Planned gifts enable every NRA supporter to leave a legacy and thereby help defend freedom. Review our Guide to Creating a Constitutionally Centered Will or visit the links below to learn how donors, Heritage Society members and their professional advisors are all an integral part of defending freedom. Each gift helps ensure the NRA will continue to secure the Second Amendment for generations to come.
Help Ensure the Freedom of Your Children and Grandchildren
By John Bowling, NRA Life Member and NRA Ring of Freedom Heritage Society
Charlton Heston Ambassador Member
My wife Rachel and I are enthusiastic members of the National Rifle
Association of America. When our friends at the NRA Office of Advancement
asked us to tell you why we chose to include the NRA in our estate plan, we
gladly agreed and would like to share our story.
We joined the NRA because we share a common bond with millions of NRA
members. We love and appreciate America and understand that our
Constitution as written has always provided us with a better form of
government than any other. I have researched the history of the writing of
the Second Amendment and know that it was added to make sure the people
would have the power to resist those who would take away their liberty.
For most of my adult life I was not interested in firearms. As a youngster,
I loved my BB gun, then target shooting with a .22 at summer camp. My
brother and I walked down our street to the creek with our firearms and
blew up cans filled with water with a .223 rifle, and made thrown cans fly
higher with a shotgun. But, I did not shoot after my teens. About ten years
ago, we got a summer cabin in the mountains. The first summer, a neighbor
told me he had seen a bear walking through our yard. I had been working in
a dead end space under the house. Yikes!
Being a bear's lunch was not in my retirement plans, so I started
researching firearms online. The search for the right firearm also quickly
revealed much about the modern legislative assault on the Second Amendment.
With great interest I researched more.
We knew that our Founding Fathers investigated every form of government
that had ever existed anywhere before creating our new government, taking
the best parts of each. But it was news to us that it took these men, who
had so recently been under the thumb of a king, a decade after writing our
Constitution to figure out how to defend us from our own standing
armies and the government they had created, should they abuse their power.
It was that effort that led to the Second Amendment. Contrary to what we
are often told now, many documents prove the Second Amendment was written
expressly for these purposes.
One of them was an article in The Federal Gazette and Philadelphia Evening Post of Thursday,
June 18, 1789 in its series on the meaning and reasoning behind the new
amendments. It said of the Second Amendment, "As civil rulers, not having
their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize; and as the
military forces which must be raised on occasion to defend our country,
might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the
people are confirmed in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
The Second Amendment is there to enable the people to defend themselves
against tyrannical governments and dictatorial armies, and owning their
private arms means it is an individual right to their own weapons. It is not unclear. British law was already "most clear and undeniable"
that the king's "protestant subjects have a right to have arms for their
Now in America, we have politicians surrounded by armed security
telling law-abiding Americans like you and me that we don't need firearms
for self-defense and our Second Amendment only applies to the military. Yet
the historical record proves the Second Amendment was written to protect
the people from politicians and the military!
We are also amazed that there is a serious discussion as to whether people
have a right to defend themselves when our Constitution says our God given
rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we
have a God given right to our lives, how can we not have the right to keep
someone from taking away our lives? Only firearms can enable the
weak and the old to protect their lives.
Laws restricting gun ownership do not just put us at risk from criminals;
they are extremely hazardous to our liberty and lives. Look at
what happened after the right to keep and bear arms was taken away in Nazi
Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China and countless other countries.
The sequence was always the same; despots gained power, guns were
registered, guns were banned, and the people on the registration lists were
disarmed. The horrors then committed by those governments are warnings to
Today, America is the only country on earth where our individual freedoms
are protected by the right to own firearms, and that constitutional right
is being infringed in more and more ways. It is a freedom that we must
defend with all our might if we and our descendants are to remain free. The
NRA is the foremost defender of the Second Amendment, and the Second
Amendment is the primary defender of our freedom. Rachel and I decided the
best legacy we could leave would be one that would help keep our fellow
Americans free, and the best way to do that would be to help the NRA keep
defending the Second Amendment. That is why the NRA figures prominently in
our estate plan.
If you, too, would like to help ensure the freedom of your children and
grandchildren, and believe that the NRA deserves your help, we would be
happy to have you join us. Contact [email protected] or
call (877) NRA-GIVE for more information. Consultations are free and
The NRA Ring of Freedom is dedicated to building relationships with patriots who are seeking to secure the future of freedom.
This site is informational and educational in nature. It is not offering professional tax, legal, or accounting advice. For specific advice about the effect of any planning concept on your tax or financial situation or with your estate, please consult a qualified professional advisor.