Dear Mr. Obama: I’m Not the NRA, and Keep Your Hands Off My Gun Rights

There he goes again: President Obama pretending that only gun lobbyists care about the fact that the Founders felt so strongly about individual gun rights (on which the Supreme Court agrees) that they made it the Second Amendment.

Maybe you’ve seen those ads of pictures of every day, friendly looking folks, with the caption: “I’m the NRA.”

Not I!

Herewith, my Open Letter:

Dear Mr. Obama,

I’m not the NRA. I’ve never given them any money, signed a petition, or could otherwise even wildly be called part of the “gun lobby.”

30 years ago, as a single woman living alone, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a suspicious sound. I called 911 and waited … in fear … for an hour.

When the police deigned to show up, they were very condescending: “Are your parents home?” (I was almost 30 for heaven’s sake!) But agreed to walk the perimeter and declared all clear.

I promptly bought a handgun and got trained to use it.

Four and a half years ago, the police department of Oakland, Calif. (where we live) publicly announced that it would no longer respond to 44 delineated crimes, including burglary, grand theft (including car theft), vandalism, harassment, etc.

With Oakland now declared open for criminals, and the Great Recession leaving homes unsold for months at a time, our previously quiet, semi-rural neighborhood suddenly became the scene of home invasion parties: publicizing the address and time of the “party” through social media, scores of kids would descend on a vacant home, break in, and proceed to have raucous parties.

The third time this happened, neighbors made 11 calls over three hours to 911. It was only in response to a call reporting shots fired—including a bullet fired into a neighbor’s house—home at the time, and luckily missed—that police responded and broke up the “party.”

Realizing we were well and truly on our own, we organized a Neighborhood Watch group. As part of our first, official organizing meeting, the Neighborhood Watch coordinator from the Oakland Police Department attended—a black, female, veteran Oakland Police Officer, in uniform.

Her advice to our gathered group of mostly middle-aged, typical Bay Area (i.e., not Conservative) residents: buy a gun and learn how to use it.

Mr. President, this is America–not the gun lobby. Not rich elite politicians with squadrons of hired, armed security. This is our reality. Unlike you, we don’t have police protection—our taxes are going to pay for pensions for retired police.

You are out of touch, and living in a fantasy world. You are welcome to stay in your bubble, but please don’t confuse it with reality, and please stop overstepping the Constitution. (One wonders about the education you provided those you lectured on the Constitution.)

In short, Don’t Tread on Me!

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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