NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre vows that when it comes to the Second Amendment and the due process principles upon which our nation stands, the National Rifle Association will never, ever waver. The NRA will stand clearly and proudly for the absolute protection of the entire bill of rights, LaPierre promises, and will reject any proposal that fails to respect the ultimate authority of every law-abiding American's individual freedom.
The NRA chief also calls for the tens of millions of law-abiding, freedom-loving patriots to stand up and strengthen the NRA's voice at this time of great need. Now is the time, says LaPierre, for all of us to join together in defense of the principles that make America the greatest nation on earth.
In the wake of recent events, I want to address you, the more than 5 million members of the National Rifle Association of America, as well as the tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners who look to the NRA for leadership. We have thoroughly expressed, and will continue to express, your principles and point of view to the president, members of Congress and the media.
When it comes to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, and the due process principles upon which our nation stands—the NRA will never, ever waver. We stand clearly and proudly for individual freedom and the absolute protection of the entire bill of rights—including our 5th and 14th Amendments. And when it comes to the issues being debated, we will reject any proposal that fails to respect the ultimate authority of every law-abiding American's individual freedom.
At a time when American parents so desperately want their leaders to focus on meaningful solutions to protect their children, we are saddened and frustrated that too many have chosen instead to focus on a politically motivated agenda that has nothing to do with keeping kids safe.
When it comes to the safety of our politicians, our celebrities and our sports stars, the answer is clear—armed security. It's the only security solution that is proven to work, which is why the National Rifle Association has called repeatedly for trained armed security in every American school. But instead of doing whatever it takes to harden our schools immediately, some of the political class offer old, failed gun control policies that represent a direct attack on Second Amendment freedom.
So let me be absolutely clear. On the issue of raising the age of purchase for all firearms to 21—we reject the idea that the way to address the categorical failures, including those of local law enforcement, federal law enforcement and the political class, is to deny the Second Amendment rights of more than 10 million 18-, 19- and 20-year-old adults.
They vote, they fight our wars, they marry and have kids of their own. These law-abiding American citizens had nothing to do whatsoever with that tragedy and we stand resolute in defense of their freedom.
At the same time, in order to prevent future loss of innocent life, we call for a serious, wide-ranging examination of the catastrophic government failure that truly is to blame for the tragedy in Parkland. If the politicians were as eager to punish the authority figures whose dereliction of duty cost innocent lives as they are to punish innocent, law-abiding young adults, we would make real progress toward a safer country.
On the issue of the so-called gun-show loophole, we reject its very existence. Just as murder is not a loophole—it's a crime—an illegal purchase of a firearm is not a loophole, it is a crime and we continue our calls for the strongest possible prosecution of the federal gun laws.
And let me be absolutely unequivocal: We will never support any scheme that forces the transfer of every firearm—including between law-abiding family, friends and neighbors—under the thumb of government bureaucracy. It will quickly become a registry scheme and history proves that government list-making is not a road to safety, it is a road to tyranny.
If there is one thing that has been made absolutely clear over the past few weeks, it’s that government is way too often unworthy of our trust. We will stand and fight against any sure-to-fail form of government gun control, including any form of a ban on semi-automatic rifles, any form of a magazine capacity ban, and any form of a ban on any firearm accessory. We have repeatedly called, and continue to insist, that the bump stock device be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to individual freedom and empowering law-abiding Americans to make their own decisions about the safety and security of themselves and their families. And we are absolutely determined to pass National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity.
We have repeatedly offered real solutions that are proven to work. Put trained armed security in every school. Fix the broken mental health care system. Enforce the federal gun laws against every drug dealer and criminal gang member on the street, which stops them before they get to their next victim. Immediately prosecute dangerous people when they show up to buy a gun. And once and for all, heed our call that has gone unanswered for 25 years: Force every state to submit the name of every last prohibited person into the background check system. These are real solutions that respect the individual freedom that is the birthright of every law-abiding American citizen.
I have fought for the individual right of Americans to keep and bear arms for nearly 40 years. I am as resolute and as dedicated to continue that fight today as I have ever been. You have my word: When it comes to your individual freedoms protected by the United States Constitution, we will never, ever waver.
So I ask you, the tens of millions of law-abiding, freedom-loving patriots who I have been so proud to fight beside all these years, to stand up! Join our great association. Strengthen our voice at this time of great need.
Now is the time for all of us to join together in defense of the principles that make America the greatest nation on earth.
We are a gathering of the most common of common people, utterly unique in all of American history. Millions of moms and dads, police officers and firefighters, soldiers and teachers and factory workers and farmers representing every political affiliation and every religious belief bound together by a shared belief in human freedom.
We will always and forever answer to only one fundamental principle: adherence to the extraordinary collection of natural freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America.
Join our ranks. Lend your voice to our movement. Together, we truly are Freedom's Safest Place.
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