INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana–“The truth is, armed self-defense saves innocent lives, and denying that right gets good people killed,” declared Chris Cox–executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), bringing thousands of NRA members to their feet for one of several standing ovations.
Cox gave his 18-minute barnburner speech at the NRA’s 143rd Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, an event drawing approximately 80,000 NRA members from across America to the Hoosier State.
The NRA understandably maintains an almost-exclusive focus on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and every other aspect pertaining to gun ownership in the United States. But his speech touched upon the First Amendment as well, promoting fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of religion and referencing the Second Amendment as a “God-given right.”
He spoke about a 16-year-old honor student who was ordered by a school official to turn inside out his NRA tee shirt, who chose to be suspended rather than abandon his First Amendment right to say he supports the Constitution.
Showcasing the absurd lengths to which some public schools have gone on this issue, Cox also talked about a seven-year-old boy who was suspended from school for eating a Pop-Tart into the shape of a firearm.
“That’s so outrageous, it’s hard to believe,” said Cox. “They should apologize to those families, fire the idiots who made those decisions, bring those kids back to school, and while they’re at it, they ought to bring God back to school, too, because he shouldn’t have been kicked out, either!”
Cox also went after Mike Bloomberg–the former mayor of New York City who weeks ago told the New York Times that Americans think of him as a “rock star”–for Bloomberg’s “arrogance” and “hypocrisy,” for having armed security while fighting against ordinary Americans having the same right to have ordinary firearms for self-defense.
“I have no problem with him hiring armed security,” Cox clarified. “The problem I have is that he thinks his life is worth protecting, but yours is not.”
Cox also highlighted Bloomberg’s bizarre comments stating, “If there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
“Wow!” Cox responded. “I can’t find anywhere in the Scriptures that says the way to get to heaven is to deny good people their right to defend themselves from criminal attack.” He then brought the crowd to their feet again by adding, “I believe God gave us this freedom and we will not let Bloomberg take it away. Not now, not ever!”
Cox also called out other anti-gun leaders for their hypocrisy. He highlighted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who was recently convicted of 20 federal crimes; California State Senator Leland Yee, recently nailed by the FBI for alleged gun trafficking, conspiracy for murder, and helping steer weapons to Islamic terrorists; CNN’s Piers Morgan, whose house posts a sign stating that he has armed security; and anti-gun filmmaker Michael Moore, whose armed bodyguard was arrested for carrying a gun into an airport.
He also trained his sights on the federal government. As Breitbart News has previously written, the NRA is responsible for torpedoing the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s anti-gun activist to be U.S. surgeon general for regarding this fundamental right as a disease. And one of the longest-running anti-gun personalities in Washington, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)–who has long opposed even the idea that the Constitution protects private gun ownership–admitted that she herself has a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
None of Obama’s appointees were targeted for harsher criticism than Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently criticized “laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense,” saying they “sow dangerous conflict.” Cox balked at calling self-defense a “concept” rather than a “right.”
Referencing the right to bear arms, Cox addressed Holder, saying, “You didn’t give it to us and you’re sure as hell not going to take it away!” Cox pounded away to the thunderous applause of the assembled throng, “Congress was right to hold you in contempt, and you should have been fired a long time ago!”
Cox then took on Obama directly. “Remember when he told us that he wouldn’t take away our shotguns, rifles, or handguns? ‘If you like them, you can keep them,'” he asked. “Yeah, we’ve heard that one before. If you think universal healthcare is a disaster, how do you think his universal gun registration would work out?”
Cox called NRA members to action, echoing Wayne LaPierre’s warning to NRA members that they face a “bare-knuckled street fight” to protect the right to bear arms. According to Cox, “Gun control is the unfinished business of Barack Obama’s presidency, and it’s up to us to stop him.”
“The battle lines are drawn,” Cox warned:
It’s our values versus their values. Our vision of America the free versus Michael Bloomberg’s vision of America the nanny state. Our patriotism versus Eric Holder’s betrayal of the Constitution. Our God-given right to keep and bear arms versus Barack Obama’s mission to take away our guns, and transform this country into something we won’t even recognize.
If the intensity of the applause and yells from the audience are any indication, the NRA is chomping at the bit for that battle.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.