by Carrie Lightfoot - Guest Contributor
Election season is deeply upon us. Sadly with that comes quite a bit of dirty politics, annoying ads and an endless onslaught of phone calls! It is quite easy to “tune out” and just go MIA from heated conversations and the stress of hearing all of the doom and gloom or to be lulled into thinking that your vote doesn’t mean anything.
Responsibility comes naturally to us as gun owners, we are fully aware of our responsibility to “Bear our arms” legally and safely. We each have a deep rooted and almost religious understanding of what freedom means. Do we really understand how easily we can loose these freedoms? Are we also willing to take responsibility to protect them?
I spoke with and listened to Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association last night give a passionate talk about the very real and very present threats to this and other foundational freedoms we each are so blessed to have. He said something that struck me as very profound. He shared that we are only as secure as our ability to protect ourselves. Think about that for a moment. It is a simple statement yet profound as we look at it personally and nationally. It speaks to our ability to protect ourselves from a violent criminal but it is also profound as we look at it in terms of how our country is governed. Our ability to protect ourselves is one that is granted to us as US Citizens by our government.. Yes I believe that the human right of freedom is one that comes from God, but as US Citizens we also accept the fact that these laws and even our rights are decided and determined by our elected government. These, as Americans we agree to live by. Our “ability to protect ourselves” therefore comes from our government. The deepest beauty in our democracy is that we have a voice - WE elect the people that are in essence our government.
I am not a politician and won’t pretend to fully understand all of the nuances of the political game being played with our 2nd Amendment rights. But I do know that lurking just below the surface - pressing hard up against our rights as we currently know them is a very real threat. One that no matter how much we complain, argue and defiantly cry out “From my cold dead hands”, jeopardizes them. Our rights as citizens of this country are in the hands humans, of elected politicians. Electing and putting the right ones there is our job alone. Yours and mine, period. We must take the responsibility and we must also be held accountable for the outcome.
Did you know that our 2nd Amendment was almost lost? In 2010 the Supreme Court upheld this fundamental right to bear arms by just 1 vote! Are you aware that the next President of the United States will likely be appointing 1 to 3 new Justices to the Supreme Court during the next presidential term? The election of our next President is crucial.
We have all heard about the UN Arms Treaty and were relieved when it was dropped during this years discussions. The reality is - it will be back in full glory next year.! Our Senate however, must ratify such a treaty if it were passed for it to be honored here in the US. Who those Senators are whom will be making that decision is critical. You will be deciding that NOW.
There are many more examples of legislation both nationally and at the state level that are part of the cancerous efforts to eliminate our 2nd Amendment rights.
Should you be scared? Yes, you should. Not scared stiff and immobilized but scared into action.
What is the point of this article? It is NOT to begin an argument over any of these issues and not to tell you how or who to vote for. It is to challenge you to take responsibility for your government. Take the time to understand the significance of this election season and educate yourself on the politicians and the issues. Support those organizations that are working to protect your rights and of course to inspire you to VOTE . Talk with your family, friends and co-workers and “Rally The Troops” to do the same. It literally may be now or never.
Are you willing to take your chances? I’m not and pray you aren’t either.
Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com
This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.