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
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State ...

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation ...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alert! Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again.  Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known -- even by the media ...

Virginia: Senate Passes Three Anti-Gun Bills

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Virginia: Senate Passes Three Anti-Gun Bills

On Thursday, January 16th, the Virginia Senate voted to pass three of the anti-gun bills that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved on Monday. The fight is far from over! Dozens of other gun control bills ...

Washington: Upcoming Hearings On Gun Bills This Week

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Washington: Upcoming Hearings On Gun Bills This Week

As previously announced, the Washington State Legislature will be hosting committee hearings next week on over a dozen Second Amendment related bills. Please see below for the latest information on the committee hearing agendas, including ...

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

As an incorporated provision of the United States Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the supreme law of the land, applying to all U.S. jurisdictions and to the actions of federal, state, and local ...

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills - Committee Advances a Fourth

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills - Committee Advances a Fourth

Last week, the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee sent four gun control bills to the full chamber. The measures included an attack on the state firearms preemption statute and Right-to-Carry permit holders (SB35), a one-handgun-a-month bill ...

Missouri: Gun Bills Filed for 2020 Session

Friday, January 10, 2020

Missouri: Gun Bills Filed for 2020 Session

With the 2020 Missouri legislative session starting, legislators have filed pro-gun and anti-gun legislation. See below for information on some of the bills that have been introduced to date. Your NRA-ILA will keep you informed of ...

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

In recent weeks NRA-ILA informed Virginia gun owners about gun control funding included in the state budget bill. The budget legislation, HB30, included a $250,000 appropriation to the Corrections Special Reserve Fund in order to provide for the ...

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.