It’s great to be here today, among so many friends, and I appreciate your warm welcome. As you might imagine, I don’t get invited to many parties in this town. That’s okay. I came to Washington when I was about your age, but I didn’t come here to be popular. I came here to stand for what I believe is true.
The political elites may not like it. The liberal media can keep hating on me. But I’m still standing, unapologetic and unflinching in defense of our individual freedom. They can call me crazy and whatever else they want, but NRA’s nearly 5 million members and America’s 100 million gun owners will not back down — not now, not ever.
The Second Amendment is not just words on parchment. It’s not some frivolous suggestion from our Founding Fathers to be interpreted by whim. It lies at the heart of what this country was founded upon. Our Founding Fathers knew that without Second Amendment freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy.
Our individual liberty is the very essence of America. It is what makes America unique. If you aren’t free to protect yourself — when government puts its thumb on that freedom — then you aren’t free at all.
But they insult, denigrate and call us crazy for holding fast to that belief. In their distorted view of the world, they are smarter than we are. They are special and more worthy than we are. They know better than we do and if we dare disagree, they scorn us, demonize us and try to shut us up. We will not be demonized, we will not be silent.
It’s time for a sane look at the insanity that has consumed all too much of the media and the political class in this town. They wag a condemning finger at the NRA. They call US crazy. But no one — no other organization in the world — has spent more millions, over more decades, to keep Americans safe. Our firearms safety training, law enforcement training, women’s training, hunter education and child accident prevention programs are second to none.
While gun ownership is at an all-time high, we’ve brought accidents with firearms to an all-time low. Every year, we teach millions of lawabiding people how to use, store and defend themselves with firearms.
We’ve been training America’s military and law enforcement officers since NRA’s founding, way back in 1871.
And they call us crazy? They say we’re the problem? In December, I advocated nothing more than surrounding our schoolchildren with the same level of protection as our jewelry stores and sports stadiums — armed protection. The vast majority of Americans agree and favor a trained, armed police or security officer in every school. In a survey of all 50 states, nearly 90 percent of teachers and administrators said an armed officer would make their schools safer.
There isn’t a mom or a dad anywhere who wouldn’t feel better seeing a police car in the parking lot when they drop their kids off at school.
But the powerful elites, who will always have their own security, called our proposal absurd.
You know what’s really absurd? Not protecting our children at school.
Thousands of our schools today remain as vulnerable as ever to the evil intentions of a madman. While Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security offers this from its website:
“If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available,” a narrator says, while the video shows an office worker pulling a pair of scissors out of a drawer.
Scissors? That’s their answer?