The Right Opinion


By Oliver North · Jan. 18, 2013

CLARK COUNTY, Nev. – Official Washington has the collective attention span of a fruit fly. This condition is exacerbated by the Obama administration's proclivity for declaring selective events and issues to be crises that require immediate action. The problem is aggravated because the loyal opposition is in nearly total disarray, and few in the so-called mainstream media have any idea what they are talking about.

That's the summary assessment of many attending the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show here in Harry Reid's Nevada. Note to editors and broadcast producers: The SHOT Show isn't a gun show. Nobody here can buy or sell a single firearm. There are guns here – and tents, boats, clothing, boots, camping gear, all-terrain vehicles, SUVs, bows, arrows, fishing tackle and all manner of police and equipment – even high-tech wheelchairs for outdoor activities. The SHOT Show isn't open to the public – only to representatives of the industries above, professional outfitters, law enforcement officials and military suppliers and contractors.

My first SHOT Show, in 1992, was as the manufacturer of specialty armor and ballistic protective equipment for law enforcement and our military. This year, I came to represent the Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee of the National Rifle Association. Freedom Alliance sent our outreach coordinator to explore additional outdoor activities to help America's military heroes recover from the wounds of war.

Trade shows are really nothing more than an opportunity for members of an affinity group to meet and exchange ideas on new products and services, challenges facing their industry, and what works and what doesn't to stay in business. There are more than 90,000 trade and professional associations in the U.S., and nearly all of them have gatherings with ample opportunities for fruitful conversations among like-minded people seeking solutions to common challenges. The nearly 36,000 people attending this year's SHOT Show are no different.

What was different this year was what was happening in Washington and, to a lesser extent, in Albany, N.Y., where Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new “gun control” legislation into law Jan. 15. Nearly everyone I spoke with understood that New York's Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act and the 23 directives issued the following day by the president were going to affect their business. The common refrain was: “How is (insert new measure here) going to stop bad people from doing bad things?” These are not cynical questions. They are serious inquiries from serious people who see their businesses – and the employment of hundreds of thousands of our countrymen – jeopardized by hasty, ill-conceived regulations that will not achieve the goal of a safer society.

That's not to say there is universal opposition to what the White House announced Jan. 16. In two days here at the SHOT Show, I've had hundreds of conversations with participants. A few observations:

There is widespread support for the NRA's proposal to put police officers in schools. All here endorse the idea of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals who pose a danger to others.

The ideas of pursuing and prosecuting “straw purchasers” of firearms and giving longer sentences to those convicted of violent crimes have wide appeal. There were, of course, some who suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder might have to prosecute himself for the straw purchases he authorized in his ill-conceived “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scheme.

The NY SAFE Act requires law-abiding citizens to pass a background check before being able to purchase ammunition of any kind. One retailer points out: “There is no mechanism for making such a check – no form we can fill out, no way of complying. My lawyers have told us to stop filling catalog and Internet orders from New York ZIP codes until this is clarified. The people who drafted this law spent more time concocting a cute acronym than thinking about how this could put me out of business. Maybe that's their real objective.”

At 3-Gun Nation's “Rumble on the Range” – where competitors are scored on speed and accuracy in firing a shotgun, a handgun and a rifle – one of the competitors, a U.S. Marine, observed: “This sport cannot happen with small-capacity magazines. Too bad Cuomo and Reid aren't here to explain why this is a bad thing.” Citizens of the Empire State must now go elsewhere to practice and participate in three-gun competitions.

And finally, there were numerous complaints that “nobody in politics or the media knows what an 'assault weapon' really is.” Perhaps. But there is an organization that does: the National Rifle Association. If the numbers are right, more than 100 million Americans own firearms. Yet only 4.5 million of us are members of the NRA. This would be a good time for law-abiding gun owners to join the organization that will fight for the right to keep them.


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JtC in TX said:

I hesitant joining the NRA for 3 reasons:
1) The politicians in DC listen to no one and do not care what people say or think -thus, where is the power of the NRA?
2) I'm still not convinced the NRA will not fold/compromise like so many other "conservative" institutions/people.
3) Doesn't the membership list of the NRA provide a useful tool to a tyrannical government?

I guess I need to be convinced to join because right now my own personal arguments against it are pretty good in my mind . . .

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:41 AM

sfj in Alabama replied:

The government has many - many "useful tools" to destroy you if they want. I discovered this while working for the IRS. You would be surprised waht they know about you.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM

JtC in TX replied:

Good point sfj.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Intrepid in Los Angeles replied:

Please then tell us how to disappear from their radar, what they know about us, how to defeat them, and tell the American people the truth that they are not required to file tax returns and that it is all a big scam beginning at the hospital when you're born and receive a certificate of birth, and explain what the SS# really is. What good to the freedom fighters of this Republic does your comment do otherwise?

