Charles L. Cotton

The Great Cultural War on American Freedom

I am on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association and recently returned from our winter, 2013 meetings.  It comes as no surprise that the Obama administration’s predictable and despicable  response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a major topic of discussion.  The information revealed during these meetings makes it abundantly clear that Americans are not facing merely a legislative battle, but a war on our very culture and way of life.

For decades, there have been numerous attacks on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American gun owners.  These attacks are always based on lies and the false claim that by giving up one’s constitutional right they will be safer.  History and experience prove that these allegations are false, yet those who would deprive American citizens of the right to possess and carry firearms for all lawful purposes are not deterred.  Apparently, they ascribe to the theory that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

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The Truth About the Texas Castle Doctrine

Jessie Jackson, Rep. Al Green, Al Shaprton and others are using the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida to call for the repeal of all so-called “stand your ground” laws around the country.  Jessie Jackson was in Houston on April 12th calling for repeal of the Texas “Castle Doctrine.”  Jackson erroneously claims such laws promote “vigilantism.”  Jessie Jackson, Al Green and other self-appointed black leaders either do not know what the so-called Texas “Castle Doctrine” requires, or they know the truth and are lying to the public.

It is hard to determine what is at the center of complaints by Jackson and Green, as they never manage to state precisely what offends them about the Texas “Castle Doctrine.”  Based upon numerous statements made around the country, it appears that the repeal of the retreat duty is what Jackson, Green, Sharpton and others want to accomplish.  However, they argue that the lack of a retreat duty means people can used deadly force “anytime they feel threatened.”  Undoubtedly, they got this misinformation from the Brady Campaign to [Ban all Guns and Render Everyone Defenseless].

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Eight Years of Peace Have Ended

Eight years of relative peace on the gun-control front under President George W. Bush are coming to an end.  People are clearly aware of this fact as evidenced by near- frenzied buying of guns and ammo at gun shows and elsewhere.  Although the 2008 Presidential Election certainly didn't turn out as gun owners would have liked, there is no reason to panic.  Plus, panicking won't help anyway!

So we all need to take a deep breath and go about the business of protecting the Second Amendment they same way we have been for decades.  Although gun owners have not faced the current threats for the last eight years, this is not our first rodeo.  We know what must be done, we know how to do it, so let’s get to work.  But we must also take the initiative to use new approaches to defending our rights.  We must reach out to people who are neither members of the National Rifle Association nor the Brady Campaign [To Ban All Guns].  We need to make a pro-gun ideology truly bipartisan, multi-racial and something upon which both liberals and conservatives agree.

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A Fraud on Hunters: American Hunters & Shooting Assoc.

The American Hunters & Shooters Association (AHSA) is an organization that was created by long time gun control and anti-hunting activists in 2006.  Its sole reason for existing is to deceive hunters and attack the National Rifle Association (NRA) by making false allegations.  AHSA's goal is to drive a wedge between the NRA and hunters and keep hunters from supporting pro-gun/pro-hunting candidates in November.  It has been exposed for what it is, but that hasn't stopped the AHSA from mass-mailing emails to supporters of the Brady Campaign gun control agenda.

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Joe Horn “No-Billed”

It is unlikely that any 911 tape has been as widely distributed and as thoroughly debated as the one related to Joe Horn’s shooting of two fleeing burglars who had broken into his neighbor’s home.Had it not been for Mr. Horn’s statements on the 911 tape, no one outside of Mr. Horn’s family, neighborhood and a few Pasadena policemen would have known anything about him or the shooting.

Unfortunately, Mr. Horn’s ill-advised and inflammatory statements to the 911 dispatcher thrust him into the spotlight, a position of prominence he came to loath.In spite of how “bad” the tape sounded, those in legal circles knew that his actions were entirely lawful, according to the Texas Penal Code.Unlike many states, deadly force can be used by Texans to protect property under certain circumstances.Deadly force can also be used against fleeing burglars, again, under certain circumstances.(See Tex. Penal Code §§9.41-9.43).

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Storm Clouds Are Gathering

As I am writing this article, I'm sitting in a lounge chair on my patio. A strong wind is blowing and dark clouds are rolling in. It's clear that a storm is coming. Well, I wish the only storm brewing was related to the weather! Eight years of relative peace on the federal front are coming to a close and political storm clouds are gathering. President Bush didn't go out of his way to help gun owners, but he didn't hurt us either, even when pressured to do so after the Democrats took control of Congress and tried to "deal" on legislation he wanted.

Gun owners have enjoyed tremendous success at the polls for several years, even considering the Democrats regaining majorities in the U.S. House and Senate. Many of the newly elected Democrats claim to truly support the Second Amendment, but only time and an opportunity to vote on gun bills will tell whether these claims are election rhetoric or true commitments.

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America Has Lost A True Hero

I learned this morning that Charlton Heston died yesterday at his home in Los Angles. His wife Lydia was at his side as she has been for sixty-four years. Although Mr. Heston’s death was not a surprise in view of his failing health, the news reminded me of the NRA Annual Meeting and celebration in 2003.

In 2003, the NRA Annual Meeting of Members was held in Orlando, Florida. As usual, we had committee meetings virtually the entire preceding week and the Board meeting was on the Monday after the Annual Meeting of the members. To say the week was busy would be an understatement. We started early and worked late to finish our committee work. By Friday, we were ready for a break.

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No End to the Brady Campaign Lies

For years, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ("Brady"), more accurately known as the Brady Campaign to Ban All Guns, has waged a war against honest, law-abiding Americans who choose to own and lawfully use firearms for sporting and self-defense purposes. In so doing, Brady has not felt constrained by the truth, but this is hardly front-page news. Brady's weapons of choice have been outright lies, half truths and deception to promote it's ultimate goal of depriving Americans of the ability to own and use firearms. So the fact that Brady would lie about a new grassroots student organization comes as no surprise, but it is reprehensible nonetheless.

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CLC 08 bustReasonable minds may differ on many issues. Should taxes be raised or lowered? Are we winning the war on terror? Is the Patriot Act unpatriotic? Should Texas school districts be able to start the fall semester before September 1st each year? Are local zoning ordinances too restrictive or too lenient? There are opinions, often strongly held opinions, on both sides of all of these issues and that’s a good thing. It forces all of us to defend our respective positions and in so doing, we reevaluate our beliefs and the facts supporting those beliefs. But there are some disputes that defy logic and reason. Some of those groundless disputes have tragic consequences.

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