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
Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Washington:  The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage.

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

News  

Monday, January 10, 2022

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under ...

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Yesterday, the House voted 64-29 to pass House Bill 1077, the lawful carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

News  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a revised version of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense bill that directs funding for our nation’s military. The two anti-gun provisions that were included ...

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, January 14, 2022

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry voted to pass Senate Bill 619, the constitutional carry bill. It is now eligible for floor debate in the full Senate.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Monday, January 10, 2022

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Today, January 10th, the Georgia Legislature begins the 2022 legislative session. Last week, Governor Brian Kemp announced his support for constitutional carry. Currently, 21 states allow law-abiding adults to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without having to ...

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.