Wayne LaPierre Addresses NRA Members
As they say in Texas, the president's 90 percent is all hat and no cattle
Following is NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre address to the crowd at the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting of Members inside the George R. Brown Center in Houston, Texas.
At this gathering one year ago, I predicted that our freedom might soon face its greatest threat ever. I spent the past year warning gun owners all over this country that, if re-elected, President Obama would launch an all-out, historic assault against the Second Amendment and the personal freedom of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Americans.
The news media called me paranoid. Obama vehemently denied his anti-gun agenda, mocked us, they even passed out fliers saying he would protect our rights — and a lot of Americans were deceived into believing him. Deceived. It didn’t take long for the real Barack Obama to show himself.
Even before he was sworn into office, before his inauguration, the president launched his all-out siege against our rights. From gun bans to magazine bans to convoluted schemes tantamount to national registration of every gun owner in the country.
From executive orders voted on by no one to vice presidential commissions and a flurry of legislative attacks, to U.N. treaties to gut our Second Amendment, speeches and anti-gun rallies, media appearances and the heavy-handed weight of the presidential bully pulpit. Apparently, there is nothing the president will not do to get something — anything — through Congress to advance his agenda to destroy the Second Amendment. Nothing.
So far, thanks to you and millions of Americans like you, that’s exactly what President Obama has gotten — absolutely nothing!
A lot of courageous men and women in the U.S. House and Senate have stood up to the president and defended our great freedom. They’ve taken a lot of heat from the president, Michael Bloomberg, and the media, so it’s really important that they hear from every NRA member and gun owner and American who values that freedom.
To those Senators and Congressmen who have stood with the Second Amendment, we say thank you and ask you to keep defending our rights. You have stood with us and represented your home states — let there be no doubt we stand firmly with you!
That’s important, because while the Senate vote less than two weeks ago is significant, it is but one skirmish in what can only be defined as a long war against our constitutional rights.
We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation fight for everything we care about. We have a chance to secure our freedom for a generation, or to lose it forever. We must remain vigilant, ever resolute, and steadfastly growing and preparing for the even more critical battles that loom before us.
I am proud to report that the state of our NRA is stronger and larger than it has ever been. Our commitment to freedom is unwavering, our growth unprecedented.
Today, the NRA is a record 5 million strong! Even as thousands of Americans join our cause every day, the media and political elites denigrate us. They cringe at the sight of long lines at gun shows. They mock Americans who are buying firearms and ammunition at a record pace. They scorn and scold the NRA. They don’t get it because they don’t get America.
President Obama, the President of the United States of America, held a press conference 17 days ago and angrily called the NRA liars. Liars. Really? This from a man who spent his entire re-election campaign saying he supported our Second Amendment rights and would never try to take away anyone’s gun. And he calls us liars?
This from the president who repeatedly claimed that 40 percent of firearms sales don’t involve a background check. That was never true, and the Washington Post gave the president three Pinocchio’s for that one. And he calls us liars? The biggest whopper of all, one of the president’s favorite lines, is that 90 percent of Americans support his background check bill. The media can’t rant about anything else — 90 percent don’t want criminals or the mentally ill to get their hands on guns.
Well, I don’t know what kind of polling they do at the White House, but I do know this: When it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals or the mentally deranged, NRA members agree 100 percent! But Mr. President, the bill you backed wouldn’t accomplish that goal. Your bill was for a check that criminals avoid. Your bill ordered the law-abiding to participate in a maze of regulation that could criminalize lawful firearms transactions and potentially create a massive government list of every gun-owning citizen in the country.
The Schumer bill you first supported — and still support — would create a database of every gun owner in America. The Manchin- Toomey bill you later backed wouldn’t have prevented Newtown, wouldn’t have prevented Tucson or Aurora, and won’t prevent the next tragedy. None of it has anything to do with keeping any of our children safer at any school anywhere.
That’s why the president couldn’t get 90 percent of the Senate to go along with him, because Americans saw through the political posturing. They treasure their freedom and they don’t want government to take that freedom away. As they say in Texas, the president’s 90 percent is all hat and no cattle.
