« Gaetz tells Senate 'elections will be held on time' | Main | The week in PolitiFact Florida »

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer sounds off on New York Times opinion writer

The National Rifle Association's top lobbyist in Florida has squared off against a writer (and gun-owning hunter) who said in a New York Times opinion piece that the NRA cares more about unbridled gun rights than it does about actual hunting.

Lily Raff McCaulou's editorial called out the NRA for not supporting environmental issues that affect hunting and wildlife, and for paying more attention to things like assault weapons and unregulated gun use.

(Here's a link to the piece, titled "I Hunt, but the NRA Isn't For Me.") 

Marion Hammer, a former NRA president and the chief lobbyist responsible for Florida's Stand Your Ground law, is firing back. 

In a sharply-worded retort to McCaulou, Hammer said the NRA is about defending the Second Amendment, and making sure the liberty of Americans is protected from gun control (which, as we learn in the letter, is actually "people control.")

Written in lofty conservative prose, the letter contains the word "Freedom" 13 times.

"You go right ahead and make your choices to hunt, to own guns ("but not for self-defense"), to support gun control laws and to vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law.  The NRA will continue to fight for your Freedom to make those choices," Hammer wrote. "Through out history, a few good men and women have always stood strong and sacrificed to protect the many. That includes the unwise who chose not to protect themselves -- and even those who brag about such folly in print."

Hammer is known as a staunch advocate for gun rights who has been able to get nearly every one of the gun lobby's wishes passed into law in Florida. Her name has been in the spotlight since the shooting of Trayvon Martin became an international story, drawing more focus to Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Hammer's full letter is below.

Ms. Lily Raff McCaulou
Op-Ed Contributor
The New York Times

Dear Ms. McCaulou

Your April 24, 2012 column in The New York Times titled  I Hunt, but the N.R.A. Isn't for Me  actually shows you know little about the NRA and even less about the Second Amendment and history.  The NRA fights to protect and preserve the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment has never been about hunting, it has never been about target shooting and it has never been about gun control.  

The Second Amendment is about FREEDOM and the means with which to protect your personal Freedom and our collective Freedom.  Those who support gun control are really supporting "people control."  A government cannot control, subvert the rights of and enslave a Free people.  To maintain Freedom requires the means with which to protect that Freedom -- ARMS.  History supplies that proof.

To live Free in your home, your place of work, your place of recreation and on the streets as you travel to and from your chosen destinations is Freedom.  Freedom that many take for granted and rely upon others to protect.  

To preserve that Freedom requires that we have the Freedom to chose whether or not  to go armed.

If you chose not to go armed and rely upon others to protect your Freedom to hunt and enjoy wildlife -- that's YOUR choice and you have the Freedom to make that choice.  The 4 million members of the NRA are standing strong to protect that Freedom for you, whether you care or not.  

So, you go right ahead and make your choices to hunt, to own guns ("but not for self-defense"), to support gun control laws and to vote to repeal the Stand Your  Ground law.  The NRA will continue to fight for your Freedom to make those choices.  

Through out history, a few good men and women have always stood strong and sacrificed to protect the many. That includes the unwise who chose not to protect themselves -- and even those who brag about such folly in print.

Marion P. Hammer
NRA Past President



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Can't take anymore

Poor old Marion will never tolerate any view but her own obsession with arming everyone from age 3 to 103. The NRA was founded on a shared concern for hunting, shooting sports and preservation of the right to hunt game. It was a wonderful teacher of gun safety and the joy of target shooting to generations of American youth (me included) but has been usurped by ultra rightwing ideologues who somehow equate conservation of natural resources with communism. Marion and NRA President for Life LaPierre represent a great threat to the future safety and security of America because they oppose any rational discussion about firearms in society.

Darryl Hadfield

You are incorrect.



Marion Hammer is right and she speaks for me and other Lifetime NRA members. She has my full support and confidence unlike the current President of the United States of America.

Mike Stone

"Poor old Marion" knows that there are over 20,000 gun control laws on the books in America, and that not one of those laws is likely to stop a criminal from committing a crime. Those of you who believe that banning firearms is conducive to "safety" should keep in mind that we have hundreds of communities across the U.S. where the population are strictly prohibited from owning or possessing a gun, or any other weapon, for that matter. Only the authorities are allowed weapons in these communities. These oases of peace and tranquility are none other than our Nation's prisons, where the more brutal and depraved beat, rape, and murder weaker members of their society in a gun-free paradise. So don't spout off your weak-kneed, craven, and distorted logic about how those of us who reside outside of prison walls would all be more "secure" if we could just disarm the law-abiding... it doesn't fly. And, Ms. Hammer, God bless you for the work that you have done in defending our Constitution from those who would rather cower in weakness as they continue on their pathetic and malicious quest to render those of us who are not too cowardly and irresponsible to walk in freedom more vulnerable to the whims of society's miscreants.

