I want to thank everyone for being here tonight. We are here because we are freedom loving citizens that support our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. For each of us our Second Amendment means something different. What does our second amendment mean to you? Is it enjoying the heritage of hunting? Perhaps you are like me and enjoy competitive shooting, but for most, our second amendment is about protecting themselves and their families.
I don’t know about all of you but I am sure sick of being called a terrorist, being told we love our guns more than the lives of our children. The smears and name calling that is dividing our country. As NRA members, there is no blood on our hands as the media likes to proclaim. We love our children. We love our hunting heritage and we love our freedom. Our freedom to choose how to defend ourselves against the evil in this world that chooses to prey upon the law abiding citizens of this country.
The NRA is the reason that we are all here tonight. The NRA is our collective voice for our second amendment rights and our points of views that reach to the President, members of congress and the media. The NRA is there to stand and fight so that we continue to have a voice.
We have witnessed horrific acts committed by people with mental illness. Murders committed by criminals and thugs. Yet, the law abiding citizen and NRA members are blamed, we bear the consequences on our innocent shoulders. All of us want to live in safe communities and have our children safe from harm's way. Blaming honest, law-abiding people for the acts of murders is not the answer.
There is a huge push for the passage of new gun control laws. Let me tell you right now, if enacted, these laws will fail and tragedy will strike again because criminals don’t obey the laws. They don’t follow the laws that are on the books now and they won’t obey new laws either.
And when new legislation fails, the political elites will grab for more guns, their reach will extend, they will push for more legislation that will penalize you and me, the law abiding citizen even more for crimes that we did not commit.
We are looking at future government list making which is not a road to safety. It is a road to tyranny.
Right now, today, there are more than 10 million young adults age 18-20 that are facing having their rights stripped away as we have just witnessed in Florida. They are being blamed for the failures of local law enforcement, federal law enforcement and the political elites.
How many of you in this room are 18-20 years old? Please stand. It is you that they are talking about. It is your rights they are trying to strip away.
Who in this room, fought for the freedom of our country at 18, 19 or 20 years old? Please stand.
Who in this room, started hunting without a parent at 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20 years old? Please stand.
I want you to all look around the room. The future of our country is at risk. The anti’s are going to criminalize 18-20 year olds that want to enjoy the freedoms that we have enjoyed. They want to make us criminals.
The NRA is fighting for the rights of the past freedom that you all have enjoyed for the next generation of 18-20 year olds.
Anti- second amendment advocates say that 18-20 year olds aren’t old enough to purchase a gun or defend others. They say that 18-20 year olds are not mature enough to go into the woods and hunt. But they will send those same 18-20 year olds to war.
The media and the left is pandering to children. They are using them as political pawns. You see it in the media and in our schools. They are pretending that these children are smarter than our countries founders when it comes to making policy. They are using tragedies and indoctrination to push an agenda that will strip away the rights of the law abiding.
They are doing this, while at the same time saying that young adults are too immature to go hunting on their own before the age of 21. To immature purchase a firearm. To immature to protect themselves. These are young adults that vote. They have families of their own. They go to war for us.
Raising the age to purchase a rifle of any kind to 21 is one that we need to voice absolute rejection.
We all want the same thing. We all want to keep our kids safe and to eliminate crime. We cannot afford these tragedies to keep happening in our communities. There crazy people out there that want nothing more than to do harm to the innocent.
But how to we ensure safety? Because a sticker on a window that says “Gun Free Zone” is nothing but an invitation for dangerous predator to prey on our children.
Gun grabbers aren’t putting themselves in the position of teachers or students. These political elites have highly trained armed guards to protect them. Armed security that is proven to work. That’s why they pay for it. But they are so far above us that in their mind they “need” security that we commoners apparently do not.
They want to strip away our right to protect ourselves and gift us with the magical protection of safety from law enforcement. Now, this is good enough for us, but not them no, they need their own private, trained security detail. They deserve an immediate responder. Think about that. Right now, should we choose, we are our own first responders. And they want to take that from us. They want to take that from 10 million 18-20 year old young adults.
These elites and the media’s lame argument that armed security was the Parkland school and it didn’t help stop violence. Which in order to serve as first responder, the sheriff’s department officers actually have to respond. Instead they were ordered to stand down, to not go inside and sit back and let innocent children die.
There was magical protection of safety from law enforcement for those kids. We are our own first responder.
If the media and leftists were as quick to punish failed authority as they are law abiding young adults we would make real progress towards a safer country. If these same individuals pressed for the enforcement of gun legislation that is on the books and locked up every thug, gang banger and drug dealer that is breaking the law, we would make real progress towards a safer country.
The anti-gunners think that we aren’t smart enough to decide what type of firearm works for ourselves for personal protection. But, the NRA believes that we are enough. That we have the right to be our own first responder with the firearm of our choice.
As NRA members need to do a better job in our own communities. We need to take responsibility to be the face and voice for our children. Speak out to our school boards, to our teachers and to fellow parents as the face of a responsibly armed American.
I get emailed and messages daily asking me, what can I do? How can I help? I don’t want to lose my rights. I have done nothing wrong.
There is no easy answer. There is no easy solution. Our voice has to be stronger than opposition. Our solutions are real and they are effective. And they need to be heard. They need to be enacted.
What are the solutions?
Let’s start with prevention.
Did you know that is not federally mandated for states to report criminal convictions or the mentally unfit to the NICS system? If these people are known threats and they are not being reported, the background check system is going to continue to fail. Wayne LaPierre has been demanding that our broken background check system be fixed for years. Those with mental health issues not only need treatment but they need put into the background check system. ALL the records of violent criminals and those found by a court to have a dangerous mental illness need to be entered into the background check system. This needs to be a federal mandate.
We need to secure our schools and help to prevent violence before it happens.
Start making phone calls and sending emails for the congressional support of legislation like the Stop School Violence Act. This needs to happen immediately. It would provide the funding for student and teacher and law enforcement training to better identify early warning signs that a person is a threat. It would fund programs to implement threat assessment procedures and create a coordinated violence prevention system.
We need trained armed security in every school. We need to empower law abiding citizens the freedom to make decisions about their own safety and security. That includes arming teachers that choose to be their own first responder.
We need to stand up and demand 50 state reciprocity.
We need to demand the strictest enforcement of gun legislation that is on the books. We need to lock up every thug, gang banger and drug dealer that is breaking the law.
We can prevent violence and protect the second amendment- all at the same time. The NRA is our voice to stand and fight. When it comes to defending our constitutional freedoms the NRA will never ever waiver.
We are the common people. We are moms, dads, law enforcement officers, military personnel, we are hunters, we are everyday America bound together by the desire to protect our freedoms. I ask you, freedom loving patriots to stand up, support our great association to strengthen our voice at this time of great need. Now is the time for all of us to join together in defense of the principals that make this nation so great. Join us, be a voice for freedom. Together, the NRA you and I, we are freedom’s safest place.