November 1st, 2002: In their monthly newsletter mailed to several hundred thousand American homes Wednesday, the NRA cautioned its members to be “ever more vigilant” in the wake of recent events around the world. Much as it did last October, the organization warned gun-owners to beware of “foes of the second Amendment who would use recent tragedy to further their own cause.”
“Once again, the liberal media is attempting to brainwash the American public into thinking that guns are a threat to their way of life,” the two-page editorial begins. Unfair coverage of the sniper who terrorized the greater Washington DC area in the past weeks as well as the reporting of numerous other shootings is cited as evidence. “Sportsmen everywhere must realize that each time the liberal media reports these events, it is an attack on your right to hunt game, which the Constitution guarantees you. Gun-haters, who’ve never been ashaimed to use tragedy to further their own leftist goals,” the piece warns, “will pounce on recent headlines as well.”
The NRA, after lobbying for more lenient “conceal and carry” laws in the months after September 11th, saying “Americans must arm themsevles to protect themselves”, had remained quiet on the sniper story for the first few weeks of the attacks that plagued parts of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. But the recent newsletter makes repeated reference to the shooter, who killed ten people and wounded three more before apparently being aprehended earlier this week.
Bombings in Norway, Bali, and Malaysia, as well as the hostage-taking by terrorists in a crowded Moscow theater were also listed as threats to gun owners’ rights. “Those who would retract the Second Amendment will undoubtedly point to the bombing attacks as justification for taking away our God-given right to use explosives to protect and feed our families,” the article reads. It goes on, in page two, to say “Liberals like to argue that the Constitution was written at a time when weapons were vastly different than they are today, so the Amendment shouldn’t protect more modern weapons, but that is clearly not the case. Thomas Jefferson, who once said ‘I hold that a little revolution now and then is a good thing’ meant for the common citizen to have access to military weapons. That is why the recent developments in Moscow are particularly dangerous for weapons enthusiasts, sportsmen, and God-fearing Americans alike. Liberals in the government, and their cronies in the media, have long sought to limit public access to poisonous gas like that used by Russian forces to peacefully resolve the hostage standoff. Now, harping on the fact that 115 innocent people lost their lives (and ignoring the fact that 900 were saved), those same forces will surely seek to introduce “anti-gas” bills in Congress and local legislatures across the country.”
The newsletter editorial closed with a final call to arms for gun owners. “Remember: God, guns, and guts are what made American great. An attack on any of these is an attack on America. Write your Congressman and let him know, you are a gun-owner who supports your fellow citizens right to own AK-47s, C4 explosives, and Serin gas for personal protection. And get out and vote in November!”