by Karen Mehall Phillips - Thursday, November 22, 2018
What better time than Thanksgiving to give thanks for our families and friends and the many blessings and freedoms our collective hunting community enjoys because of the National Rifle Association. Without the NRA, there is no Second Amendment. Without the NRA there is no hunting—and without hunting, there is no wildlife conservation. But while we all-American NRA members know to give credit where it is due, Thanksgiving is the day to connect the dots for any non-NRA members at our holiday tables. Why? Because the NRA is “Freedom’s Safest Place”—something recognized worldwide at a time when many gun rights and freedoms in other nations in general have been quashed.
Case in point: As I write this, my husband, Phil, and I are set to celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain while on a hunt for Iberian red deer, mouflon and wild boar. Last night we got into an important cultural conversation with our Spanish friends and hosts, Santiago and Pedro, about the critical role of the NRA in the 21st century in preserving freedom. As European citizens, they understand why the Second Amendment and hunting rights are important and what happens to freedom in nations that have no firearm rights. From Santiago’s perspective, the NRA should stand for the “National Rights Association” because, as former NRA President Charlton Heston always said, “It’s the Second Amendment that protects all others”—hence the NRA magazine America’s First Freedom that I helped to launch under Heston’s NRA presidency. As for the “R” in “NRA” standing for “Rights,” Santiago emphasizes how those in other nations who have lost personal freedoms recognize too late that once such rights are gone, they are nearly impossible to get back.
So, from thousands of miles away, I give thanks for my NRA. By the way, established in 1871, the NRA is also America’s oldest civil rights organization as it goes about the business of protecting American freedom and hunting’s future 24/7. As an NRA Endowment member, avid hunter and editor of this website, I enjoy sharing that the NRA is home for hunters as we collectively give thanks for the NRA—and for the American freedom it ensures.
About the NRA: When the NRA was chartered in November 1871, a key objective was to promote hunter safety and to defend hunting as a shooting sport and necessary method of fostering the conservation of our renewable wildlife resources. At six-million strong, the NRA is the largest organization of hunters with 3.5 million-plus hunters in its membership ranks. The NRA’s strength and political firepower comes from its membership as we NRA members take pride in standing united on the issues impacting hunting’s future.
Thanksgiving Trivia: Did you know that the autumn harvest feast marking the first Thanksgiving nearly 400 years ago has become the largest eating event in America? People eat more on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
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