NR Webathon

Help Us Safeguard the Second Amendment

A man inspects a handgun at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., April 28, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
You’re not paranoid: Democrats do want to take your guns away.

There are many great reasons to contribute to the National Review webathon, but I believe that none is more important than the publication’s steadfast defense of the Second Amendment.

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, millions of Americans, feeling helpless and besieged by forces outside their control, began purchasing firearms to protect their families, property, and community. Once the lawlessness and fanaticism of the Antifa protests began spreading across the country, the number of gun owners continued to climb. When Democrats began embracing the notion of “defunding the police,” even more citizens saw gun ownership as a necessity of contemporary life.

All of this has added up to the largest surge in gun ownership in American history. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, gun sales have nearly doubled in the first six months of 2020 compared with sales a year ago. If gun manufacturers could keep up with demand, there would probably be an even bigger buying spree.

The spike in gun ownership has occurred within diverse populations, creating millions of first-time gun owners, many of them women and minorities. All of which means that making the philosophical, legal, and historical case for the Second Amendment — a right that undergirds all our other liberties — has never been more important.

No one does it as well as National Review. And we’re busy. Attacks on the Second Amendment have been coming from all sides. As Mairead McArdle recently reported, it is likely that conservative justices declined to take up an important Second Amendment case after John Roberts signaled he would side with the left-wing faction of the court. Even before the pandemic broke out, David B. Kopel, one of the nation’s leading intellectuals on gun issues, warned that District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right, was in a precarious legal situation, as courts abdicate their responsibility to uphold the rights of gun owners around the country.

As the pandemic spread, and states began using COVID-19 as a pretext to shutter gun shops, attorney Howard Slugh made the case that such intrusions were unconstitutional, especially given that Americans had an even greater need to protect themselves in the middle of a national emergency.

The gun historian and lawyer Stephen P. Halbrook warned that history has proven that tyrannical government diktats, like the ones being signed by governors and mayors in many municipalities, might long outlast the crisis that inspired them.

Second Amendment champion and editor of NRO, Charles C. W. Cooke, argued that “only the cops need guns” and “cops are racist and will kill you” are irreconcilable positions. The right to defend your life and property, whether you are abandoned by the authorities or not, should be nonnegotiable.

One of most vital ways that National Review fights against gun restrictionists is by exposing the torrent of misleading coverage from the corporate media. As I recently noted in a piece about Politico’s coverage of background checks, there is no issue in political life that is covered as poorly and dishonestly as guns, with the possible exception of religion. Reporters might let the mayor of Chicago deflect from her incompetence by blaming law-abiding gun owners. We don’t.

If we don’t debunk the New York Times’ 1619 Project fabulists, who now claim that the Second Amendment was adopted only so that Southerners could use guns to subdue slaves, who will?

With an election coming, it’s also crucial to point out the increasingly radical position that Democrats have staked out on the guns issue. At National Review, we understand that Joe Biden’s often hysterical and inaccurate rhetoric on firearms is merely a warning sign for the type of harmful policies he and his party would support if Biden were to become president.

Since National Review has no sugar daddy, no giant corporate sponsors, we rely on your generosity to keep doing our work. Please support us here, knowing you have our deep appreciation.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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