Concerned that our Second Amendment rights and freedoms were hanging in the balance following overtures by the President to reform the nation’s gun laws, former Navy SEAL Dom Raso had a simple question for the National Rifle Association: “How can I help?”
Presumably, the nation’s gun lobby was more than pleased to have a 12-year combat veteran — as Raso said, “steady combat” — lend his voice to their cause because, well, the NRA gave him a job right alongside the two other burgeoning luminaries in the gun debate: viral sensation Mr. Colion Noir and the intrepid Natalie Foster, editor of “A Girl’s Guide to Guns.”
In my humble opinion, Raso makes a great addition to the NRA’s team of unofficial spokesmen. While his Internet clout and social media skills aren’t on par with Noir or Foster just yet, Raso’s frontline experience overseas brings an important perspective and gravitas to the ongoing national conversation about restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. For example, watch this PSA:
“It is unbelievable that politicians like Mayor Bloomberg think that they are experts on personal protection,” Raso said in the above video. “Me and the guys I fought with, we didn’t go to war so that some politician could dictate whatever he thinks is best for the American people.”
“What have those guys ever accomplished that gives them any credibility on the subject of personal protection?”
For Raso, education is the key to winning the battle over gun control. As he said in our interview at the 2013 NRA Convention, his desire to become politically engaged has its roots in wanting to “help educate people who don’t know what’s going on with politics.” Certainly, there is a lot of work to do along these lines.
According to Raso, one bit of misinformation that needs to be addressed is the notion that the gun control laws being proposed in Washington and around the country would somehow prevent another mass shooting.
“None of these rules, none of this legislation [i.e., the Manchin-Toomey expanded background check amendment] that would have been pushed through would have prevented Newtown,” said Raso.
He’s right, of course. This is not only common sense, but what experts on the subject of mass killings have concluded.
“How would creating new laws prevent a mass shooting?” Raso asked rhetorically.
If Gun.com could do this interview over again, we probably would have asked Raso less about politics (although, that’s a vitally important subject and one we’re required to report on) and more about gear and guns. That’s not a shot at Raso’s political acumen but rather a praise of his knowledge on all things tactical (Raso is a self-described “gear and gun geek”).
Currently he’s doing research, development, test, evaluation and design with the NRA’s Life of Duty. As he put it, “Getting the operator’s perspective [on equipment], as opposed to the opinion of “Some guy who is just sitting in his garage.”
And Raso has a ton of insight. Not only because he’s a former Navy SEAL, but because we started chatting when the interview was over about all sorts of cool things. Next time around we’ll be sure to ask Dom more gun and gear-related questions, on camera.