NRA member. Robert Cole and his wife, Pam, had just started to doze off one evening when they heard breaking glass and their motion detector alarm as it went off. Then Cole heard someone in the living room."1 woke my wife up and told her we had someone in the house, and she told me to grab the shotgun," he remembered. Police said he peered out the bedroom door and saw a man in the living room holding a fire extinguisher."1 was worried he was going to hurt me or my wife so I [fired] one round of No.6 shot," Cole said. Police arrested the wounded suspect and an alleged accomplice nearby. This wasn't Cole's first act of armed citizenry. He was involved in an incident that appeared in this column in December 2004. (North Channel Sentinel, Pasadena, TX, 01/07/10)
Aman allegedly burglarized a vending machine and fled from police in his vehicle. The suspect cracked his axle but continued to drive away. He stashed the car near an elementary school, which was placed on lockdown as police scoured the area. "As they were searching the area, they heard a pop," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson. The sound they heard was the report of a nearby homeowner's shotgun. The suspect entered the home and demanded money and car keys. In fear of his life, the homeowner fired his shotgun, killing the suspect. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 01/27/10)
Police said that shortly after midnight three men broke into a home seeking money and drugs. There were no drugs in the home, but there was a .22-cal. rifle-and an 11-year-old boy trained in its use. The boy leapt to the defense of his mother and sister. One of the intruders shot the boy, slightly injuring him. The boy returned fire, seriously wounding a suspect and causing the men to flee the home. Police found all three intruders nearby. The wounded man was airlifted to a hospital and will be charged after his release. (San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio, TX, 01/20/10)
Early one morning, a Ventura, Calif., man dialed 9-1-1 after spotting two alleged prowlers in his backyard. Unfortunately for the homeowner-but perhaps more unfortunately for the prowlers-the suspects forced open a locked door and entered the home before police arrived. The homeowner, armed with a handgun, fired upon the suspects. They fled the home. Police apprehended one of the suspects in the driveway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The other suspect, also believed to be wounded, was still being sought at press time. (Associated Press, 01/26/10)
When a neighbor knocked on Lawrence Sanderson's door and informed him someone was trying to steal Sanderson's privately owned fire truck, he phoned police, grabbed his handgun and went to the scene. Meanwhile, police said the intoxicated suspect started the truck, put it in reverse and slammed into the back of the garage, causing an estimated $300 in damage. The truck stalled and the suspect tried to restart it as Sanderson approached. Sanderson ordered the man at gunpoint to get out of the vehicle and lie on the ground. Police arrived and arrested the suspect shortly thereafter. "[Sanderson] holstered his gun as soon as our guys got there," said Montrose, Colo., Police Cdr. Gene Lillard. (The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, CO, 01/26/10)
Michelle Cornelsen was working at her coffee shop when a teenager approached, drew a gun and demanded money. Cornelsen, a 31-year-old firearm enthusiast who's been hunting since she was a young girl, was confident in her ability to defend herself. When another customer approached, the suspect hid his gun. Cornelsen took advantage of the opening, drawing a 9 mm Kel-Tec. She aimed it at the suspect and said, "You leave now!" He quickly complied. Cornelsen phoned police and a deputy who'd coincidentally just bought coffee from her made a quick U-turn and arrested the suspect. (Coeur d'Alene Press, Coeur d'Alene, ID, 12/30/09)
Two or three men forced their way inside a home. The intruders were wearing ski masks and gloves, leaving little doubt as to their malicious intent. To protect his wife, cousin and 1-year-old daughter, the homeowner quickly retrieved his handgun and opened fire on the intruders, who returned fire. One intruder died after being shot multiple times. At least one accomplice fled the scene and is still being sought. The homeowner was slightly injured in the assault, but will recover. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX, 12/31/09)
First Amendment Confirms Freedom To Think For Ourselves
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban on pre-election corporate and union political speech in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in January, we expected expressions of outrage from the speech ban crowd-but the venom, lies and intentional distortion by the media and self-serving politicians are truly shocking.
A Jan. 23, 2010 commentary in The Washington Post is typical. Columnist Ruth Marcus fumed, "In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty."
"Intellectual dishonesty?" That defines the near universal reaction of media and anti-First Amendment politicians.
First ... here is what the court did not do. It did not remove the ban on direct contributions by corporations to candidates and campaigns. It did not-as President Barack Obama rudely shouted at the Supreme Court Justices invited to hear his State of the Union address reverse "a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests-including foreign corporations-to spend without limit in our elections."
Supported by two NRA "friend of the court" briefs, the landmark case involved a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) ruling that television spots promoting a 90-minute pay-per-view documentary critical of then-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton a presidential candidate-violated the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). The film, slated for 2008 pre-election DVD sales and on-demand cable broadcast, was produced by a Virginia non-profit corporation, Citizens United.
In terms of you and me, and our National Rifle Association, here is what the court actually did:
In its 5-4 decision, the high court struck down the onerous sections of SCRA that made it a felony-because we are a non-profit corporation-for the NRA to use dues or contributions to the association to pay for any broadcast that even obliquely refers to a federal candidate. Those criminal sanctions were locked in 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.
When Congress passed the gag order on our corporate speech, it exempted media corporations, and that special exception to censorship is gone as well deemed unconstitutional by the court.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy nailed it in his majority opinion: "Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers, which may be a means to control content."
Simply put, the corporate speech of the NRA cannot be treated differently from the corporate speech of CBS, NBC or The New York Times and The Washington Post or any other media outlet. If their speech is sacrosanct, so is ours.
