At the NRA Members' Meeting today in Atlanta, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox addressed the crowd, thanking them for their efforts in turning Candidate Trump into President Trump.
"When we made the earliest presidential endorsement in NRA history, the media said we were 'buying deck chairs on Trump’s Titanic,'" Cox said. "There were times when we were the only group in America with the guts to stand and fight for Donald Trump. And when Election Day came, you stormed the voting booths in every corner of the country and, as a result, President Donald Trump joined us here in Atlanta!"
Cox recalled last year's Annual Meeting in Lousiville, in which the "corruption, dishonesty and elitism in Washington had truly reached a tipping point." He asked the audience to imagine what this year's meeting would've been like if Trump had lost the presidency. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he said, "would’ve torn the Second Amendment to shreds in no time."
Cox goes on to praise other new leaders in Washington, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Defense General James "Mad Dog" Mattis.
Despite the recent political victories, Cox expressed that "Obama’s got a legacy that’ll live on for generations."
"Just look at the 331 federal judges he appointed for life," he said. "Or the thousands of bureaucrats he hired, and the endless rules and regulations they impose on every aspect of our lives. With Washington’s bureaucratic machine teaming up to “resist Trump” at every turn, our president’s gonna need us to have his back."
Turning his attention to national reciprocity, Cox reminds the crowd that 10 states can currently deny Second Amendment freedoms to law-abiding citizens. Unlike driver's licenses, he said, national reciprocity "wouldn’t impose federal guidelines, or allow for any federal control at all."
"This freedom makes a life-or-death difference in innocent people’s lives," he said. "It isn’t just illegal for states to deny it, it’s downright immoral and it needs to change. For that to happen, it will take the same intensity and moral purpose that we brought to last year’s election."
Cox applauded Europe for its stance on suppressors, noting that the Europeans understand a person's hearing is "too important to be hidden behind a $200 federal tax, fingerprints and a nine-month paper chase."
"As much as we wish it weren’t the case, too many people get their firearms facts from The New York Times and MSNBC instead of American Rifleman," he said. "If we don’t make it our job to get the truth out, the lies become overwhelming."
The NRA-ILA Executive Director ended his speech with a vow: that November was more than a temporary moment.
"It was a permanent political red line for every would-be holder of power: If you run against the Second Amendment freedom of everyday American citizens, you put your future in direct opposition to the most powerful grassroots force in history," he said.
Stay tuned to NRATV for additional coverage from the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta. For a transcript of Cox's full speech, click here.