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Tony in Texas replied:

JTC, at least they are standing up with a fight. NRA may be the strongest voice we have.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:09 AM

JtC in TX replied:

They do seem to be, Tony. Hopefully they will get even tougher and louder for the 2nd A.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

It is much easier for a large organization to fight government tyranny than an individual. Consider the NRA our Militia, and join as is your second amendment right.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:14 AM

JtC in TX replied:

I didn't think of it that way, wjm. BUT last night after listening to an awesome bible lesson on sort of this subject from Gene Cunningham basictraingdotorg, I WAS wondering how (when necessary) the Militia would be organized and by whom. You may have something there.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

tdrag in South Carolina replied:

JtC, I understand your reservations about the NRA. I am a Life member and am tired of the constant barrage of mail for contests and contributions. Having said that please keep in mind that no organization (or man) is perfect. We Conservatives picked and fussed over Mitt Romney so much that we got another dose of Marxism from this Affirmative Action President. Three million Conservatives stayed home because Romney didn't fit their perception of the "perfect" candidate and because they did, America may not survive. So join the NRA today. If there were 20,000,000 members in the NRA the Marxists would not be attempting to destroy the Second Amendment or the rest of the Constitution.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

JtC in TX replied:

Well, tdrag, I have to tell you I write-in Alan Keyes for president every election -but that's easy for me to do knowing the Republican candidate will win Texas (at least for now). Having said that, I see your point about the possibility of an even larger number of members could make a difference. I believe y'all have just about convinced me to join. The membership card that came with my last weapon purchase still sits on the counter . . .

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:59 PM

tdrag in South Carolina replied:

Go ahead and join and BTW, there is a phone number you can call (I believe it is in the American Rifleman small print) and tell them you don't want to receive the junk mail. We all need to stay focused on the goal; stopping the gun grabbers and deposing the Ersatz President.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Tapdaddy in Indiana replied:

JtC, 2) I'm still not convinced the NRA will not fold/compromise like so many other "conservative" institutions/people, such as yourself. What would convince you to take a stand against further encroachments? Is the abolishment of the 2nd Amendment enough to make you take a stand?
Come stand with us.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:21 PM

JtC in TX replied:

I do and will stand, brother -rather I have a membership number or not. But I get your meaning about supporting orgs that do so . . .

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 3:02 PM

L.L. Smith in Savannah, Tn. replied:

Where would we be without the N.R.A.? Nothing is perfect except Christ. Marriage, church and all civic organizations are imperfect. If we had 25 million members who vote, the politicians would never again bring up gun control They count vote by vote one at a time. I urge all to join and get active. Join. Get your family members signed up. Send E-mails every chance you get to all your friends. We can insist on changes that need to be made to the association. The time for sitting and waiting is over. We are at the crossroads of gun ownership and freedom. The Liberals in government, in the media, in the entertainment world and much of big business are against us but if we lose it will be because we refuse to fight. We can. We MUST win. The future of freedom is at stake.To do nothing because we can't do everything is all that is required. Our enemies are organized and active. It would be a shame to lose when victory is so close at hand. We lost the last election because several million refused to vote for Romney because of some smaller reason. Now look at what we have to contend with. I suppose many who stayed home now wish they had voted but like in this life and the life to come we must act now or lose all.
I am seventy nine years old so my time here is limited but I intend to fight tyranny until I go home to be with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I don't want to go down as a quitter. God Bless.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:47 PM

JtC in TX replied:

God bless you, LL.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Doktor Riktor Von Zhades in Western KY said:

"The people who drafted this law spent more time concocting a cute acronym than thinking about how this could put me out of business. Maybe that's their real objective."

Without a doubt that is their said goals. They KNOW they cannot control the criminal element, so their reasoning is to stop the production of ammo, and weapons altogether, (with the exception of course to the one or two that will cozy up to the outlaw regime; think Atlas Shrugged.) Thereby in theory get rid of firearms for the citizen. Once again, they fail to take them out of the hands of criminals.....

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

rab in jo,mo said:

Sturmgewehr: Literally "attack rifle". Term coined by none other than Adolph Hitler to describe the MP43 rifle when it was demonstrated to him during the latter years of WWII. The MP43 was renamed StG44 as a result. Key characteristics are selective-fire capability (semi- & full-auto) and firing an intermediate- vs. full-power round (7.93x33 vs. 7.92x57). Effective range limited to ~400m due to lower-power round.

I tend to reject anything Hitler came up with and prefer the term "defensive rifle". An AR-15 does not fall into the SturmGewehr category, as it lacks selective-fire capability - making it no different from a Remington 7600 in function, and significantly less powerful.

Why do we need additional firearm restrictions when homicide per 100,000 people is at a 50year low? That's the question that should be asked.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Mary in Plaistow NH said:

Waiting for a 911 response is good enough for commoners but POTUS signed to extend lifetime Secret Service Protection to himself & family 1/10/13, while actively campaigning to disarm/criminalize lawful American citizens? A Nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves....