Shockingly, during oral arguments, the government expanded the scope of its power beyond the "broadcast" limits of the actual wording of the law, saying the Obama administration could ban Internet expression and even books. Justice Kennedy said that, under BCRA, it would be a felony if " ... the National Rifle Association publishes a book urging the public to vote for the challenger because the incumbent U.S. Senator supports a handgun ban .... "If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech," Justice Kennedy wrote.
For us-for gun owners all across the nation-it is equally important to understand and explain to our friends and co-workers the flip side of the First Amendment: free choice.
Censorship-like the BCRA ban on paid political speech-has as much to do with the rights of listeners as it does the right of the speaker to put forth ideas. It is the heart of the First Amendment. As Justice Kennedy declared: "When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."
Neither the media nor anti-Second Amendment politicians want voters to know this truth.
In the coming months, we must be prepared to counter the big-media propaganda that will saturate the public to turn Americans against the court and this remarkable decision.
It is all part of a white noise fog of lies to pave the way for an effort by the Obama administration and the likes of New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to undermine this liberating decision. He is threatening a legislative fix that his staff says will include a speech ban on corporations that employ lobbyists. Schumer called the court's opinion "poisonous to our democracy ... un-American," and was joined by fellow constitutional termite, Rhode Island U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who sputtered: "Is it truly just a coincidence that this same bloc of judges just last year invented a new individual constitutional right to bear arms that no previous Supreme Court had noticed for more than 200 years, or is something else going on here? ... "
Well, senator, there is-it's called freedom from tyranny. And, like fighting attacks on the Second Amendment, the NRA will never back down in this landmark battle against censorship and in our efforts to defend the entire Bill of Rights.
Shoot In NRA Competitions-And Score A Win For Freedom!
With spring's arrival, now is a great time to gather your family, get outside and engage in a sport that's more closely tied to American history and constitutional freedom than any other-the fun, satisfying and freedom-affirming discipline of competitive shooting!
Even if you've never formally competed in marksmanship before, I bet you've matched skills in some friendly shooting competition with your friends and family.
Whether you break Necco Wafers with a BB gun in your backyard, or bust clay birds in anticipation of hunting season, or shoot soda cans off a fence on a summer afternoon, recreational shooting is all-American fun. And friendly competition can make it all the more enjoyable,
So why not take advantage of the improving springtime weather to get involved in some of the many competitive shooting disciplines the NRA offers?
Whatever your age or level of expertise, the NRA has competitions that cater to your interest and situation, from BB gun matches for youngsters, to tournaments for disabled competitors, to the world renowned NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships-America's World Series of the Shooting Sports-at Camp Perry, Ohio.
As an official governing body for shooting sports in the U.S., the NRA sanctions 10,000 shooting tournaments every year, nationwide, with more than 125,000 men, women and juniors competing.
Our major programs include Air Gun, Black Powder, Muzzle Loading, Collegiate Shooting, Disabled Shooting Services, Action Pistol, Pistol Programs, Postal Matches, Rifle Programs, Silhouette Programs and more.
The NRA also offers a Competitive Shooting Sponsorship Program, and programs for Tournament Operations, Tournament Reporting and NRA Volunteers.
If you have children in high school, they might be interested to learn that many high schools host airgun competitions as part of their JROTC programs.
We're seeing a resurgence of interest in shooting competitions at colleges, too, with more than 300 collegiate rifle, pistol and shotgun shooting programs now active. In fact, April 8-11, Purdue University will host the first NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship, with small bore and air rifle competitions open to all levels of collegiate shooters.
To find out if a college you are interested in offers such competitions, or to learn more, just visit www.nrahq.org/ compete/coldir.asp for the online NRA Collegiate Shooting Sports Directory.
Or if you'd like to introduce marksmanship competitions to your school, just call Tori Croft, national manager of the NRA Competitive Shooting Collegiate and Schools Department, at (703) 267-1473 to get a copy of the book, "Developing a Scholastic Shooting Program."
A fairly new competitive shooting discipline that might interest you is so-called "F-C1ass" shooting, which allows older and vision-impaired rifle shooters to compete at long range. Instead of using iron sights and a sling, F-C1ass shooters may use a telescopic sight and a bi-pod or a rest-but their targets are half the size as those for shooters using iron sights and slings. Targets begin at 300 yards and range out to 1,000-so F-C1ass competitions are a real showcase for long-range wind-doping and marksmanship skills. Not surprisingly, after bursting onto the American scene from Canada less than a decade ago, F-C1ass shooting has taken off in the U.S. in the same way that siluetas metalicas (metallic silhouettes) exploded after it was introduced from Mexico more than 30 years ago.
Speaking of silhouette shooting, another big hit for NRA competitive shooters has been our Cowboy Lever Action Silhouette competitions, which combine the fun of Cowboy Lever Action shooting with the hit-or-miss "clang" and satisfaction of falling metallic targets. Eight years ago we held our first NRA Nationals in this exciting sport and interest has been increasing ever since.
But the biggest, most consistent favorite of all are our High Power Rifle competitions, from 200 right out to 1,000 yards, that culminate each summer at the NRA National Matches. If you want to see or shoot against the finest military and civilian marksmen and women in the world, there's no finer place to do so than at Camp Perry each summer. Shooting competitions are a great way to make new friends. They're a wholesome and character-building way to teach your family about sportsmanship, discipline and athletic achievement.
Shooting may not require the muscle mass of a defensive tackle, the strength of a wrestler or the stamina of a triathlete, but the fact is, marksmanship competition requires just as much discipline, muscle control, eye-hand coordination and cool-headed concentration as any other sport. .
Indeed, in some ways, marksmanship excellence relies upon those attributes even more because in shooting, your greatest competition is you.
So take advantage of this season's fine weather to get out and enjoy the only competitive sport that pays dividends in a safer, freer and more globally secure America-NRA marksmanship competition.