B.J. McClure

Marion Hammer's comments were both accurate and insightful. If we lose our freedom, we have nothing. If Obama's callous disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law do not scare the hell out of you it's time for a major reality check. As a Viet Nam vet and an attorney, I fully support the NRA position and Marion Hammer. You go girl!

D. Anderson

Spoken just like another liberal willing to let someone else defend their freedom. Own guns, hunt, yet unwilling to take a stand to defend the right to do so. Wake up America.


Actually the NRA does need a "compassionate" and complimentary side issue to pursue and that issue is the repeal or amendment of the "Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963". This ill-considered law is the mother of all gun violence since the 1960's because it began the closing of mental hospitals and forced the mentally ill out onto America's streets. These unfortunates, left on their own, have a helpless appetite for illegal drugs to medicate their madness and a proclivity to senseless violence. John Wilkes-Booth was mentally ill. So was Lee Harvey Oswald and Jared Loughner, the shooter of Rep. "Gabby" Giffords. ALL assassinations and mass murders in the USA have been committed by persons with a known record of mental illness! In short, the NRA should support a policy for the return of "humane" mental institutions before the crazy are allowed to shoot the 2nd. Amendment to death.


We lose on the Second Amendment, and we will most certainly lose on the First Amendment. It is only free men and women willing to fight for the right to keep and bear arms who will keep us free. So keep up the great work Marion. As an NRA Life Member, I salute you.

Tim Duckworth

After the discovery and development of phenothiazine antipsychotics (Thorazine(R),etc. in the late 50's and early 60's the movement to "clean out" the mental hospitals went into full swing. The mental insitutions were a disgrace, but all we did was move the problem out into the streets! "Out in the streets" at that time just happened to be a social upheavel of heretofore unseen proportions-including illicit drug use. Is it any wonder that the poor patients who had just been de-institutionalized couldn't cope and many turned to illicit drugs and some to violence. I'm not sure, however, if this is a good project for the NRA. Their plate is full to overflowing right now just defending our Second Amendment Rights. Perhaps We the People should write/call/fax/e-mail our elected representatives concerning the matter! Love & Peace.....Duck

Lawrence A. Cecchini

Marion Hammer is correct. 100%. That's all that needs to be said. Thank God that we have spokespeople to voice our thoughts and concerns in this country. I am a member of the NRA. Have been for 25 years. My wife is. My sons are. My friends are. We stand with the NRA in the struggle to protect our freedoms. God Bless America.

John Fait

Only criminals, or those plotting crimes against others freedoms, are frightened of their intended victims also bearing arms.
Law abiding folks should pay attention to these suspects, lest history repeats itself.

Joseph Shearer

Marion Hammer speaks for me and my wife. This country is protected from within by Americans with firearms and the protection of the Bill of Rights as provided for in the Declaration if Independence. Millions of people have went to an early death because their country failed to protect them and were disarmed by new gun laws passed by Dictators. Those who fail to learn from history sometimes repeat historys failures.
Joe Shearer


Mr.Duckworth...You followed the drift of my post perfectly. I've spent a long time correlating data on violence, drugs and their relation to the mentally ill population on the street. This also includes correlating these events effect on increasing anti-2nd. Amendment laws as a result of "senseless" violence. A noted British psychiatrist and behaviorist, by the name of Lionel Penrose, did studies of British society in the 1930's leading to his conclusion that: "...the population size of prisons and psychiatric hospitals are inversely related..". And so it is in America. For the last 55+ years this same correlation has been demonstrated (proven?), statistically, to be true here in the USA. The mental hospitals are mostly empty and the prisons are overcrowded. Drugs have found their way to Heartland America by those with policies of "good intentions". Yes the NRA has a lot on its plate. However, it's my opinion that the largest portions of this anti-gun gruel, that the NRA must try to chew and digest, were spooned there by this country's failed mental illness policies. Politics makes strange bedfellows, Mr. Duckworth, and it would be, indeed, a strange affair for the NRA and the National Institute of Mental Health to be in bed together. But stranger things have happened and it's good "PR" for the NRA if handled with "cautious sensitivity". I believe a reverse of America's confinement policies regarding the mentally ill, done with necessary and "humane" improvements, would be good for all Americans and the 2nd. Amendment. Regards.


The Goverment arms drug dealers, killers, and terrorists (Fast and Furious) yet disarms the citizens of the United States against the second amendment. And please don't forget that many cities across America are laying off many members of the police force. So next time you feel safe in your home remember, it's not the cop driving down your street twice a year, it the 37% of home owners in your neighborhood. The 37% percent chance the burgler, killer or rapist keeps in mind. The 37% chance he will be killed before the commision of the criminal act. But if you want to rely on the reactionary police force, you know, the ones you have to dial 911 after the criminal did his thing for them to come to your rescue then please feel free. I prefer the proactive way myself.

The comments to this entry are closed.