Do you agree with people like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who treat the Second Amendment as if it were written only to protect your ability to go hunting and target shooting?
Or do you agree with Gun Owners of America, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who believe that the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing fundamental right that is essential to the preservation of liberty?
Well, a whole lot of people in Congress are claiming to protect your Second Amendment rights, but all they're really doing is protecting your hunting season.
We're talking about the Omnibus Public Lands Act. You helped to defeat this bill last week in the House, but Congressional leaders have vowed to bring it up again soon.
S. 22 is an enormous package of over 190 bills lumped together with a price tag of $10 billion. The bill will greatly expand the amount of land controlled by the National Park Service, thus spreading the agency's unconstitutional gun regulations to more areas.
Fear of upsetting gun owners -- who helped elect many members of Congress from both parties -- kept this bill off the floor for several weeks.
Then, in a meeting last Tuesday, not held in an open committee hearing but behind closed doors, House leaders brokered a deal with some supposedly pro-gun Democrats.
They said they were concerned about your gun rights. They said they were going to "fix" the bill.
But they did not address the NPS anti-gun regulations that prohibit carrying a firearm for self defense without a government issued concealed carry permit.
What did they do? They added language to the bill to say you can still go hunting.
That's right. Many Congressmen claimed to be protecting the Second Amendment, when all they were really doing was thumbing their noses at self defense.
Here is the entire "pro-gun" amendment that was considered in the House. Judge for yourself if this really protects your Second Amendment rights:
"Nothing in this Title shall be construed as affecting the authority, jurisdiction, or responsibility of the several States to manage, control, or regulate fish and resident wildlife under State law or regulations, including the regulation of hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting. Nothing in this Title shall be construed as
limiting access for hunting, fishing, trapping, or recreational shooting."
They may as well have called it the "Elmer Fudd Protection Act."
A lot of people who voted for this bill campaigned for office as champions of gun rights. They said "Send me to Washington; I'll fight for the Second Amendment." And this is what we get? Pathetic.
But let's be clear. The issue is not just about the NPS gun restrictions, as bad as they are. And whether or not you personally use federal land is not the point.
What is important is the disdain with which legislators hold your Second Amendment rights.
It is imperative that you speak up on this issue. The outcome of this battle will be a preview of what we can expect for the next two years. Will your gun rights be comprised away little by little? Or will we stand together and hold legislators accountable to their campaign promises to uphold the Second Amendment?
This week there may be several votes in both the Senate and House on the Omnibus Land bill.
Congressional leaders plan to act quickly in an attempt to ram this down the throat of the American people without a fair and open process. They desperately want to avoid any amendment that would truly protect your gun rights.
Congress hopes to leave the gun ban in place, and enlarge the areas affected by it. For example, the bill expands existing park land, creates new national trails that will fall under the gun restrictions, and authorizes the federal government to buy more land adjacent to national parks and trails.
House and Senate leaders plan to move on this bill rapidly, although they are ambiguous about the process.
But our message to Congress is simple: Stop playing around with our Second Amendment rights!
We don't care about the process. We care about the Second Amendment. And we mean ALL of the Second Amendment, not just hunting.