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Jim Isaacs in St Petersburg, FL replied:

" A Nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves...." Well put Mary.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:13 PM

MIResident in Michigan said:

I rejoined the NRA recently as well as purchasing a AR15 back in October, next up are pistol(s) and home defense 12 gauge.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Rod in USA replied:

Me too; Chose the 5 year option for NRA membership.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Sammy in Kansas said:

JtC in TX, The NRA has been around a long long time and has the power of 4.5 million members. That my friend is a powerful lobby in Congress. Think what 15 or 20 million members voices could do in Congress. Also, the Friends of the NRA (NRA's educational branch) introduce thousands of kids and women to the shooting sports every year. Believe me, it's money well spent.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:18 PM

JtC in TX replied:

I learnded about the Friends of the NRA when I joined the local gun club. A very good endeavor.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Merry in Cave Creek, AZ replied:

jtc--- Check out the National Association for Gun Rights (Dudley Brown) Dudley sends quite regular news/bulletins on gun issues and holds politicians feet to the fire with his "report card" that he asks them to complete. There are no dues. He also has no problem criticizing the NRA when they go soft in the head like when they contributed to Dizzy Reid's last campaign.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM

JtC in TX replied:

Thanks, Merry. I'll check it out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

JLS06 in Houston, TX said:

I firmly believe the NRA is a great organization to rally around at this point to aid in securing and insuring our Second Amendment rights. Folks, we are going to have to trust somebody, and frankly, when it comes to a choice of who will remain pro Second Amendment, I'll take the NRA every time over our left wing Administration.

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Chuck in North Georgia Mountains said:

My problem with the NRA is simple. They supported gun control legislation in the 30s, the 60s, and the 80s. This makes it hard for me to believe they won't sell us out again.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 12:29 AM

ReO in Elizabethton, Tennessee said:

The NRA contributed to Harry Reid's campaign? I won't be renewing my membership.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:07 AM

tdrag in South Carolina replied:

Believe it or not, Harry Reid has been one of the staunchest 2nd. Amendment allies in the Senate. Whether he really believes it, or it is political in nature is known only to him. Reid was very instrumental in promoting a major shooting facility in Nevada. One thing I did not know about him is that he was a police officer long ago. Just something to consider.

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Mike in goshen Ny said:

When you endeavor to amend, abbridge, or limit a constitutional freedom, you set a precident for limiting all freedoms. Where does it stop? The argument ,that the writers of the constitution could not have forseen todays weapons, doesn't hold water, because ,they also couldn't have forseen, a crucifix immersed in a glass of urine, as ,art, and protected ,under freedom of speech.. Their original intent aside, you cannot amend one freedom, without amending them all .

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Cal in in SoCal said:

Another outstanding coumn, Colonel. Some fresh air in a smog-clogged
country. The Libs have succeeded in splitting the country - that's a tactic
that works - and they will continue to do so as long as the sheep let him. Keep up the good work, Colonel. Perhaps others will soon catch on and wake up and get our country back on track.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA said:

Along with the NRA is anyone also a member of

Gun Owners of America

2nd Amendment Foundation

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

All three of these organizations have modest dues. I was thinking of joining each but would like some feedback first.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:10 PM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia replied:

I am a memeber of teh NRA, and also amjoining the 3 other groups you mention. Larry Pratt has been a staucnh supporter of gun rights and the JPFO is strong supporter of firearms ownership as the neccessary deterent to Registration/confication and geneocide.

The JPFO, along with Dr. Ignacious Piazza of FrontSight Firearms Trainings Institute ( I encourage membership here as well ) produced the film
"Innocents Betrayed", which chronicles the abuse of humanity which always follows gun registration. Here is a link:

Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 6:23 PM

tdrag in South Carolina replied:

Doc, since you are a Georgia resident, you should take a look at We are a pretty large group (almost 7,000 members). GCO has been active for about 5 years and has made a lot of positive 2A changes in Georgia law. Check it out!

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

L.L. Smith in Savannah, Tn. said:

I remembered this after I closed my comment. "Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves. " Churchill, Winston

Source: WINSTON CHURCHILL, The Gathering Storm , p. 348 .On March 31, 1939, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had informed the House of Commons that Britain would support Poland against any action threatening its independence. This marked the end of submission to Germany. Churchill thought the decision should have been made sooner when it would have been easier to stop Germany. ·

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

@ Kevin in AR: I'm a member of Gunowners of America. This organization is currently led by Larry Pratt, who you may have seen on TV recently defending our Second Amendment rights. GOA sends members regular updates on any attacks on gun rights. They also include pre-written letters you can sign and send to your representatives. And unlike the NRA, to my knowledge, they have never, as Chuck Allison above notes about the NRA, agreed to any kind of anti-gun legislation.

Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Robert Louis in Alanson Michigan said:

Tea Parties Make For Nice Gatherings.........However
Revolts Can Be Nasty.

I can get 20 folks in one place & listen to them bitch about this and that; look what the goverment is doing now.

So Ill ask ? Well lets all go down to city hall & exercise our right to assemble.

I get 20 different answers as to why they can't make it.

American have become lazy and self- absorbed to the point they either fear the goverment or just dont give a crap.

By the way; out of the 20, ONLY eight have voter registration cards...Go Figure.

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM