Gun leaders are focused on the successes of President Trump, the 2020 election cycle and engaging the public to support and vote for pro-Second Amendment candidates.
“The midterms marked another milestone on America’s comeback trail,” said Carl Gottstein, life member and Assistant Manager at New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. “By increasing the GOP hold on the US Senate while democrats were grasping for the lower house, the movement has won another important victory: locking in Trump’s ability to seat judges and protecting him from impeachment.”
“We lost the US House of Representatives,” said Linda Walker, National Rifle Association board member and Co-chairwoman of the Trump-Pence Second Amendment Coalition. “It now appears that Nancy Pelosi will once again become Speaker.” While Walker is thankful that Republicans kept senate control, she said it is disconcerting that a self-proclaimed socialist managed to be elected to the house.
“I grew up during the Cold War,” she continued. “I remember Russia being USSR. I remember when President Reagan proclaimed to Michal Gorbachev, ‘Tear Down That Wall’ between East and West Berlin. I remember practicing in elementary school how to proceed to the fallout shelters.” Embracing socialism today is incomprehensible, she said.
Gottstein said Republicans in states like New York and California who refused to adopt the president’s goals were “absolutely crushed” because of it. “The GOP needs a reformation and in some cases in need of a resurrection,” he said. “Those who stood strong for the president did much better than those who did not.”
In the Democrat-controlled house, pro-gun bills will be stalled, said Walker, who is Vice President of Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio. “Don’t look for national reciprocity to move in the next two years.” While some anti-gun legislation will originate in the house, she said she is hopeful that these measures will go nowhere. “If our senate stays staunch, I would predict no harm will come to gun owners.” Keeping a watchful eye, she added.
“As a part of the Second Amendment community, we must be the loudest and most active voices out there,” she said. “Just having a one-on-one conversation with someone may be enough to sway them to vote, and to vote for the candidates who support our constitutional rights.” There are many ways to become involved, said Walker.
“Get engaged with the candidates. Work on their campaigns. Offer to pick up voters and take them to the polling place on election day, or to the Board of Elections to early vote. Help plant yard signs or make phone calls,” she said. “That one door you knock on could influence that voter. If someone is not a member of the NRA, talk to them and convince them they need to join.”
Gottstein, who is co-creator and Associate Editor of The Bullet Magazine, said the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York was due to failed leadership. “New York needs a leader that unifies our party and works to unify and empower grassroots efforts and committees,” he said. “Without synergy and organized efforts across the spectrum, the GOP has no chance to win statewide.” He said most Republicans across the state would like to see Republican Chairman Ed Cox resign. “The buck stops at his desk.”
Nevertheless, Gottstein said New York gun owners are ready to battle and win. “I have no doubt Cuomo’s incoming legislation will be met with outrage and NYSRPA and the NRA will continue to be in court suing our government for obvious and intentional violations of our citizens’ constitutionally protected civil rights.”
The Democrat-controlled governor and legislature are hostile to gun owners, he added. “NYSRPA has three serious court cases and the NRA is working together with NYSRPA to push back, and we will continue to work with the Second Amendment’s best friends to protect our precious New York heritage and lifestyles.”
Walker, who is an NRA-certified pistol instructor, said 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime. “The Democrats are going to come after President Trump.” Yet they will have a tough time proving him wrong, she said. “The monumental improvements he has done in less than two years is amazing, he may well go down as the best President we’ve ever had.”