Gun owners: The time to stand up is now!

Editor's Note: This op-ed was originally published at

by Gerard Valentino

There have been times the pro-gun lobby looked irrelevant in America and when it looked like the private ownership of firearms was going to be relegated to the historical scrap heap.

This is not that time.

There was a time when owning a gun in American was seen as a sign of being socially backward, and the mere mention of guns was taboo.

This is not that time.

There was a time when the anti-gun zealots were able to pin the blame for mass murders on the gun industry and pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association and Buckeye Firearms Association.

This is not that time.

Now is the time for each and every gun owner in America to stand up and be counted.

Now is the time to tell the world that anti-gun zealots created the policies that left 20 beautiful children at the whim of a violent, deranged individual, with nothing more than a prayer for protection.

Now is the time to fight back against people like CNN’s Piers Morgan and others of his misguided ilk, who for years have felt free to shout us down when it is our turn to explain the truth about guns in America. Morgan did just that to professor John Lott during a so-called rational discussion about guns in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Since the pro-gun movement has the facts, the truth and logic on our side, anti-gun extremists need to keep America and the world confused. That left Morgan with no choice but to keep professor Lott from speaking because it is vital to the anti-gun movement to suppress the truth.

When the anti-gunners own the podium, they resort to bully tactics.

That is why as the Internet grew, so did the success of gun-rights organizations. Once the anti-gun mainstream media no longer controlled the message, it changed the debate.

Now is the time to remind people that unlike the anti-gun lobby, pro-gun advocates have indisputable proof that an armed citizen is the best way to stop a spree killer, that we care about the innocent and law-abiding and believe all Americans have the right to defend their life and the life of their love ones.

The establishment media are doing everything in their power to convince the American people that the pro-gun lobby makes up a small and extreme group of people.

Now is the time to call your elected officials and prove that gun owners come from all walks of life, all political backgrounds and represent all of America.

After all, the National Rifle Association has over 4 million members, and the Buckeye Firearms Association, the nation’s most powerful state-level pro-gun lobby, has nearly 75,000 supporters in Ohio. The anti-gun groups can only claim a fraction of support from grass-roots America, leaving them to rely on the deep pockets of several millionaire liberals and support from a complicit mainstream media to stay afloat.

Sadly, America’s gun owners also help anti-gun leaders and the mainstream media perpetuate the small pro-gun lobby myth by failing to speak out.

When a gun issue is in the news, every single gun owner in America needs to contact their elected officials and demand to be counted. If just once that happened, the congressional switchboard would shut down and not a single politician would vote to destroy gun rights – ever.

This isn’t the time when the God-given right to bear arms is destroyed or when the political winds change drastically in favor of the anti-gun lobby.

Now is the time for ALL gun owners, from shotgunners, to hunters, to target shooters, to plinkers and 3-gun competition shooters, from IDPA aficionados to long distance rifle shooters, handgunners, collectors and self-defense practitioners to stand up and demand to be heard.

All gun owners have an obligation to speak up – even in the face of the unenlightened few who try to shout us down. After all, the only way the anti-gun side can win is to keep the truth from coming out because pro-gun advocates can prove more guns equal less crime.

If the mainstream media will report the truth about mass shootings and where they take place, the average American will easily deduce that gun control is a failed social experiment. Most Americans will also quickly figure out that the anti-gun driven “gun free zones” are actually free fire zones for the murderous and deranged.

The world needs to know, and the world needs to know TODAY.

The time is RIGHT NOW.

Gerard Valentino, a former military intelligence analyst, is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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