Let Your Voice Be Heard. Vote!

The volatility of this year’s national elections is unmatched in our history. Or perhaps it just seems that way. Gutter politics. Backstabbing. Thuggery. Lies. Welcome to politics in the U.S. Sound bites trump substance. Bluster aces backbone. Self-serving surpasses serving.

Pretty depressing, really. Then, why vote?

Despite the flaws, I’ll take our way of governing over the many I’ve noted during travels to many of the world’s countries. The United States citizen’s vote — your vote, my vote — is our voice, our say, our mark. In the midst of all the shouting, showmanship and shrill, you and I have a voice.

Unfortunately, many who profess to be passionate about causes and freedom and liberty and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and Constitutional Amendments and flying the flag and singing God Bless America — don’t vote.

Oh, they plan to. It’s even marked on their calendars and they have alerts scheduled on their smartphones. But something always seems to get in the way. And it gets too late, and the lines will be backed up at the polling place, and if they stop there, they’ll be late picking up the kids, or miss their favorite TV show, and well, one vote won’t make that much difference anyway.

The next day, of course, they’re enraged at the election results. They shouldn’t be. They received the exact results for the vote they did not cast.

Even in our industry, one that is characterized by fervent embracement of the Second Amendment and fierce support of independent businesses, there are those who don’t vote. Something always comes up. Those who don’t vote give up their right to complain about the results, which they — all of us — will live with for years. In the kindest of words, those who don’t vote need to keep their mouths shut.

For those who have waited to the last minute to register to vote, you may still have time. Some states allow registration through the middle of this month, and some, like California, as late as Oct. 22. Visit www.nssf.org/gunvote to register and to locate your polling place. This NSSF website also has a wealth of information on the candidates and how they stand on important issues.

The major focus of this year’s election is, of course, the office of President. While matters of gun ownership and the industry are very important to me, there are other aspects of our national freedom that concern me even more. Paramount is our national security, sovereignty and individual freedoms. The next President of the United States will likely appoint at least two Supreme Court Justices. Those appointments will impact our nation — for better or worse — for generations to come. Whom do you want to make those appointments?

On Nov. 6, no excuses. Allow nothing to prevent your voice from being heard. Vote.

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