Skip to main content

2012 Election: Results Demand Vigilance

2012 Election: Results Demand Vigilance

Obama and RomneyI'm sure you're as disappointed as I am over the outcome of the presidential race last November. The reelection of President Obama will confront us with a host of new and ongoing challenges. But despite that, gun owners should be proud of a strong NRA campaign that spanned federal, state and local elections and will help to protect gun rights for years to come.

The NRA effort for this election was staggering. It combined cutting-edge technology with the classic grassroots tactics we're known for. This election cycle, the NRA contacted voters with 50 million mailers and phone calls. Added to this were television and radio ads targeted at key groups of voters, and 320 million online ads. And we hired 25 full-time campaign workers in 13 key states to work with local activists on state and federal races.

There were some notable disappointments on election night — starting at the top of the ballot — but it's important to remember that as a nonpartisan organization, we don't measure our success by the success of a particular party. The hard work of NRA-led activists also helped to retain strong pro-Second Amendment majorities in the House and Senate that will stand as a bulwark against the anti-gun plans of the Obama administration. In the U.S. Senate, gun owners helped elect pro-gun newcomers Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Deb Fischer, R-Neb. and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. NRA members also helped reelect several stalwart allies, such as John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Dean Heller, R-Nev., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

As for state ballots, an NRA-led campaign in Louisiana secured the passage of the nation's strongest state constitutional amendment protecting our right to bear arms. And in Idaho, Kentucky and Nebraska, citizens passed meaningful constitutional amendments enshrining their right to hunt and fish.


Even the presidential race showed how we've made progress in just the last 12 years. While anti-gun politicians haven't changed their goals, they've had to change how they market themselves to the public.


The change is stark. At a campaign event during the 2000 presidential race, Democratic nominee Al Gore openly spoke of his intent to enact "a national requirement that every state issue photo licenses for anyone who wants to buy a handgun." Careful to avoid Gore's fate, Sen. John Kerry in 2004 staged absurd photo ops to show him shooting and hunting. While the Obama team didn't go that far in 2008 and 2012, they did their best to hide their candidate's anti-gun attitudes. Despite complaints from anti-gun editorial writers that gun control was a "missing issue," Obama only addressed it when directly confronted with a question from the audience in the second presidential debate, elaborating on his desire to ban common semi-automatic firearms and hinting at new restrictions on handguns.

None of this is to say the opponents of our Second Amendment rights aren't still dangerous — they are. But their efforts to conceal their agenda show that we've made significant advances in the cause of liberty. When anti-gun politicians are afraid that gun owners will hold them accountable at the ballot box, that's what I call progress.

However, Barack Obama will never again be held accountable that way, so this year's outcome will require gun owners to be every bit as vigilant as they were during the worst of the Clinton presidency. Obama's intention to push a new semi-automatic ban is clear, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. has already sent her staff to meet with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to start drafting the legislation. And of course, over the past four years, the Obama administration has shown a willingness to sidestep Congress to enact gun control, by conducting an unauthorized registration scheme in southwest border states, pushing a ban on imports of popular shotguns, and showing a willingness to let the U.N. move forward with a global treaty that threatens our rights.

With gun owners facing these threats, the next four years will require constant vigilance and dedication. All of us at the NRA are grateful for your support during the 2012 election. Now, we look forward to working with you to meet the challenges ahead.


Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organization's chief lobbyist.  Please give your support to NRA-ILA today.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Jeremy Stafford traveled to Gunsite Academy to compare the speed of stock sights against express, three-dot, suppressor-height and red dot sights.

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions.

Benelli Lupo Bolt-Action Rifle Review

Benelli Lupo Bolt-Action Rifle Review

It is unlike any other rifle on the market because it offers features no one else does; those looking for a rifle that fits like a custom-made firearm should look no further than the Benelli Lupo.

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr head to the range to wring out the Umarex Air Ruger 10/22.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best production-grade precision hunting rifle available.Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan Review Rifles

Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan Review

Joseph von Benedikt - March 25, 2019

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best...

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the result of years of engineering, testing and evaluation, combined with premium grade components found on rifles costing thousands of dollars more.First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle Rifles

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 29, 2020

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the...

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic for squad designated marksmen.SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review Optics

SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review

Tom Beckstrand - December 31, 2020

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic...

You might be surprised how many Americans (even gun owners) think machine guns are illegal.Machine Guns — Can You Own One? Rifles

Machine Guns — Can You Own One?

Eric R. Poole - December 15, 2020

You might be surprised how many Americans (even gun owners) think machine guns are illegal.

See More Trending Articles

More Politics

We have identified five state gun laws that are likely to be the law of the land if Democrats take control of the Legislative and Executive branches of government.5 State Gun Laws That Could Go National Politics

5 State Gun Laws That Could Go National

Guns & Ammo Staff - October 26, 2020

We have identified five state gun laws that are likely to be the law of the land if Democrats...


The late founder of this magazine, Robert E. Shooting Star: The Legend of Elmer Keith Politics

Shooting Star: The Legend of Elmer Keith

Craig Boddington - July 11, 2013

The late founder of this magazine, Robert E. "Pete" Petersen, believed in the star system...

 Gun guys are typically car guys. Rock River Arms CEO Chuck Larson is proof of that.

DrivingCars & Guns: A Look at Rock River Arms Politics

Cars & Guns: A Look at Rock River Arms

Eric R. Poole - July 22, 2016

Gun guys are typically car guys. Rock River Arms CEO Chuck Larson is proof of that. Driving

Gun owners beware of coming attacks on the Second Amendment.Democrats Gain Full Control 2nd Amendment

Democrats Gain Full Control

Keith Wood - January 06, 2021

Gun owners beware of coming attacks on the Second Amendment.

See More Politics

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now