Op-Ed: How to keep gun rights for the long term

Editor's Note: The following op-ed, which can be read in its entirety at WorldNetDaily.com, was written by Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino.

Students of history and pro-gun advocates know that every case of genocide or political oppression was preceded by the confiscation of privately owned firearms. We also know that it wasn't the immortal words Thomas Jefferson crafted into the Declaration of Independence or the words used to define the Bill of Rights that secured American liberty.

In reality, George Washington's army, which bled and used their guns to make the British bleed, is responsible for our freedom.

History also tells us that a very small percentage of the population took an active role in the American Revolution, while just as few people in America today take an active interest in politics. An even smaller percentage accepts that the government might try to destroy civil rights as we know them.

That means the vast majority of Americans, and a sizable percentage of gun owners, simply don't accept that genocide or governmental political repression is possible in today’s America. So, when pro-gun advocates use the argument that guns help keep us safe from the government our audience quickly dozes off. Only by connecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the lives of today’s Americans in a tangible way can we hope to continue the expansion of pro-gun reform that began in the late 1990s.

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Shifting the debate is paramount to our success because it pares the various talking points into a precise message. To that end, we need to stop quoting long-dead presidents, the Founding Fathers, Hitler, Stalin and other historical ghosts, and instead focus on how expanding the Second Amendment will help keep America safe.

We also need to rally behind that idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right that the government can infringe only when there is an overwhelming public need. Since we have more guns on the street than ever before and gun crime continues to plummet, it eliminates the government’s justification to restrict gun rights.

Shifting the debate will also force gun-control advocates to prove why they need to take our guns, instead of forcing us to explain why we need to keep them.

The simple truth is that once we can get America to accept that premise it will guarantee victory.

Such a decisive win will not only carry us for this election cycle, or this legislative session, but for the foreseeable future. Securing such a decisive victory means we can pass down the torch of American liberty to our children in better condition than when we received it.

Click here for the entire op-ed.

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