I ran into a member of Congress just a couple of weeks ago. We spoke for a moment and then he said, “Wayne, I guess I have to go back and listen to 90 percent of the phone calls that are not coming in.” That’s a true story! And it tells you everything you need to know about Obama’s empty 90 percent.
So Mr. President, you can give all the speeches you want, you can conjure up all the polls you can and call NRA members all the nasty names you can think of, but your gun control legislation wouldn’t stop one criminal, wouldn’t make anyone safer anywhere and that flawed failure lost on its merits and got the defeat it deserved!
You know, the only “90” the president won’t talk about is Chicago. His own hometown, now run by his own former chief of staff. The president won’t talk about Chicago but he should, because in the entire United States, Chicago ranks 90th out of 90 jurisdictions in federal firearms prosecutions. Dead last. But when I brought that up on Meet the Press, the media ignored it.
The president doesn’t talk about that 90. And the national news media, their cameras perched like vultures in the back of this hall, they haven’t mustered the courage to walk into the White House briefing room and ask about Chicago’s 90th ranking that is getting people killed day and night — a shooting every 6.3 hours.
The deadliest city in America — the president’s own hometown — ranks dead last in federal firearms prosecutions, and the media doesn’t have the guts to ask him about it. If the president had one clue about how to clean up violent crime, don’t you think he’d do it in his own hometown? If his policies brought us Chicago, why do we want to listen to him any further? No, you’ll never hear the media ask him that. Maybe it’s because all those reporters still have Obama bumper stickers on their cars.
The national media and the political elites, they are all part of the same class that thinks they’re smarter than we are. They know better than we do. They can tell us what to do or not, what to own or not, what to eat and drink or not, and how to live or not. Take Michael Bloomberg. He’s gone from mayor of New York to the title of National Nanny. From sugar to salt to trans fats to fruit drinks to sodas, to what you can and can’t do or order in a restaurant, this guy can’t seem to find enough ways to boss people around. And now he wants to tell us who to elect or not? Seriously, I ask you, if Michael Bloomberg weren’t a billionaire, would anybody even bother to listen to him?
Now he’s joined with the president, created his own billionaire Super PAC, ready to spend hundreds of millions to attack the NRA, demonize gun owners, destroy elected officials who won’t bow down to his will, and obliterate the Second Amendment. All while the anti-gun media, which supposedly hates money in politics, is all-too-happy to take — and all-to-breathless to brag about — Bloomberg’s money in politics.
Already, they are conspiring in private. Re-grouping, planning, preparing, organizing, even waiting for the, quote “next Newtown” — the next tragedy to come, the next senseless, horrific crime to exploit. Just the other day, an anti-gun spokesman told the National Journal, quote, “The next Newtown is inevitable ... those things can help inform debate and galvanize people to act.” Folks, politics does not get any more disgusting than that. They wait to use the opportunity of violent tragedy, rather than to prevent tragedy itself.
Let me say that again. Rather than implement solutions that could prevent senseless violence, they choose broken policies that enable tragedy. Tragedy they wait to exploit, by choice, for political gain. We know that, even now, there are dangerous, deranged, evil people throughout society preparing to unleash unspeakable violence in our neighborhoods, our schools and our churches.
They use tragedy to try to blame us, to shame us into compromising our freedom for their political agenda. They want to change America, our culture and our values. But this is America. The first country in the world founded not on a race, not on a religion, not on a royalty, but on a set of God-given principles we call inalienable rights.
We come from that line of patriots who broke from King George to live their own lives as free people. And nowhere does freedom live more than in our Second Amendment right to own a firearm to defend ourselves, our families and our nation. Without that freedom, we aren’t really free at all.
There is nothing more good and right and normal than an honest American citizen owning a firearm to defend himself or protect her family. They can try to blame and shame us with all their might, but when it comes to defending the Second Amendment, we will never sacrifice our freedom upon the altar of elitist acceptance. And we will never surrender our guns — never! More Americans today than ever before understand the principle of the Second Amendment. The freedom it gives us as individuals to be responsible for our own safety, protection and survival.
