Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Presidential Candidates Address NRA Celebration Of American Values

Friday, September 28, 2007

Celebration of American Values Speeches (text)

On September 21, the NRA held its first "Celebration of American Values" conference, providing NRA members the opportunity to hear some of our nation's most important leaders address Second Amendment issues. Hundreds attended and the event was broadcast nationally by C-SPAN.  The most anticipated speakers, however, were a number of 2008 Presidential candidates. 

The two-day conference, held in downtown Washington, D.C., included speeches by leading Republican Presidential candidates:  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a candidate for the Democrat nomination, provided videotaped remarks, as did GOP candidates Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) and U.S. Representatives Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). 

Among the other speakers were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-Va.), and former Attorney General John Ashcroft. 

All the speakers expressed their commitment to Second Amendment rights, as NRA activists applauded their declarations of support.  The impressive turnout of speakers was a testament to the NRA's political clout—electoral power confirmed by a recent Fabrizio & McLaughlin survey of 1,000 Republican voters the same weekend. Forty-four percent of those polled said they would be more likely to back a candidate who had the support of the NRA. 

Senator John McCain led off among Presidential candidates and spoke of his long history of working with the NRA. "When I first ran for Congress in 1982, I was proud to have the support of gun owners and the National Rifle Association. For more than two decades, I've opposed the efforts of the anti-gun crowd to ban guns, ban ammunition, ban magazines, and paint gun owners as some kind of fringe group; dangerous in 'modern' America. Some even call you 'extremists.' My friends, gun owners are not extremists, you are the core of modern America." 

In one of his first major appearances since officially declaring his candidacy, former Sen. Fred Thompson told the crowd,  "I think we are winning on the interpretation of the Second Amendment. I've always taken the position that—kind of a complicated position that I've worked out—the Constitution means what it says." This affirmation of a simple and basic truth was met with thunderous applause from the gathered NRA members. 

 

Later in the program, Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke of his lifelong love of hunting and the outdoors, but reminded all, "I'm a hunter. But that's not what the Second Amendment is about." He went on to discuss what he believes "the Second Amendment is and why it's important. First of all, it protects our families. We have a constitutional right, granted to us, in the wisdom of our forefathers, to protect our families—to protect them from criminals, to protect them from whatever might harm them. And it is as much of a constitutional right as it is the right to speak out against our government." 

One of the most anticipated speakers—especially among the large press contingent at the meeting—was Rudy Giuliani.  The former New York City mayor's history of support for gun control, and the lawsuit he and his city filed against the firearm industry have raised legitimate questions about his position on Second Amendment issues. Mayor Giuliani tried to allay those fears, saying, "I believe, and I'm sure you do, that law enforcement should focus on enforcing the laws that exist on the books, as opposed to just passing new laws or new extension of laws." He went on to say, "you should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights." 

Later in the program, Giuliani was asked if he continued to support the lawsuit that he brought against firearm manufacturers as mayor. He responded, "I did initiate that lawsuit back in 2000. Since then, I think that lawsuit has taken several turns and several twists that I don't agree with . . . So, I would say that, at this point, it's probably going in a direction where if I was sitting on the court, I probably wouldn't agree with it." 

Above and beyond the politics of the day, one of the most moving parts of the program was a presentation by a wounded veteran, home now and recovering from traumatic battlefield injuries. U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Greg Stube recounted his experiences serving with Special Forces in Afghanistan and bore witness to the bravery and dedication of our troops. He also described the Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) program, which helps wounded service members reintegrate themselves into American life through participation in field and shooting sports. He thanked the NRA and its members for their support not only of HAVA, but for our troops in general. In return, the crowd showed who truly deserved thanks, by giving SFC. Stube the longest and loudest applause of the day.

Celebration of American Values Speeches

TRENDING NOW
NRA Wins Lawsuit in Washington State, Prevents I-1639 From Appearing on Ballot

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

NRA Wins Lawsuit in Washington State, Prevents I-1639 From Appearing on Ballot

The Thurston County Superior Court today ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association and ordered a writ of mandamus to prevent I-1639 from appearing on the ballot. The judge agreed the signature sheets did ...

No NRA Members Need Apply

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

No NRA Members Need Apply

Like most people, we understand that educational institutions and staff tend to lean left. The degree and intensity of the bend varies across universities, but a leftward orientation is actually expected today. We’re aware that ...

Canada: Montreal to Endorse Nationwide Handgun Ban, Police Content with Current Laws

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Canada: Montreal to Endorse Nationwide Handgun Ban, Police Content with Current Laws

Politicians from the largest city in the Canadian gun control stronghold of Quebec plan to put their weight behind a raft of severe gun restrictions next week. According to a report from Radio Canada International, the Montreal City ...

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

On Thursday, over 300 media outlets joined in a coordinated effort to push back against President Donald Trump. That will hardly come as a shock to many Americans, as it seems mainstream news organizations have done little ...

Shopify Targets Law-Abiding Firearm Businesses

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Shopify Targets Law-Abiding Firearm Businesses

This week, Canadian e-commerce host Shopify changed their company’s firearm policy with disastrous effects for law-abiding U.S. gun businesses that use their e-commerce services. Shopify’s abrupt overnight decision to block the sale of specific firearms ...

Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

News  

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

Hundreds of firearms retailers may have to close soon because a powerful Canadian tech company, Shopify, recently decided it was anti-gun and issued an ultimatum: Do business our way or not at all.

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

In a July 23rd op-ed, Joe McDermott, the Council Chair of King County, Washington, introduced a multi-prong “King County Gun Safety Action Plan” aimed at reducing gun violence.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

ALERT! Florida Democrats Did an Awesome Election Favor for Republicans

The anti-Second Amendment, Democrat politicians who demanded that the Legislature vote on calling a Special Session to repeal Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense law either unwittingly or intentionally provided a great service to Republican incumbent ...

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

Imagine if California, to combat what the legislature considered the serious problem of manmade global warming, required all new vehicles sold by car dealers in the state to run on grass clippings, rather than fossil ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.