Remarks by Wayne R. LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, at the NRA 2005 Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Thank you, Kayne, for that introduction. I’m truly humbled by your kind words. But watching that film reminds me how bleak it really was. They say you remember the good times...and forget the hard times. But during this 25-year journey, there were lots of dark days when the future looked anything but bright. I mean, sometimes it seemed like everyone was against us. Every day we faced bitter accusations, vicious bias, and terrible lies about our members and our association. I had to confront `em head-on! News anchors. Governors. Congressmen. Some might remember I even had to confront President Bill Clinton. The road was long, and rough. Hundreds of cities, thousands of plane trips, and speeches,and interviews, hundreds of thousands of hands to shake. We lost some battles. But you know, sometimes defeat is a necessary prelude to victory. The key is to never give up. And you never gave up! And look at the results. It took 25 years, but you have restored the Second Amendment. It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that the time-honored tradition of good-old gun shows is still with us and always will be if we have anything to say about it! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program has reached more than eighteen million kids, and saved who knows how many lives! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that Bill Clinton’s perversion of what the Second Amendment says was reversed by Attorney General John Ashcroft. It’s because you restored the Second Amendment, that 38 states have passed right to carry, and the bad guys don’t know who’s armed and who’s not, so crime has gone down in all of those states! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that you can take a gun home on the same day you buy it! And the next day all the records of your transaction are destroyed! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that if animal rights extremists harrass a hunter in any of the fifty states, they can go to jail! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that Bill Clinton’s so-called “assault weapon” ban was exposed as a lie that became law and last year that ban died a long overdue death! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that when a violent, repeat-offender piece of criminal waste commits that third strike, he’s ooouuuuuuuut! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that you can buy one gun a month, two guns a month, three guns a month, or NO guns a month, and it’s nobody’s business but yours! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that if bureaucrats compile records on lawful gun buyers, you don’t go to jail — they do! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that you can buy or shoot or restore or collect the guns of your choice, and be left the hell alone while you do it! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that American gun makers are still in business to equip American soldiers with American firearms that fire American bullets at America`s enemies! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that you beat the Bradys you beat that foul-mouthed wind-bag Michael Moore, you beat the -- "Hundred" Mom March, AND -- You beat Tom Daschle. It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that Al Gore was not President! It’s because you restored the Second Amendment that John Kerry is not President! And it’s because you restored the Second Amendment that Hillary Clinton will never be President! Maybe the best news is this: Because you restored the Second Amendment, this freedom can be passed on to your children, and to their children, and to their children’s children. This most precious of birthrights can be conferred upon every infant whose first breath is drawn beneath our American skies. So, let the enemies of freedom beyond these walls hear our solemn promise. Let arrogant billionaires buckle under the weight of defiant, free people. Let the UN schemers, and global plotters, and one-world planners be deafened by the roar of this united voice. Let the politicians who think calling us bad is good for their career, hear us now -- or pay for it later! Assault the Second Amendment at your own political risk! Attack this association at your own political peril! After a quarter century of climbing this mountain, we will not surrender one damn inch! We didn`t fight our way through 25 years of their lies and illusions to let anyone limit, restrict, abolish, or infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms! Never! But, if you choose to preserve freedom with all your heart, this Association will embrace you, and befriend you and defend you... forever. Thank you very much. This is a little out of order, but I’ve asked to personally introduce the report of your President. Kayne Robinson is a Marine, a retired assistant chief of police, and a seasoned political strategist who’s been a freedom fighter in his home state, and in this association for thirty years. Many people don`t know that while Charlton Heston served an unprecedented 5 years as President Kayne Robinson served an unacknowledged 5 years, as President behind the scenes handling many of the day-to-day duties of that office. In that largely invisible role, Kayne displayed his incredible leadership and management skills. Add to those 5 years, his current term as NRA president, and Kayne, you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. Kayne, we owe you more than we can repay. But we can call you our friend, and offer you our deepest gratitude. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the National Rifle Association, our good friend... Kayne Robinson.
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