Imagine living in a large metropolitan area where lawful firearms ownership is heavily regulated and discouraged. Imagine waking up to a phone call from the police, warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home. I’m talking, of course, about Boston. Where residents were imprisoned behind the locked doors of their homes — a terrorist with bombs and guns just outside. Frightened citizens, sheltered in place, with no means to defend themselves or their families from whatever may come crashing through the door.
How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago? How many other Americans now ponder that life-or-death question? A recent national poll answered that question decidedly. With danger lurking outside their doors, 69 percent of Americans said, YES, I want my freedom, I want my Second Amendment, I want my gun!
Lying in wait is a terrorist, a deranged school shooter, a kidnapper, a rapist, a murderer — waiting and planning and plotting — in every community across this country. Lying in wait right now. No amount of political schemes, congressional legislation, presidential commissions, or media roundtables will ever change that inevitable reality.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No bill in Congress, no Rose Garden speech will ever change the inescapable fact that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Boston proves it. When brave law enforcement officers did their jobs so courageously, good guys with guns stopped terrorists with guns. All over this country, people are more and more frustrated with Washington and the political and media elites. They are dismayed over a political debate that has nothing to do with addressing our problems and everything to do with advancing an old, tired, failed political agenda.
Everywhere I go, I’ve learned that the NRA is truly at the heart of America’s heartland. That we are in the middle of the river of America’s mainstream. That what we want is exactly what most Americans want.
We know our mental health system is in shambles. We all want it fixed. We want criminals with guns prosecuted and incarcerated. We want the federal gun laws on the books right now enforced against felons with guns, drug dealers with guns, and gangs with guns. If they’d just do that, those violent criminals wouldn’t be on the way to their next crime. They’d be in prison.
We all want our children to be safe and protected. That’s why we proposed trained police and security officers in every school. There’s not a mom or dad in America who wants to leave their children unprotected.
If the Washington elites really wanted the same thing, they would stop demonizing law-abiding gun owners. They would stop trying to convince the American people that all gun owners are potential criminals in waiting. And they would actually implement programs that addressed our problems in a real and meaningful way.
Put police and trained armed security in every school. Enforce the federal gun laws on the books right now. Interdict and incarcerate violent criminals before they get to the next crime scene. Rebuild our broken mental health system. Help the mentally ill by getting them off our streets and into treatment. And for God’s sake, leave the rest of us alone!
The political class and media class just don’t get it. In a lot of ways, they’ve lost track of what this great nation is really all about. It’s about US and people like us, all over this country. It’s always been about “we, the people,” not the political class, all the way back to our founding. Here’s what I’m talking about.
We are the people. This is our country. This is a fight for our freedom, the freedom that separates us from every other nation on earth. That freedom makes us stronger than other countries. It makes us better than other countries.
That freedom is on the line and never more on the line than right now and through the 2014 congressional elections.
Seventeen days ago, President Obama said this was only round one. Round two is on the way, and they’re coming after us with a vengeance to destroy us. To destroy us and every ounce of our freedom. It is up to us, every single NRA member and gun owner, all Americans, to get to work right now to meet them head-on with an NRA strong enough and large enough to defeat any and all threats to our freedom.
Today, we are a record 5 million strong. We must not and will not slow down, not one single bit. By the time we’re finished, this NRA must and will be 10 million strong. Ten million dedicated, 10 million patriotic Americans who cherish freedom and all that is good and right about America.
We don’t care if it’s round 1 or 2 or 15, this NRA will go the distance. And no matter what it takes, we will never give up or compromise our constitutional freedom — NOT ONE SINGLE INCH!
Our feet are planted firmly in the foundation of freedom, un-swayed by the winds of political and media insanity. And to the political and media elites who scorn us, we say let them be damned!
Fill your heart with pride. Clear your eyes with conviction. This is our time to Stand and Fight, now and in the next election and the one after that. Now and for the rest of our lives, to save our Second Amendment for future generations.
From liberty’s defense, we will never back down. We will never surrender. We will always stand, we will always fight. We will always Stand and Fight for freedom!
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