it may be, ‘gun promotion’ is core political speech, entitled to the same constitutional protection as speech advocating for reproductive rights, marijuana legalization, or financial deregulation.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James pledged as a Democratic candidate for the office to “use the constitutional power as an attorney general to regulate charities, that includes the NRA, to investigate their legitimacy,” it noted.

The new probe could be entirely legitimate, but it faces questions because of New York’s past actions, said Amy Swearer, a senior legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

“State AGs certainly have a duty to investigate credible allegations of financial misconduct by nonprofits incorporated in their states,” Swearer told The Daily Signal. “At this point, it’s unclear what evidence exists that might threaten the NRA’s nonprofit status, but this type of investigation is not in and of itself unlawful.”

She continued:

Unfortunately, as the president alluded, New York has a long history of taking actions against the NRA to silence the organization’s pro-Second Amendment voice, and even the ACLU has come to the NRA’s defense over recent unconstitutional attempts by New York to stifle the organization financially.

Because of the state’s history of taking unconstitutional and bad-faith actions against the NRA, a dark cloud of suspicion will justifiably continue to hang over what might otherwise be a justified and good-faith investigation.

The NRA is clearly working through some internal problems, and the president is right to suggest that this distracts the organization from what it does best—working to strengthen the Second Amendment against those who would rather destroy its protections.

Trump tweeted on Monday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the attorney general “are illegally using the state’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization.”

The president said the NRA “must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting.”

An NRA spokesman did not respond to phone and email inquiries for this article.

The New York attorney general’s office responded to the president Monday.

“Attorney General Letitia James is focused on enforcing the rule of law. In any case we pursue, we will follow the facts wherever they may lead,” the office said in a public statement. “We wish the president would share our respect for the law.”

The New York attorney general’s office has subpoenaed banks for financial records related to the Trump Organization, the president’s business, and is suing the Trump Foundation charity.

“This is the same office that has gone after the Trump Foundation,” Mitchell said. “The attorney general obviously has a pattern and practice of going after an organization it does not like.”

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

Trump Just Ditched a UN Arms Treaty, and He Was Right to Do It

On Friday, at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump announced that he was un-signing the Arms Trade Treaty. As he put it, “The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty.”

He then pulled out a pen and, in front of the entire audience, signed a message asking the Senate to end its consideration of the treaty.

I have followed the Arms Trade Treaty closely since 2009, before the formal negotiations for it even began. The treaty purports to require nations to regulate the conventional arms trade. President Barack Obama signed it in 2013, but the U.S. never ratified it.

I have no doubt that the president has made the correct decision—and no doubt that he will be hammered for it by the progressive left, who loves to praise the treaty as much as it enjoys blaming the United States.

If you would like to read my argument against the treaty, it’s here. More importantly, the White House has released a short statement explaining the president’s decision. It is a model of clarity and accuracy. I doubt that the treaty’s friends will have any time for it, but that is their loss. I would love to see them try to rebut it.

A few points about the White House’s statement:

  1. It notes that the Arms Trade Treaty is “being opened for amendment in 2020 and there are potential proposals that the United States cannot support.” That is correct. The main such proposal was floated last summer at another U.N. gathering on conventional arms. It involves bringing ammunition fully into the Arms Trade Treaty, meaning that the U.S. would have to track or trace the billions of bullets that are sold internationally. The U.S. opposed this last summer because it is utterly impractical.
  2. The White House states that the treaty provides “a platform for those who would seek to constrain our ability to sell arms to our allies and partners.” That is true. Virtually every activist supporting the Arms Trade Treaty proclaims, at the top of their lungs, that it is about stopping U.S. arms sales.
  3. It points out that the treaty has “a track record of … being used by groups to try and overturn sovereign national decisions on arms exports.” That is quite right. The statement notes that the British government—which, idiotically, led the push for the Arms Trade Treaty—has gotten its just desserts by being repeatedly sued by activists in the name of the treaty.
  4. In its only mention of the Second Amendment, the White House states that, by un-signing, the president has ensured that the treaty “will not become a platform to threaten Americans’ Second Amendment rights.” The treaty’s supporters love to argue that it has nothing to do with curbing the Second Amendment. What they don’t mention is that many opponents of the treaty—myself included—urged them privately to make that clear in the treaty text. They refused to do so. The treaty is not a gun grab, but it is precisely what the White House says it is: a platform that gun control activists could potentially do great damage with.
  5. Finally, the White House notes that major arms exporters like Russia and China are not in the Arms Trade Treaty, and that “[t]he [treaty] cannot achieve its chief objective of addressing irresponsible arms transfers if these major arms exporters are not subject to it at all.” That is precisely what the Obama administration said as far back as 2010. It is also indisputably true.

