By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli
New York, NY -(Ammoland.com)- Nothing speaks more clearly and cogently of the duplicity and hypocrisy existent in Obama’s efforts to undermine the right of the people to keep and bear arms than the personal attacks he levels against NRA.
The singular aim of NRA is nothing less than defense of the inalienable right to keep and bear arms – clearly and cogently articulated and codified in the Bill of Rights, as the second of ten critical, enumerated rights.
We all know that the President and the various antigun interest groups habitually refer to NRA, disparagingly, as the “Gun Lobby.” They do this to suggest that NRA represents a small, select interest group, namely, gun manufacturers, whose singular objective is to make money from the sale of firearms. If true, NRA would be a “trade” group. Now, trade groups, on behalf of their members, do lobby Congress. And, there is nothing wrong with that. But, NRA is not a trade group.
Although firearms’ manufacturers – which, by the way have their own trade groups – may benefit tangentially from the efforts of NRA to secure the sacred right of people to keep and bear arms, NRA does not represent gun manufacturers, and NRA is not an organization that comprises gun manufacturers. To the contrary, NRA is composed of American citizens – millions of Americans. Americans do not become members of NRA because they are interested in making money off NRA’s efforts. Americans become members of NRA because they know the United States will not long stand as a free republic if the right of each American to keep and bear firearms is curtailed. NRA is one organization that embodies and engenders the spirit of America as a free republic.
The salient purpose of the NRA is to protect and preserve, for Americans the sanctity of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It works on behalf of its members, certainly, but, in fact, it works on behalf of all Americans who cherish their Bill of Rights.
NRA does lobby on behalf of its members, just as the antigun interest groups lobby on behalf of their members, although the antigun groups’ members amount to a miniscule fraction of Americans. Moreover, unlike the antigun groups that are essentially nothing more than a lobbying vehicle for those individuals and cabals both here and abroad who wish to erode the Bill of Rights and to destroy the Second Amendment, NRA is much more than a lobby group.
The Arbalest Quarrel has written extensively on the many services NRA provides for average Americans, law enforcement, and, traditionally, for the U.S. military. Readers are invited to see our article on NRA: http://arbalestquarrel.com/nra-freedom-join-it/.
Attacking the NRA
President Obama and Hillary Clinton and the antigun groups attack the lobbying efforts of NRA. But, there is nothing wrong in the act of lobbying, per se. Lobbying is an activity protected under the First Amendment. And, it would hardly play well to the American public for either the President or for antigun interest groups to attack the NRA on the ground that its lobbying efforts are wrongly directed to defending and preserving one of America’s fundamental rights, when the lobbying efforts of the antigun groups are directed to attaining an opposite end – the tearing down of a sacred right that the founders of a free republic gave to us. So, the propaganda machines of the mainstream media, at the behest of the President and at the behest of the antigun groups argue, falsely, that NRA represents and conducts lobbying activities on behalf of gun manufacturers whose interests – selling firearms – plays well to the ignorant among America’s populace who are conditioned, through the power of the mainstream media, to equate guns solely with violence – that is to say – with nothing good, even as that violence, as everyone knows, is produced by a notably few – namely, criminals, and lunatics and, of late, by radical and radicalized Islamic jihadists.
But, it is one thing for antigun groups to attack the NRA, as an organization whose goal it is to preserve the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, and to attack, too, those Americans who choose to exercise that right. It is quite another for the President to do so.
Why is that?
For this reason: when the President of the United States attacks NRA and, by extension, attacks millions of Americans who simply wish to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms, the President is, himself, operating as a lobbyist for a specific interest group, at the detriment of the interests of another group. In this instance we see the President, Barack Obama, representing groups whose interests – the destruction of the Second Amendment and the erosion of the other nine Amendments – are at odds with the well-being of a free republic and with the safeguarding of the Bill of Rights.
The duplicity and hypocrisy of the President of the United States here are self-evident. President Obama and, before him, President Clinton, have used the power and influence of the Office of the President to condemn the lobbying efforts of the NRA and, in so, doing, they have played favorites: furthering the dubious interests of those interest groups whose avowed goal is the dismantling of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the undermining of our Bill of Rights.
