Adriana Sauceda was touching up her makeup before work when she glanced in her car's side-view mirror and caught a man staring at her. As the man approached, the terrified Sauceda scrambled to lock the doors and raise the windows. But it was too late. Police say the man opened the driver's side door and pointed a gun at Sauceda, shouting, "Get the [expletive] out!" Instead, Sauceda . punched him in the face and drew her gun from the glove box. The would-be carjacker screamed and fled to a get-away car. Sauceda had purchased a firearm and obtained a concealed-carry permit after she was robbed previously. (St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, 05/15/09)
Ten college students were enjoying a birthday party at an off-campus apartment when two armed men burst through the door. Police say the intruders separated the men from the women and demanded their cell phones and money. That's when one of the male students took action, drawing his gun from a backpack and shooting at the suspect guarding the men. That suspect fled the apartment. The student then hurried to the women, where he found the second suspect about to commit a rape. He yelled for the girls to get down and fired several shots at the suspect, who jumped out the window and died nearby. "Apparently, [the dead suspect's] intent was to rape and murder us all," said student Charles Bailey, "I think all of us are really cognizant of the fact that we could have all been killed." (WSB-TV, Atlanta, GA, 05/04/09)
Four accused shoplifters were fleeing a grocery store when a shopper got in their way. Police say they'd stolen groceries worth less than $50, but were apparently willing to kill for it. The driver pointed the thieves' truck directly at the shopper and floored the gas pedal. Fortunately the shopper, who has a concealed carry permit, drew a handgun, shot out the truck's front tire and leapt from its oncoming path. Another shopper called 9-1-1 to report an undercover officer shooting at someone who tried to run him down. "The "officer" was determined to be the armed shopper, who proceeded to follow the vehicle until the flat tire disabled it. Thanks to his help all four men were arrested. (Azle News, Azle, TX, 05/07/09)
A neighborhood in Detroit's east side has seen a rash of break-ins and, according to a 38-year-old professional who lives there, the residents have decided to do something about it. "I can bet you everyone on this block has a [firearm], and they're going to defend themselves," she said. The woman's assertion comes after the neighborhood's most recent break-in, in which police say a resident caught the burglar in the act. As the suspect climbed through the window, the resident fired two shots. The suspect collapsed outside and died. The incident happened across the street from the 38-year-old's home. "[It's] not good that he's dead, but good that it sends a message," she said. (Detroit Free Press, Detroit, MI,05/05/09)
It was the middle of the night, but a homeowner was awake in his living room after working third shift. And so he was ready, rather than sleeping, when he heard a man force his way into the home. Police say the homeowner investigated a strange noise and found the suspect standing by the front door. He aimed his .22-cal. revolver at the intruder and yelled at him to leave. The intruder charged the homeowner, forcing him to shoot. At the shot's report, the intruder fled the home. Police alerted area hospitals to be on the lookout for a man seeking treatment for a gunshot wound. (The Lima News, Lima, OH, 05/09/09)
Police say Bryan Derocher saw two suspicious men prowling around his property, so he called his brother, Chris, who lives on the property in a separate dwelling. Chris hurried home to find his garage window damaged and motion-sensor light on. Bryan, armed with a handgun, joined Chris to investigate. When they opened the garage door, they discovered the two prowlers inside. One man aimed what appeared to be a gun (later identified as a BB gun) at the Derochers. Bryan fired two shots, killing the gunman. The other prowler threw his hands into the air and waited for police. His dead accomplice had previous arrests for armed robbery, burglary, illegal carrying of a firearm and other serious charges. Police were investigating about 15 recent burglaries-an unusual number for the area-and suspect the prowlers' involvement. (Daily Comet, Thibodaux, LA, 05/07/09)
Self Defense Trumps The Elites' Lies
"Concealed weapon applicants on the rise" - Daily News (Bowling Green, Ky.)
"Demand spikes for concealed carry" - Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch
"Conceal carry permits could set record" - St. Louis (Mo.) Post Dispatch
Those recent headlines, mirrored in scores of news outlets across the nation, recognize an undeniable truth: Americans by the tens of millions are taking responsibility for their own safety, their families and their communities by exercising the individual right to self defense under the Second Amendment.
The dramatic increase in concealed carry, as well as media coverage of the unprecedented purchases of firearms and ammunition, provides a true measure of the political will of the American people. And they stand with the NRA.
It is clear that these ordinary Americans who opt to participate in the self defense revolution understand that we can never predict where evil will strike. But it can be stopped with a firearm in the hands of a law abiding, competent person. We've seen it time after time: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
This right to self defense was not invented by the American Founders, but has roots that are older than civilization itself. It is inscribed on every human heart. It is a sacred responsibility a choice that most mainstream Americans understand.
That is why in our constant march to victory over the last two decades, the NRA has successfully taken down oppressive laws that required people in their own homes, or any place they have a right to be to hide or run away from deadly threats from criminal predators. Under those same laws, victims who fought back have been prosecuted for having the temerity to defend themselves with instant, armed response.
In state after state, NRA backed Right to Carry, Castle Doctrine, "emergency powers," and "employee protection" laws have empowered citizens by recognizing their God given right to armed self defense, giving former victims the lawful upper hand over burglars, rapists, robbers, home invaders and carjackers. And now we have secured Right to Carry in accord with state laws in national parks.
