President Trump’s May 4 speech to the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum was a high water mark for the Second Amendment and clear reminder of why pro-gun voters pulled the lever for Trump on November 8, 2016.
In no unclear terms Trump told NRA members, and the rest of the nation, that our right to keep and bear arms is rooted in our Creator, rather than our government. He also stressed that gun ownership is part of being free and that Americans will die before they give up the freedom they enjoy.
Early in the speech Trump explained that our rights come from God, not government. He looked into the crowd of thousands of NRA members and said, “The people of his hall have never taken our freedom for granted, ever, and you’ve never stopped fighting for our constitution.” He praised NRA members’ commitment to fight for “our sacred rights, given to us by God.”
He added, “Your second amendment rights … will never, ever be under siege as long as I am president. … We believe that our liberty is a gift from our Creator, that no government can ever take it away.”
Trump also spoke about gun ownership as an expression of freedom, saying, “In America we trust the people to be wise and to be good. We trust them to take responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities. And that is why in America we have always trusted the people to bear arms.”
He emphasized that the freedom to own and use guns ought not be denied to teachers. He spoke of how teachers can and will protect their students, if armed, and decried the current situation in which teachers sit defenseless in classrooms. Trump said, “You have to give them a chance.”
Trump wound down his speech down by talking of how Americans treasure their freedom, and he used the history of Gonzales, Texas, to explain that Americans will never surrender the freedom they enjoy.
In 1835 soldiers from General Santa Anna’s army marched into the little Texas town of Gonzales and ordered those Texans to surrender their small cannon that they relied on to protect their lives and protect their homes. The Texans refused! They were not about to give up their only means of self-defense.
In response, Santa Anna’s army returned with a large group of additional people. They had men all over the place…[but] this time they were met by dozens of Texans…who had rushed to Gonzales to defend their rights and their freedom. As Santa Anna’s men watched from a distance those brave Texans raised a flag for all to see. On the banner they painted a cannon along with four words that echoed through the ages. It said, “Come and Take It.”
The arena full of NRA members broke into raucous applause as Trump added, “Like those early Texans, Americans will never surrender, ever, ever. We will never surrender. We will never give up our freedom. Americans were born free. We will live free and we will die free.”
The speech was a high water mark for gun rights and it brought back memories of Trump’s campaign trail pledge to deliver the Second Amendment from the “siege” it faced from “people like Hillary Clinton.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.