Make Your Pro-Second Amedment Voice Heard at the Polls in 2012

Online Resources Help Voters Stay Informed

With voter turnout on the rise after a long period of low showings, as well as the current political environment and momentum from recent court rulings, gun rights advocates have a big opportunity this fall.  Aside from federal, state and (absent state preemption) local law makers who potentially wield a fair amount of power concerning gun rights, the last two Supreme Court decisions on the Second Amendment have been decided by just one vote.  Given the possibility that the next administration will have the opportunity to name replacements for one or more of the Second Amendment-affirming SCOTUS justices, this November’s election could be even more important for firearms owners and enthusiasts than usual.   The internet is rife with resources to help voters stay informed.

One of the most well-known resources to find out where candidates stand on firearms issues is the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) grading system.  NRA-PVF provides grades on an A+ through F scale for primary and general election candidates.  Gun Owners of America’s PVF also offers candidate ratings; however, at the time of this writing, ratings are not yet posted.  The #GunVote initiative from NSSF is also a valuable resource for informed voters.

Aside from the above firearms-centric voter resources, there are myriad online information sources that help keep voters informed.  Numerous websites, such as 2012 Presidential Candidates and On the Issues  allow visitors to view candidate positions and history sorted by issues, including gun control.  Various organizations also track election issues, including CNN Politics and Fox News (where “Gun Rights” barely made the top 10 list of election issues).

Although there are obviously gun rights advocates on both sides of the political aisle, the official platforms of the two major parties show vastly different positions.

The GOP platform includes language about upholding “the right of individuals to keep and bear arms” and “acknowledge[s], support[s], and defend[s] the law-abiding citizen’s God-given right of self-defense.”  The platform goes on to promote the so-called Castle Doctrine by supporting “the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be” and promoting right-to-carry reciprocity while opposing “federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners.”

The democratic platform, however, suggests “that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation” and calls the GOP platform “out of touch” and “extreme.”  This type of “reasonable regulation” and “common sense gun law”  is the same thinking that gave us the 1994 “assault weapon ban,” which prevented firearms ownership based largely on cosmetic features, as well as the draconian regulations that residents of places like Chicago, DC, California, New Jersey have long had to live under.  The platform specifically calls for reinstatement of the “assault weapons” ban and closing the non-existent so-called “gun show loophole.”

Regardless of your political affiliations and leanings, if Second Amendment rights are high on your list of important issues, we strongly urge you to use the tools available at your disposal to learn all that you can about candidates and their positions.  Most importantly, get out to the polls in November and make your voice heard!


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