In contradistinction to the underhanded, secretive use of the Office of the Presidency by the antigun interest groups to further their own nefarious, insidious objectives, the NRA’s lobbying efforts have been subject to full disclosure, have been directed to the most honorable of goals – preservation of Americans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms set forth with specificity in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – and have been directed to securing appropriate legislation through Congress, not through the Office of the President.
The right of a person or interest group to lobby Congress to further that group’s honorable objectives, if those objectives are properly disclosed, is legitimate, fully protected political speech, under the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, the antigun groups, apart from lobbying Congress to further their own ends – upending the Second Amendment through the Legislative process – have, inappropriately, sought intervention by the Chief Executive, as well.
While an interest group is not prohibited from seeking favor of the Chief Executive, such favorable access to the President of the United States by one group, to the detriment of others, is fraught with danger, especially when this behind-the-scenes maneuvering and currying of favor of the President furthers goals that are diametrically opposed to the well-being of a free republic and to the safeguarding of the Bill of Rights upon which a free republic depends for its survival.
One cannot but wonder whether Obama’s recent impermissible promulgation of antigun legislation, through the device of executive directives, was not inspired by, or, more to the point, directed by antigun interest groups. Did not these antigun interest groups – angered by the failure of Congress to extend the parameters of the national instant criminal background check system of the “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994” – exert pressure on the President – convincing Obama, who was amenable to their goals anyway, to use the power of his Office to further the antigun agenda precisely because Congress wouldn’t? Does not this circumvention of Congress by the antigun interest groups constitute an illegitimate exertion of influence on the Executive, contrary to and irrespective of the will of the American people? Do not the actions of Obama amount to a compounding of fault, having allowed his Office to be a conduit for illegal law-making?
Consider, one antigun group, “the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence” has, for decades, attempted to use the power of the Executive to further its own nefarious goals.
The Brady Campaign, an antigun lobbying group, had appealed directly to President Carter, in the 1970s, to harass gun owners; and Carter did just that. The Brady Campaign had little success with the Republican Presidents, Reagan and H.W. Bush. But, then, Bill Clinton entered the picture. The Brady Campaign sent a confidential memorandum to the White House, setting out exactly what this antigun interest lobbying group wanted from and expected to obtain from Clinton, including, inter alia, licensing requirements and registration for handgun owners, bans on firearms, defined as ‘assault weapons,’ waiting periods, and a required “arsenal license” for anyone who owned 20 firearms or more.
The Brady Campaign sought to use the power of the Executive Branch to put pressure on the Legislative Branch to further the interest of a small, virulently antigun segment of the population. Obviously, the Brady Campaign and other antigun groups have been working behind-the-scenes in recent times, as well, to push Obama to accede to their desires. Since Obama harbors anti-Second Amendment, antigun sentiments, anyway, he has been all-to-willing to use the power and influence of his Office to push the agenda of these groups – especially now, as he, in his final year of Office, is no longer afraid of offending Congress.
If Hillary Clinton becomes her Party’s nominee and, thereafter, gains the Presidency, her Administration will be essentially an extension of her husband’s, and the Brady Campaign and other antigun lobbying groups will continue to exert inappropriate, illegitimate, and, in fact, illegal influence over Hillary Clinton, just as they had exerted such influence over her husband and over Obama. Clinton, as we know, will be more than amenable to this influence. She will be enthusiastic about using the Office of the Presidency to further the antigun agenda, even as this means bypassing Congress, and notwithstanding that Congress has sole authority to enact the laws of the Land, consistent with its powers under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. If Hillary Clinton gains the Office of President of the United States, Americans will see further erosion of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. They will see the continued erosion, too, of the Separation of Powers Doctrine as the Executive Branch amasses ever more power unto itself.
You can help prevent Hillary Clinton’s ascendancy to the highest Office of the Land. If you are an NRA member, that is good. If you are a “Life Member” of the NRA, that is even better. America’s interests in preserving the Second Amendment and in preserving, as well, the other Nine Amendments of our Bill of Rights, are enhanced, and the influence exerted by the anti-American, antigun interest groups are, contrariwise, diminished, as NRA accrues more members.
We ask that you encourage your family and friends to become members of NRA. And, please do not forget to vote!
About The Arbalest Quarrel:
Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.
For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.