The Quest To Save The Second Amendment


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I Believe the Second Amendment is America's First Freedom, the one right that protects all the others. Among freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of redress of grievances, it is the first among equals. The Right to keep and bear arms is the one right that allows "rights" to exist at all.

Frankly, I don't choose this. At 72 I am perfectly happy to make movies and romp with my grandson. But just as duty called in 1963 when I marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, freedom now summons me to stand and serve.

The Second Amendment--the supreme freedom that guards all others--is in danger. The right to keep and bear arms is being rendered useless...as if it could be repealed by Congress.

Kids view gun owners not with respect but with suspicion. Our Schools teach First Amendment rights while Second Amendment rights are at best disfigured and at worst omitted. Our President condemns a lawfully owned firearm in the hands of youth as "a crime or accident waiting to happen." shooting clubs vanish from campuses and plinking nears extinction as if riflery were a wicked interest. Movies profiteer on blood-splattered gun violence. TV journalists choose stories based on "if it bleeds, it leads." All while national news media offer no shooting supporters, just critics who imply that lawful gun owners must be a little nuts.

We can't put up with this, or our grandchildren will curse us.

I say the doorway to all freedoms is framed with muskets. Without the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights is but a promise on paper. The right to defend our lives and our land is not a dried up idea in some dead man's brain but a liberty now gasping for life, and we must save it.

Wayne LaPierre has asked me to lead a three year crusade, before the twenty-first century arrives, to restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place as America's First Freedom. Together we will march, all the way to the Supreme Court if we must, demanding that the Second Amendment come first again. We will challenge the arrogant, educate the ignorant and reclaim any allies we've lost along the way. We will preach an old truth to a new generation: We are free.

It will take an army of believers and a war chest of a hundred million dollars to fight for the minds of the new era. But I pledge a Scotsman's stewardship of every penny and minute of your support.

This is no time for shirkers...the sunshine patriots and the summer soldiers. If you only care about your freedoms today, not those of your grandchildren tomorrow, then step aside.

But if your passion leads you as mine does me, come with me now.



Charlton Heston is President of the National Rifle Association of America







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Most recent revision July 1999