I could not have written the White House’s statement any better. It is a slam dunk. I commend the White House for its decision, and for explaining it effectively and correctly.

This is not the end of the story of the Arms Trade Treaty. It still has 101 state parties around the world. The U.S. needs to follow up this decision to un-sign by pulling all U.S. funding from the treaty. And there are other bad treaties and institutions of the same type as the Arms Trade Treaty. We should quit them, too.

Most fundamentally, while it’s excellent to quit bad treaties, it’s even better not to let them get made in the first place. Far too often, the U.S. finds itself in the position of a hockey goaltender, who just has to stand there and stop shots. If you just let the other guy keep shooting, sooner or later you’re going to get scored on.

We need to take hold of the puck, skate down the ice, and put some pressure on the other side.

But first things first. The White House has made the right call on the Arms Trade Treaty, and it’s made the right call for the right reasons.

COMMENTARY BY

Ted Bromund

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., is the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research. Twitter: .


Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump’s Speech to the National Rifle Association

President Donald J. Trump addresses the crowd at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, an event of the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana.

VIDEO: Trump Jokes to NRA, I Didn’t Need a Gun to Stop Attempted ‘Coup’ Against My Presidency

President Donald Trump joked during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Friday that he doesn’t need a gun to stop the attempted “coup” against his presidency.

“Every day of my administration we are taking power out of Washington, D.C., and returning it to the American people — where it belongs. And you see it now better than ever with all of the resignations of bad apples,” the president said.

“They tried for a coup, didn’t work out so well,” he added, presumably referring to the investigation into alleged Russia collusion and the FBI’s attempts to spy on his campaign.

WATCH: 

As the crowd of NRA members cheered, Trump slipped in a joke: “And I didn’t need a gun for that one, did I?”

The audience responded with laughter.

“We’re looking at things you wouldn’t believe possible in our country: corruption at the highest level,” Trump continued. “A disgrace. Spying, surveillance, trying for an overthrow. And we caught ’em. We caught ’em.’

Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he plans to declassify scores of FBI documents related to the Russia probe, including FISA warrant applications against Carter Page and pages of notes of interviews with Bruce Ohr.

COLUMN BY

Amber Athey

White House Correspondent. Follow Amber on Twitter

RELATED ARTICLE: Barr: ‘I Think Spying Did Occur’ Against Trump Campaign

President Trump and Vice President Pence to speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

FAIRFAX, Va.— President Donald Trump will address NRA members at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the third consecutive year that President Trump will deliver the keynote address at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum. 

“Donald Trump is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment to occupy the Oval Office in our lifetimes. It is truly an honor to have President Trump address NRA members for the fifth consecutive year,” said Chris Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director. “President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments ensure that the Second Amendment will be respected for generations to come.  Our members are excited to hear him speak and thank him for his support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

WHAT:
NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

WHO:
President Donald Trump
Keynote Speaker

WHERE:
Indiana Convention Center—Lucas Oil Stadium
100 South Capitol Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46255

WHEN:
Friday, April 26, 2019
11:00 – 4:00 p.m.

MEDIA CREDENTIALS:
To obtain media credentials please click HERE.
TICKETS:
For attendees, purchase your tickets today at bit.ly/NRAILALeadershipForum!

NRAAM media credentials will not be accepted for the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum. Separate media credentials are required for NRA-ILA Leadership Forum. 

