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Former NRA President David Keene came back to his home state of Wisconsin this week to share a bit of insight into the fight to defend our Second Amendment rights.

Addressing members of the Wisconservation Club in Fort Atkinson Monday evening at their 67th annual banquet, Keene reminded the group that the only way to preserve the Second Amendment is to pass on our rights and values to the next generation and spoke frankly about his involvement in the gun control debate during the Obama administration.

I spoke here in 2010 before I assumed the presidency of the NRA. At the time, I was looking forward to a pretty easy and pleasant gig — to get to go around and meet a lot of people and hunters and outdoors people, give out some awards and just generally have a good time.

I left here and they made me president of the National Rifle Association. Then Barack Obama announced that he had other plans for the Second Amendment and things got a little rough the next few years.

It was quite an experience and one of the reasons I’m so happy to be in a crowd like this. I remember, during the course of that fight, I was invited to Harvard University to talk to about 600 students. … Those were days when we talked to whomever we had to talk to. We traveled the country and the rights that we so cherish were preserved, not because we did that, not because I was president of the NRA, not because Wayne LaPierre was there, but because so many Americans just like you care so much about the values that we share.

Keene also shared how thankful he is that his home state instilled in him a great passion for gun rights and a true appreciation of the outdoors and shooting sports.

Had I not been from Fort Atkinson, had I not been from Wisconsin, I probably wouldn’t have been as obsessed with preserving these freedoms and these rights as I have been, so I have to thank you for what I’ve been able to accomplish because it was you and this area that imbued me, and many others, the love of the outdoors that, I think, we all share. This area has had a lot of influence on a lot of people over the years and the values that we all share are important to a lot of people.

Keene also signed copies of book, Shall Not be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment, which tells the short history of the gun control debate in America and a reveals how gun control advocates use polls, studies, and numbers to mislead the public.

Concluding his speech, Keene reminded attendees that the opposition “to firearms rights, the opposition to outdoor sports, the opposition to hunting and fishing is a quasi-religion and people who possess such a religion don’t go away – they find other ways to go after the rights that they think others should not be able to exercise.”

That’s a message we can all stand to learn from. If we take the time and become diligent in passing on our core values, passion for defending and protecting the Second Amendment, and love of the outdoors and shooting sports to every generation behind us, we will never loose.