What Needed to Be Said

posted on July 19, 2022
annual meeting speakers
Photos: Peter Fountain

Here are some quotes from the various speeches given at the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Houston, Texas. The speeches from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, former U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and more need to be seen, as they came at a very emotional and important time and these speakers didn’t dodge the big moment or the pivotal questions that matter to our freedom and safety. You can find videos of the speeches on the NRA YouTube channel.

Wayne LaPierreWayne LaPierre,
NRA Executive Vice President

"NRA members are parents. We have sons, daughters and loved ones. These tragedies cause gut-wrenching, unimaginable pain that too many are being forced to go through right now. It is not right. It should never happen again. If we as a nation were capable of legislating evil out of the hearts and minds of criminals who commit these heinous acts, we would have done it a long time ago … .  

There are absolutely certain things we can do and must do. Where we part ways with the president and many in his party is on the policy questions … . Restricting the fundamental, human right of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is not the answer. It never has been.

Each year, over 1 million law-abiding men and women use a firearm to save their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. That is over 1 million innocent Americans every year who owe their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, to their Second Amendment rights. Taking away their right to self-defense is not the answer.

But there are certain common-sense things we can and must do. We need to protect our schools. Because our children deserve at least, and in fact more, protection than our banks, stadiums and government buildings. They are our most-treasured and precious resource and they deserve safety and protection. That’s why the NRA launched our School Shield program.”

Donald TrumpDonald Trump,
Former U.S. President

"For more than 150 years, the NRA has stood strong and tall in defense of our rights, our freedoms, our families, our law-enforcement officers and our sacred liberties as Americans, and together we’ll be standing strong for many years to come.”

“Every time a disturbed or demented person commits such a hideous crime, there is always a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda. Even more repulsive is their rush to shift blame away from the villains who commit acts of mass violence and to place that blame on the shoulders of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations such as our wonderful NRA. When Joe Biden blamed the gun lobby, he was talking about Americans like you.”

Kristi NoemKristi Noem,
Governor (R-S.D.)

"I am proud to be a lifetime NRA member and to stand with all of you. Listen, America is struggling right now. There are those who want to change our foundational way of life. And then there are those of us who value the gift we were given by the Founders of this great republic ... .” Gov. Noem later asked, “Why do we protect our banks, our stores, and celebrities with armed guards, but not our children?”

Mark RobinsonMark Robinson,
Lieutenant Governor (R-N.C.)

"When I look at my grandchildren, I am also reminded of why I am a law-abiding, armed, patriotic American. I am reminded of why I believe in the premise of our Second Amendment when I look at those babies. I am reminded why our Framers put it in our constitution that, in this nation, you are not the second responder, you are the first responder. And that you have an absolute duty and a right to stand and protect your home against any enemy, foreign or domestic.” Lt. Gov. Robinson later said, “Because here it is, here it is, everybody says what do we do … the answer is not simple, but there is a simple starting point and here it is: Secure our schools. Stop waffling and wavering and acting confused that you don’t understand what the problem is. You have defunded the police, derided the police and you have left our schools as soft targets … . We are not going to go off into that good night without standing up for our rights … . We will protect ourselves. We will protect our children.”

Ted CruzTed Cruz,
Senator (R-Texas)

"What is behind these evil acts? You know, when we were growing up these kinds of things didn’t happen … . [But now the] elites who dominant our culture tell us that firearms lie at the root of the problem … . Such people can afford an indulgent ideology that ignores reality … . As is so often the case, those furthest from the halls of power are the most dependent on the ability to defend themselves. For millions of Americans, the right to keep and bear arms is not theoretical, it is not abstract. For a single mom in a dangerous neighborhood, it is a matter of basic security. Taking guns away from these responsible Americans will not make them safer, nor will it make our nation more secure. In an age where elites embrace defunding the police, when homelessness runs rampant, when gangs dominate entire communities and when radical district attorneys refuse to prosecute violent crime in cities across America, rarely has the Second Amendment been more necessary … .”

These Politicians Said What?

Beto O’RourkeFormer Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D)

“No one should be able to purchase an AR-15.”

Former Congressman—and failed presidential and senatorial candidate—Beto O’Rourke is now running for governor of Texas and he won’t stop demonstrating his animus for law-abiding gun owners. You’ll remember O’Rourke’s famous “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” proclamation made during his failed presidential run; now he’s doubling down on the strategy of blaming law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals.

Stacey AbramsGeorgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D)

“Brian Kemp signed criminal carry legislation that will put more guns on our streets and make our communities less safe.”

What Abrams was referring to is actually constitutional carry, which Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law last year. This NRA-backed legislation allows law-abiding gun owners to exercise their rights without hassling with the red tape of government. Gun-control advocates like Abrams falsely claim that this leads to an uptick in violence, but the data simply says otherwise.

Justin TrudeauCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives. … This is about freedom.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks “freedom” means inhibiting Canadians’ ability to defend themselves. It’s no wonder that Canadians have been purchasing firearms like mad since Trudeau moved to ban the sale of handguns.

Joe BidenPresident Joe Biden (D)

“They said a .22-caliber bullet will lodge in the lung, and we can probably get it out—may be able to get it and save the life. A 9 mm bullet blows the lung out of the body. So, the idea of these high-caliber weapons is, uh, there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting.”

This statement from President Biden is so odd and ignorant it is actually hard to even explain it. That he has chosen to make this strange attack on the ever-popular 9 mm indicates he would like to ban all handguns.

Donald BeyerRep. Donald Beyer (D-Va.)

“A 1,000% fee on assault weapons is just the kind of restrictive measure that creates enough fiscal impact to qualify for reconciliation.”

This massive proposed tax would only affect law-abiding Americans, as criminals would not pay it. It would effectively ban semi-automatic rifles and would particularly target the most-vulnerable portions of society: the poor.


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