The Gunny Second Amendment Rights R. Lee Ermey
The Gunny takes aim at the annual Gunny Challenge, the most-attended shooting event in the world.

There’s a sign outside my home in the high desert of California that reads, “There’s Nothing Here Worth Dying For.” The home invader out to harm me or my family, or to steal everything they can get their hands on, is going to be looking down a gun barrel. Mine is the .45 GAP Glock 37. Mrs. Gunny shoots the 9mm G19. When I’m away on trips, she keeps it nearby. She not only knows how to use it, but she also practices with it on pistol ranges frequently.

To imagine America in her darkest hour, just think of how life would be if firearm ownership were lost for law-abiding citizens. The criminals would still have their guns! Your home and personal defense would be gone, amid crime waves stemming from lack of respect for our laws and the police officers who try to enforce them. The chaos that would reign is a horrific nightmare.

Second Amendment History

Before he became our 40th president, Ronald Reagan addressed the annual meeting of the Phoenix, Arizona, Chamber of Commerce in 1961. One of his remarks became so well known and repeated that I included it in my book, Gunny’s Rules. He said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men are free.”

I relate this as a reminder that the threat to take away our guns and ammo is a clear and present danger all law-abiding gun owners and users must stand together and fight to the last ditch. That’s exactly the reason I joined the NRA Board of Directors five years ago. I wanted to be in the trenches, the front lines, opposing the relentless media forces and others determined to strip away our Second Amendment rights and take our guns.

History shows the grim stories of many people in many lands who lost freedom. Sometimes, I’m proud to say, our U.S. armed forces helped them restore what was taken from them.

Stay Active

Here in America we cannot afford to be daydreamers, taking freedoms like gun ownership for granted. Gun ownership is under so many attacks, on so many fronts, that we need gun owners and shooters who will do whatever they can reasonably do in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights.

Join the NRA, oppose local politicians bent on destroying us, participate with shooting and hunting clubs, make sure you get to the polls at elections. It all counts when you stand up instead of doing what my Marines used to call, “Staying in the rear with the gear.”

Every time we have one of those horrific shootings of innocent people in this country, politicians begin circling like vultures. Even before the rest of us have gotten over the gut-wrenching horror of thinking about the victims, the politicos of every rank move in to see what they can get out of the event. What they really want are votes. To get those, they promise to “do something.” That relates to more laws.

Why not enforce the laws that are on the books now? They don’t want to talk about that. A frequent cry is for more background checks. At the NRA, we have supported background checks all along. (Not that you would ever hear about it from the media.) Bring ’em on. We don’t want guns in the hands of criminals or lunatics. But because these checks are government operations, mistakes are made. Then the cry becomes, “Ban all guns!” And around and around we go.

Trigger Time

You might think that all the time I spend on TV shows and commercials and with appearances at industry shows leaves The Gunny with precious little trigger time. I try to not let that happen, and lately I’ve been enjoying some quality time on the ranges. I attended a convention of sheriffs in Texas. It wasn’t just speeches and awards. The sheriffs and I went through must have been thousands of rounds on the range.

Back home in California, a young lady who works for a congressman told me she organized a ladies shooting group. Their pistol range sessions were a huge success, with lots of participation.

If there’s any sporting activity where the playing field is equal for men and women, shooting has to be it. A woman’s finger pulls the trigger the same as a man’s. It does require skill, and that can only be obtained by sessions on the range.

Every year at the GSSF Gunny Challenge in Georgia, I see more and more women participating. The influx of female shooters helps widen our core of active shooters, whose participation strengthens our ability to fend off gun-grabbing politicians.

I intend to remain on the NRA Board as long as they’ll have me. And I hope that I can influence folks, wherever I go, to step up and be counted in the battle to protect our Second Amendment rights.

Semper Fi!

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