At the NRA Members' Meeting today in Atlanta, NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre said that the next eight years under a Donald Trump presidency offers many opportunities that must be seized.
"We endorsed him early and stuck with him," LaPierre said. "When the so-called experts and media scoffed at us, we didn’t blink. When they came after Trump, we went after them. The next eight years are the most fateful years in the history of the Second Amendment. The next eight years spell the difference between a Second Amendment left critically vulnerable to dismantling or a freedom preserved for an entire generation."
In nearly 40 years of standing up for Second Amendment freedoms, LaPierre said, he has "never seen a better opportunity than now to seize our destiny, as patriots, and preserve our Second Amendment freedom for all time."
LaPierre went on to call out former President Barack Obama for appointing two "leftist, anti-Second Amendment" judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and for shifting the partisan balance on 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals. Throughout his tenure, Obama appointed 331 judges to federal courts, or more than a third of the entire federal judiciary. When Obama took office, only one U.S. Court of Appeals had a majority of Democratic appointees; now, nine do.
"That is how you get Maryland’s Fourth Circuit thumbing its nose at the U.S. Supreme Court," he said, referencing the Supreme Court's Heller decision and the Fourth Circuit's upholding of a ban on AR-15's. "If legal precedent and fact can be so easily ignored and reinvented, if a lower court can so cavalierly neuter the highest court in our land, then it’s game over. Law and order and justice are gone—America transformed into some bizarre, unrecognizable society, defined not by law, but by liberal judges."
LaPierre further praised recent Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch and called for the replacement of longtime justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. "It’s our job to back the president long enough to completely repopulate the federal judiciary and change the Supreme Court forever," he said.
Describing a "freedom movement" sweeping the courts and all 50 American states, LaPierre said society must instill a full understanding a respect for the Second Amendment in younger generations.
"When young Americans learn about the Second Amendment—when they find out they actually have a right under the constitution to buy and own firearms to protect themselves—they enthusiastically embrace that freedom," he said. " In far too many classrooms, the U.S. Constitution is ignored—the Second Amendment discarded or bizarrely twisted to fit the liberal agenda of teachers and professors."
LaPierre additionally notes that principles on which the United States was founded, like constitutional freedom and free-market capitalism, have been supplanted with "Marxism, Socialism, Communism and a weird culture of politically correct societal collectivism."
"It’s time to get back to what most Americans have always wanted," he said. "And for the next fateful eight years, that is the individual freedom, granted by God and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution—that is the freedom we will never surrender, the freedom for which we will always stand and always fight."
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.