What it boils down to is this: Instant responders armed individuals are always better than first responders the police because instant responders can prevent the kind of tragedy that first responders can only clean up.
Everywhere the NRA has fought for self defense reforms, all of the elitist predictions about "Wild West shootouts" or "blood in the streets" have proven utterly false. And crime has taken a nosedive because criminals fear to chance armed resistance.
But the media elites, the corporate elites and the gun ban crowd always push another lie: "Government will protect you ... Protecting people is the job of the police." The rebuttal to that involves more than pointing to the failure of government to consistently prosecute violent criminals.
The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ruled that government has absolutely no duty, no responsibility to protect individuals from violent criminals!
Take the landmark Warren v. District of Columbia case brought by three young women who had been held prisoner, repeatedly raped and brutally assaulted for 14 hours by a home invader while their earlier, repeated calls to police for help were ignored.
The court ruled, "... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide ... police protection to any particular individual citizen. "That edict based on precedent in dozens of similar cases was upheld by the D.C. Court of Appeals which ruled: "The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large ... and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists." [Emphasis added.]
That is the law of the land and that truth trumps the lies of the elites. So who protects individual citizens and their families? They protect themselves and provide for the common good.
Every public opinion poll comes down on our side. Name any researcher Gallup, Roper, Zogby, Reuters. Year after year, more Americans say the NRA speaks more for them than does the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the U.S. Congress, or The New York Times. In other words, if you ask Americans who really "gets it" about our country about the true meaning of the Second Amendment more Americans raise their hands for the NRA than for any other group.
In my travels across this nation I encounter thousands of new members who joined the NRA because we are the one organization preserving freedom at a time when other forces in this cultural war seem powerless.
Saving the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights is a rallying cry for likeminded Americans to join our historic cause, and with that renewed strength in our fight for truth and justice we will prevail against those who would destroy our freedom.
Help Give Freedom An Extended Family
If you're like me, the more the days shorten and the sun swings back to the south, the more your thoughts return to the joys of hunting and shooting.
Maybe it's the whistle of mourning doves' wings you hear just before sunset as they make a last flight for water before roosting for the night. Or maybe it's the deer across the bean field you see every day on your drive to work, the morning sun making their reddish summer coats stand out against the green.
Hunting and recreational shooting are a big part of what brought me to the NRA. And this time of year evokes many fond memories of hunting and shooting for me, as I suspect it does for you.
Think back and remember your own first experiences shooting.
Maybe your dad took you pheasant hunting on a frosty November morning when you could see your breath hang in the air like smoke. Or maybe your grandmother took your hands in hers and showed you how to squeeze the trigger on grandpa's old Winchester .22.
I bet those memories still come back to you every time you smell the powder from a spent .22 cartridge. And I would argue they're a big part of the reason why you care so much about this cause.
That's why, as president of the NRA, I'm calling on you today to help give another new shooter fond memories of his or her first time shooting.
I have always been a big believer in getting young people involved in the shooting sports. The good news is there are many opportunities to do just that, and your NRA is here to help.
Whether it's through our Youth Sportsfests or Shooting Sports Camps, our Marksmanship Qualification Program, or our cooperative efforts with the Boy Scouts, Royal Rangers, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, American Legion or U.S. Jaycees, thanks to your NRA membership, we're reaching more than a million young people every year with the fun and satisfaction of safe shooting.
At summer camps and weekend events, it's all happening right now in communities across America.
One of my own favorite NRA efforts on behalf of young people is the Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC).
YHEC picks up where state- and provincial-level hunter-safety training leave off, and gives kids hands-on, practical experience in eight gun-safety and hunting skills areas: from rifle, bow and muzzleloader shooting at life-sized targets, to wildlife identification, orienteering and more.
About 50,000 young men and women participate in YHEC every year, and more than a million since the program started in 1985. Each year, "the best of the best" advance to the NRA International Youth Hunter Education Challenge, held in late July at one of my favorite places, the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico-not far from my home.
This jewel in NRA's crown is a 33,000acre, world-class hunting and marksmanship training facility in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that offers year-round competitive, educational and recreational activities in all shooting disciplines.
It also serves as the venue for the NRA Whittington Adventure Camp, a two-week event hosted twice every summer during which 13- to 17-year-olds can get world class instruction in rifle, pistol, shotgun, blackpowder and archery marksmanship.
Although these particular programs happen to be near my own home and heart, the fact is, the NRA has gun-safety and shooting programs for everyone who wants to own any gun for any lawful reason, no matter their age, gender or area of interest.
I urge you to take advantage of all the NRA does to introduce someone new to our family and our freedom.
Maybe it's a single mom who just doesn't have the time or resources to take her son shooting. Maybe it's your brother's daughter who lives in a big city, who knows nothing more about firearms than what the media tell her about guns and crime."
Whether you're a parent, grandparent or merely an acquaintance or neighbor, there are many ways you can "return the favor for freedom." so to speak, by helping someone else form the same kinds of fond memories of the shooting sports we all share.
At the least, you'll help dispel some of the lies about firearms and freedom that our kids hear. Chances are, you might plant the seed that grows into a lifelong passion.
In so doing, you can help build our coalition, bolster our cause and benefit every American.