Sanity has been sequestered in Washington - says NRA's LaPeirre
Washington, DC - On the morning of March 15, 2013, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPeirre spoke to thousands of students attending the 40th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The subject of his speech included Universal Background Checks, mental health records and school safety. The following is a transcript of those remarks.
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 law abiding 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?
Let’s get this straight. To protect our children at school, we recommend a trained professional with a gun. They recommend scissors. And they say we’re crazy? That’s sheer madness.
Here’s what the political elites offer instead — a placebo called “universal” background checks. Yep, that’s their big idea.
A background check. A check that will always be far from universal, will never make our schools or streets safer, and will only serve as universal registration of lawful gun owners — the real goal they’ve been pushing for decades.
Criminals won’t participate and the records of the mentally ill will never ever be part of the check. With all the HIPAA laws and patient privacy issues, the monsters of Tucson, Aurora, Newtown — those names will never be in the system. And those killers really are crazy.
The very advocates and politicians behind this new universal scheme have fought — behind the scenes, for two decades — to prevent mental health records from being added to the check system. Their check only includes good, law-abiding people like you and me. That’s what they’re after — the names of good, decent people who happen to own a firearm to go into a federal database for universal registration of every lawful gun owner in America.
That’s their answer to criminal violence? Criminalize 100 million law-abiding gun owners in a private transfer? Build a list of good people? As if that would somehow make us safer from violent criminals and homicidal maniacs? That’s their answer? Are they insane?
What’s the point of registering lawful gun owners anyway? So newspapers can print those names and addresses for criminals and gangs to access? So that list can be hacked by foreign entities like the Chinese, who recently hacked Pentagon computers? So that list can be handed over to the Mexican government that, oh by the way, has already requested it.
In the end, there are only two reasons for government to create that federal registry of gun owners — to tax them and to take them.
No gun owner, no rational thinking American, believes that will have any effect on violent criminals and they’re right. It won’t make anyone safer anywhere.
It is troubling and saddening how quickly this debate has deteriorated from what would truly help make people safer to what has proven to be the decades-old agenda of those bent on destroying the Second Amendment. They’ve offered nothing new, nothing helpful in making our schools, our streets, or one child safer.
Senator Dianne Feinstein admitted that she had her gun ban bill ready to go A YEAR AGO, tucked away in a drawer, just waiting for the right opportunity. Really? Waiting for unspeakable tragedy to push her political agenda? And they wonder why most Americans don’t trust Congress.
They are simply not serious about making our kids or our country safer. If they were serious, they’d arrest, prosecute and imprison felons with guns, gangs with guns and drug dealers with guns — as many as they can find. But they don’t do that. They let them go free.
Let’s talk about this thing call sequestration. Now, I run the NRA, not an economic think-tank. But I watch the news and I see that, instead of rational belt-tightening, the first thing the government thinks to do, according to law enforcement officials, is let thousands of criminal illegals out of jail.
Normal people think that’s crazy. It’s as if sanity, itself, has been sequestered in Washington.
We have all these gun laws, with stiff prison time, except the entire criminal justice system says, “We’re not going to do that.”
If federal prosecutors say “just kidding,” normal, law-abiding people say that’s crazy.
And nowhere does that apply more than in Chicago. Federal firearms prosecutions for 2012 dropped by almost 30 percent from their peak in 2004. Federal firearms prosecutions in Chicago dropped 45 percent from 2010 to 2012. President Obama’s hometown ranks dead last in firearms prosecutions — 90th out of 90 federal jurisdictions.
Out of 76,000 prohibited persons flagged by the instant check system, only 13 — 13 — were successfully prosecuted nationwide. Vice President Biden said they don’t have time to prosecute those people.
Excuse me? Don’t have time to prosecute prohibited people trying to illegally get a gun?
The vice president does have time, though, to offer advice to women threatened by an intruder. I’m going to quote him directly.
“Just walk out … walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.”
The vice president of the United States actually told women facing an attack to just empty their shotguns into the air. Honestly, have they lost their minds over at the White House? No doubt violent predators would love to face a woman armed with a shotgun that’s empty.
Well, Mr. Vice President, for four decades you’ve enjoyed the armed protection of Capitol Police and Secret Service officers, all while trying to destroy the Second Amendment rights of the rest of us. When it comes to that right, sir, you keep your advice — we’ll keep our guns.
I see a lot of young women here today. Here’s some more advice from political elites who know what’s best for you:Some members of the Colorado State Legislature think women are too emotional to deal with a violent attack. Senator Jessie Ulibarri said that, instead of using a firearm, you would be better off using “ballpoint pens” to stab an attacker when he stops to reload.
A ballpoint pen?
At the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, officials recommend that women defend themselves against a rapist with quote, “passive resistance.”
Passive resistance? The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun!
They call me crazy, yet the people doing the finger-pointing are saying things that are absolutely bizarre.
I can’t help but think that, as Americans, we all want the same thing. We know our mental health system is in shambles. We all want it fixed.
We want criminals with guns prosecuted and incarcerated. We want the federal gun laws on the books right now enforced against felons with guns, drug dealers with guns, and gangs with guns. If they’d just do that, those violent criminals wouldn’t be on their way to the next crime. They’d be in prison.
We want our children to be safe and protected. That’s why we proposed trained police and security officers in every school.
There’s not a mom or dad in America who wants to leave their children unprotected.
If the Washington elites really wanted the same thing, they would stop demonizing law-abiding gun owners. They would stop trying to convince the American people that all gun owners are potential criminals in waiting. And they would actually implement programs that addressed our problems in a real and meaningful way.
Put police and trained armed security in every school. Enforce the federal gun laws on the books right now. Interdict and incarcerate violent criminals before they get to the next crime scene. Rebuild our broken mental health system. Help the mentally ill by getting them off our streets and into treatment. And for God’s sake,leave the rest of us alone.
The political class and media class just don’t get it. In a lot of ways, they’ve lost track of what this great nation is supposed to be about.
It’s supposed to be about US and people like us, all over this country.
It’s always been about “we the people,” not the political class, all the way back to our founding.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
We are the people. This is our country.
This is a fight for our freedom, the freedom that separates us from every other nation on earth. That freedom makes us stronger than other countries. It makes us better than other countries.
That freedom is on the line, now and in 2014 and 2016 and in every election and every political fight in your lifetime. That is what Standing and Fighting and defending freedom is all about.
When I first came to Washington so many years ago, I wanted to make a difference, to stand for something.
This is not an easy place to remain true to your principles. It’s easy to want to be liked and praised here. It’s easy to be swept up in the warped reality that, all too often, is this town.
You are here because you want to make your own difference, take your own stand. Plant your feet firmly in the foundation of freedom, don’t be swayed by the winds of political insanity, and no matter what, let the elitists who scorn you be damned.
Fill your heart with pride. Clear your eyes with conviction. This is your time to Stand and Fight — now and in the next election and the one after that. Now and for the rest of your life. Always stand and always fight for freedom!