If you’ve spent any time reading newspapers, listening to the radio, or scanning the Interwebs lately, it’s apparent that American gun owners have a significant challenge ahead to defend the Constitutionally-enshrined fundamental (read: inalienable) right that secures all of the others. That’s doubly true for residents of states like gun-ban happy California and Illinois, places where ‘logic’ means doing more of what provably doesn’t work.
Our answer to these calls for a coordinated assault on our individual liberty, is, of course, the truth. And old-fashioned hard work – lots of it. Those are the underpinnings of FPC, and I’m proud to say that our team, both staffers and volunteers, are committed to bringing truth and hard work to the table in abundance over the coming months and years. We’ve set out on a course to unite like-minded organizations and people across the United States for one singular purpose: defend our – your – Second Amendment rights.
The battle for judicial acknowledgement of our right to keep and bear arms was, in large part, won in 2008 when attorney Alan Gura triumphed over the District of Columbia in the landmark decision of D.C. v. Heller. (We can quite literally thank Alan and co-counsel Robert Levy and Clark Neily – three amazing and dedicated men – for securing our right to keep and bear arms and doing what was right in spite of fierce opposition… and not just from those who oppose individual liberty.) The path forward from there was predictable: the Supreme Court followed its Heller decision with a reaffirmation of the fundamental nature of our Second Amendment rights in McDonald v. Chicago (decided in 2010) and applied the Second Amendment to the states and local governments. Chicago had argued that (to paraphrase), ‘fine, so Heller said there’s this Second Amendment thing and maybe the Constitution does mean what it says, but that only binds the federal government – not us. We need the ability to really, really ban guns because our current outright gun ban… erm, we want to be able to experiment with gun bans… erm, well, just treat us differently, ok?
Not so fast, said the Supreme Court. Fundamental rights are fundamental!
Since then, a number of significant Second Amendment victories have been seen, such as the two huge U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal wins in – where else? – Illinois. First Ezell v. Chicago [plus a string of wins in places like North Carolina and Maryland], and most recently Moore v. Madigan… the momentum for the recognition of what we’ve all been saying for years (and years) is building. We see public opinion continue to trend strongly not just in favor of gun ownership, but against gun control policies such as those proposed by extremist gun control groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control, Inc. and Million Mom March).
Gun rights has become more fun, positive, inclusive, and diverse; we’ve outgrown the outdated stereotype of wood-stocked duck and deer guns, smokey back rooms, and middle-aged white males. America is not just responding positively to, but embracing our modern-day culture – and the evidence is everywhere: gun ownership and purchases are off the charts, record numbers of people have handgun carry permits and carry for self-defense outside their home, people of all genders, races, ages, and walks of life are becoming invested in awesome shooting sports like IDPA and USPSA, the History Channel’s firearms-based television programTop Shot has massive viewership (former Googler and California native Chris Cheng won Top Shot season 4), the AR-15 platform rifle – truly the Modern Musket - is the most popular long gun in America, compact carry handguns are outselling supply, and… the Flash Bang holster.
The only people not getting the message that gun rights are civil rights and here to stay are some opportunistic, ideologue politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and blooper-reels like Michael Moore and Piers Morgan.
Yes, we have a lot of work ahead of us. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s certainly going to take every single gun owner in America to come together, set aside whatever other differences we have, and join together as civil rights advocates for this, our Second Amendment. We are going to lose some battles along the way. But we will win in the end, because we must. And Americans have always risen to meet their challengers. So we shall again, now.
Be informed. Be resilient. Be confident. Be considerate. Be who we are.
I love our new culture, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it with you.
P.S. Below are a couple of recent YouTube videos by two people I have tremendous respect and appreciation for. There are many others out there, and I certainly don't mean to look past legends like Hickok45 (yes, I am a Glock guy, too). Good people, our people, are putting themselves out there and shaping America for the better; I hope their courage would inspire you to do the same and volunteer for our cause in some way. Hope you enjoy the vids as much as I do!
-- Brandon Combs is the Second Amendment Foundation's Director of Programs and Outreach, CCRKBA's Director of Advocacy and Coalitions, Executive Director and Secretary of the Calguns Foundation (CGF), President of Cal-FFL, a board member of the NRA state affiliate California Rifle and Pistol Association, and a proud gun owner. He also thinks titles should be shorter than a Tweet. When not volunteering for gun rights and individual liberty causes, he enjoys spending time with his Akita, Holly, and traveling.