Why Even the Nonviolent Own Guns

Gun rights are pretty much common knowledge. A lot of Americans have a handgun in their possession and they’re ready to use it if needed. However, there are many people who are against guns, or they are just not violent individuals in particular. In times when mass shootings have become usual occurrences on the news, it only makes sense that more and more people would turn their backs on weapons.

Even so, there are many citizens who don’t give up on executing their right to wield a gun. People who are big opposers of violence are in the same boat. But why is that? Here we take a look at some reasons why even nonviolent people have a handgun in their household.

Guns Boost Confidence

The aftermath of mass shootings and the increase in criminal activities overall are causing people to feel unsafe wherever they go. Usually, people put themselves in a victim’s shoes and try to think about what they’d do if they were there. They begin to worry about their safety, as well as the safety of their loved ones to the point that they become paranoid and obsessive. While nobody should take their safety for granted, too much of these thoughts can be detrimental to one’s mental state.

People are so afraid because they don’t see any way to protect themselves in case they would be involved in such a dangerous situation. This is where guns come into play. Obviously, these are tools that can injure someone just at the pull of a trigger. So, they can make any holder feel significantly safer than they would without a gun.

Therefore, even if they are against violence and don’t want to use guns, they can simply buy one to feel better and safer in a world where danger can happen anytime.

Looking Cool

There are many types of people, and among those who just want to live normally, there are those who love attention and being praised. Even those who are against violence might feel this way at one point. That’s why they could end up spending money on a weapon.

Yes, there are people who love the idea of being cool and intimidating, so flaunting a handgun around is what they settle for. Just like some people love bragging about their money/cars/possessions, there are Americans who take pride in showing off their gun collection. Being against violence doesn’t stop them from having that feeling of empowerment.

Protection Can Be Increased through Guns

A thief coming into your home during the night is a scary scenario that you’ve probably only seen in movies so far. Still, it’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. In such a situation, the right thing to do is calling the police, but what would one do until the police arrive? The time that the authorities take to rush to the scene may be just enough for the perpetrator to finish their act and even end up injuring someone.

With a gun, though, someone who’s in danger can save some time until police arrive. The trigger doesn’t have to be pulled – just threatening the criminal might be enough to make him keep the distance. A woman holding a handgun in her small lady hands, for example, doesn’t automatically make her violent. It just means that she values her safety, as well as the family’s safety too much and wants to protect it.

That’s why the majority of gun owners declare that guns make them feel much safer, and it’s usually the main reason why Americans choose to own a weapon.

Hunting

Hunting is one interesting and unconventional hobby. Although hunting requires the use of a gun to kill an animal, that doesn’t mean the one handling the weapon is a violent person. Despite people’s thoughts, it is an activity that can be done in order to save someone’s farming livelihood. In other words, it might have to be done as a last resort, and the one pulling the trigger could be a very nice and considerate person.

At the same time, hunting can be done for food – either for the hunter himself or his family.

Shooting Can Improve the Mental State

Guns can be used for something else besides protection and hunting. Improving mental health is something that can be done through target shooting, so this might be another reason why a nonviolent person could wield a gun.

Basically, shooting takes a particular amount of concentration in order to help the shooter focus on hitting the target. The one holding the weapon has to be careful at what’s in front of him/her, as well as what’s around so that he/she doesn’t do any wrong move. As a result, the respective person will forget about stress and any other problems and will focus on precision and carefully holding the weapon.

In addition, shooting can help release a lot of stress that’s put on a human’s shoulders. Instead of taking their feelings out through less rational methods, they can simply engage in target shooting and take all of their negative emotions out.

Simply put, shooting can serve as a different form of meditation. It’s a way to cleanse your mind of all the negative thoughts and polish it. The benefit of meditation is that it makes the mind stronger and helps with concentration. In fact, studies have proven how meditation plays a huge role in the performance of sports professionals’. Therefore, meditation doesn’t have to be just about sitting and contemplating life – it can also be done through target shooting.

Final Thoughts

Some individuals might be against violence, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to protect themselves or their loved ones against potential dangers. Sometimes, guns are the only things that can save them from a threat, even if they don’t end up pulling the trigger. Being a gun owner might often be misunderstood, but personal safety and mental health are more important than other people’s opinions.