Rush Limbaugh passed away Wednesday after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. With his passing, the country lost not only its strongest voice for the conservative political movement, but also an incredibly strong advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.
2A Community Mourns Passing of Rush Limbaugh
Born in 1951 in Missouri, Limbaugh was a pioneer for radio talk shows and best-selling author. He passed away Wednesday at his home in Florida. He was 70.
Limbaugh’s conservative show was first syndicated in 1988, and I began listening on a regular basis in 1989. Over some 32 years on what he called the “Excellence In Broadcasting (EIB) Network,” Limbaugh worked tirelessly, hosting his radio show for three hours each weekday and even having a television show for a few years. Unlike many media personalities, Limbaugh was an important part of the daily life of millions of Americans, seeming more like family than a talk show host.
He famously quipped many quotable quotes; “Talent on loan from God,” and “With half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it even,” stand out. Limbaugh became the most loved radio host in history among conservatives. Conversely, he became roundly hated by many on the other side of the political spectrum. In his defense, many who hated him likely never listened to him, instead relying on so-called “mainstream” media using brief statements out of context to flame their passion.
Limbaugh’s thoughts on the Second Amendment were always clear, as he once noted, “You know why there’s a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.”
With his giant daily audience of millions, it’s not hard to see that Limbaugh likely helped shape the hearts and minds of many concerning the Second Amendment for the betterment of all gun owners.
A Conservative Voice
Back in 2018 when The New York Times ran a headline encouraging the repeal of the Second Amendment, Limbaugh was quick to respond. Noting the Bill of Rights contained all things James Madison had heard no serious objections to by anybody, Limbaugh said, “It was already the presumed natural way to live then at the time. They weren’t innovating, they weren’t changing anything, they weren’t protecting or guarding. They were just codifying the liberties and freedoms that were considered proper at the time.
“That history lesson on the Second Amendment and in fact the whole Bill of Rights is crucial; but the thing to note is that the Second Amendment was not a change, it was not an innovation, it was not abnormal, it was not unusual,” Limbaugh continued. “It was simply a codification, if you will, of the thinking at the time as it related to the preservation of liberty, which is what the Constitution is.”
Limbaugh proved always ready to put current events into a constitutional perspective. He became especially incensed when anti-gun politicians claimed to “support the Second Amendment” during election years. Those same politicians often quickly abandoned the stance soon after counting the votes.
“The Democrats are between a rock and a hard place on it,” he said during one of Hillary Clinton’s presidential runs. “They hate the Second Amendment. They want to get rid of it, but if they come out and say that they will lose the election, so they have to lie, as Hillary Clinton did.”
Limbaugh even made an appearance at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting back in 1993. He thrilled the large crowd in Nashville with his keynote address at the member’s banquet.
“In discussing freedom, I can think of no better place to do it than in front of the National Rifle Association,” Limbaugh said during a speech that was punctuated by repeated standing ovations. “If liberals read the rest of the constitution the way they read the Second Amendment, then gun ownership in America would be mandatory.”
Limbaugh also spoke of the pursuit of excellence. The true passion for him resounded with the NRA members present. It continues to with the majority of America’s law-abiding gun owners.
“I believe in the pursuit of excellence,” he said. “We all want a great nation, and great nations require great individuals. If there is an American culture, it is rugged individualism. But rugged individualism has been under siege for the last four years. Rugged individualism is called ‘selfishness’ and it’s called ‘greed.’ And as such, people are afraid to do things that the majority of the press and others will accuse them of.
“Something that accompanies the pursuit of excellence is an uplifting of virtually everyone around them when that is going on. I find too much of our country today focused not on lifting, but on lowering.”
The Passing of Rush Limbaugh Leaves a Void
In a statement released shortly after Limbaugh’s death, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said what many NRA members were likely thinking.
“‘With talent on loan from God’ was Rush’s humble way of masking his genius,” LaPierre said. “He captivated tens of millions of faithful listeners five days a week by giving us the hard truths. The pioneer in talk radio. A broadcast legend. An unapologetic supporter of our Second Amendment and the NRA. I will forever treasure our last conversation in November. And, a true friend. Rest in Peace, Rush.”
In the end, Limbaugh’s pursuit of excellence allowed him to live a storybook life. He did what he loved and made a great living while doing so. That’s about all any of us can hope for in life.
Rest in peace, Rush Limbaugh. Your passing leaves a three-hour gap in many people’s day. The void will prove never filled in their hearts. And conservatives lose your critical voice, one relied upon for more than 30 years. You assured conservatives their believes constitute the mainstream, not reviled or replaced.