A legend of Florida politics has called it quits. Marion Hammer, the decades-long lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Tallahassee and a past president of the gun rights’ group, announced her retirement after 44 years.

On Fourth Of July, One Of NRA’s Top Lobbyists Reminds Us The Second Amendment Is About Protecting Freedom

One of America’s top gun-rights lobbyists may be retiring, but she is not going quietly.

Just ahead of the Fourth of July, Marion Hammer, the NRA’s top lobbyist in Tallahassee and a former president of the longtime pro-Second Amendment group, offered an unapologetic, vigorous defense of gun owners’ rights, as Democrats and some pliable Republicans seek to curtail those.

In a lengthy op-ed published Friday by The Capitolist, a conservative news website in Tallahassee, Hammer dropped the rhetorical hammer on the gun grabbers. She explained how “freedom is a gift … purchased with the blood of patriots,” and the role the Second Amendment plays in guaranteeing that freedom.

“We repeatedly hear how the education system has been compromised by people who are trying to rewrite history and eliminate some parts of history from textbooks and classrooms altogether. If we allow anyone to edit our founding history and eliminate why our Founding Fathers fought so hard in building our nation, future generations may not learn our true history and won’t feel the need to fight to protect it,” Hammer wrote.

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“If that happens, the enemies of freedom will have won. … Make no mistake, without the Second Amendment, we will no longer be free. Why do you think the anti-gunners fight so hard to take our guns? The Second Amendment is the means with which we keep our heritage intact and keep our nation free. A disarmed society is powerless against the enemies of freedom.”

Hammer then recounted some of America’s critical history. She then noted that in September 1787, the proposed U.S. Constitution was drafted.

A handful of states — Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut — adopted it right away, she pointed out, Yet others wanted more protection of individual rights, including the right to bear arms.

Nine months later, the reluctant states were satisfied that the Bill of Rights would be part of the document, especially what became known as the Second Amendment, and agreed to ratify the Constitution.

“The Second Amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about target shooting, and it’s not about gun collecting. Those are just traditional lawful uses. It’s about protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms to protect themselves, and to protect freedom from an oppressive, tyrannical government that puts its own politics and desires for control above the rights of the people,” Hammer argued.

“Our Founding Fathers knew that, without firearms, the people would have no means to protect themselves against tyranny; foreign or domestic. No means to protect themselves against a government that puts itself above the people.”

She pointed to Nazi Germany and Fidel Castro’s Cuba as examples of what happens when people surrender arms in favor of government promises about protection and safety.

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“When Castro came to power, one of his first actions was to take guns away from the people. Then he took their wealth, their property, their freedom, and their dignity. Cuba became a nation in shambles with a desperate and demoralized people—and it all happened in a few short years,” Hammer wrote.

“I’ve talked to many of my Cuban-American friends about how it all happened. And almost to a person they lamented: ‘I can’t believe we were so stupid.’ But they weren’t stupid. They simply misplaced their trust. By the time they realized what was happening, it was too late—their beloved leader had shown himself to be an evil, tyrannical dictator, and freedom was lost.”

“So, don’t be fooled. Government control of gun ownership is not about safety and it’s not about crime—it’s about control of the people,” she continued.

“Government cannot take total control of the people as long as the Second Amendment is intact, and peaceful, average, hardworking citizens can freely own firearms,” Hammer concluded.

“We owe our Founding Fathers. It is our duty to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights they fought so hard to give us. That is why the NRA continues to lead that fight. We have much for which to be thankful and to protect from evildoers on this Independence Day.”

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