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Remarks by Chris W. Cox at NRA's 2009 Annual Meeting of Members, Phoenix, Arizona, May 16, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You know, it seems like every six months, the national news media tries to write our obituary.

In fact, a week ago, the New York Times said it was a myth that NRA had anything to do

with the historic '94 elections… that it was silly to think NRA had anything to do with Al Gore's defeat in 2000... 

and that Congress should go ahead and pass all the new gun control laws they want…because the power of the NRA... is nothing but a myth.


But you know what?


They can keep writing our obituary.


We'll keep writing history!


Folks, we've been here before... we know how to fight.


We pay attention. 


We see the lies.

We cut through the BS and keep politicians honest… 


Well, maybe not honest – but worried. Our job is to stay on top of everyone who holds political office... along with everyone who wants to… plus several hundred gun-related bills at any given time. 


We cannot …  and do not ...win without you. 


Our victories are your victories.


That’s why… the sanctity of the Second Amendment … all of our rights …

all of our freedom … is … in your hands.


Freedom calls you to her defense now, more than ever before.


Because she's under attack... like never before.


Did you catch the end of that Nancy Pelosi quote....


“We don’t want to take away anyone’s gun, we just want 'em all registered.”


Dianne Feinstein told “60 Minutes” that when it comes to banning guns, she’d... quote:


“… pick the time and the place, no question about that.”


Rahm Emanuel - the poster child for the gun control movement -- is now White House Chief of Staff. 


Janet Reno’s top anti-gun assistant, Eric Holder, is now Attorney General.


And if that's not bad enough... Hillary Clinton's now Secretary of State.


We all know what to expect from our opponents.


They exploit tragedies.


But to be honest with you… I never thought they’d pick an international tragedy.


And as you've seen - that's exactly what they're doing with Mexico.


Mexican drug cartels have grenades, rocket launchers, full-autos, armored cars, helicopters, and even submarines. 


Will someone PLEASE show me how to get to the Phoenix gun show where they sell submarines and helicopters? 


My birthday’s Monday. You all know what I want.


But seriously, it’s been estimated that 100,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted the military in recent years to go work for the cartels. 


This is Mexico's problem. 


But the media... and anti-gun politicians want us to believe that one more American

gun control law... or some international “agreement”... will turn these ruthless murderers into boy scouts. 


You have got to be kiddin' me!


We need to find 'em... arrest em'... and send em' with the rest of the terrorists

to Guantanamo Bay...


Oh yeah... I forgot... that would be too cruel... we should welcome them with open arms into our neighborhoods.


Friends, these threats are real. 


Americans are concerned, and they're buyin' guns.


So let’s give credit where credit’s due: 


In these tough times, the Obama administration deserves credit for the only part of the economy that’s goin’ strong… gun sales.


And the top sellin’ guns out there?




The guns our opponents call: "awful"… "ugly"… "scary-lookin' "…


Did any of you see what former President  Jimmy Carter recently said about 'em?


He said... and I quote...


"The only need for one is to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see

how many victims we can accumulate.”


He actually said that!


Folks, the second rifle my father gave me was a semi-auto. I was about 12 years old. It was a mini-14 with two 30-round magazines. I still have that gun. I’ve shot thousands of rounds through it. 


But you know what?


I’ve never shot at a cop, a student, a co-worker, or anyone else.


So President Carter, with all due respect, why don’t you stick to building Habitat for Humanity houses and leave the Second Amendment to the experts!


But this is not – and should not be – a partisan fight.


When Eric Holder called for banning semi-autos this year... 65 Democrats in Congress sent him a letter sayin’......


“Don’t even think about it. We won’t support it.”


That took guts. 


We should be thankful to anyone from any political party who’s willin’ to stand with us.


Holder got quiet, but he’s not goin’ away. 


Remember, this is the guy who argued that there’s no individual right to own a gun.


Which brings us to Washington, D.C.


When we met last year, I showed you a clip of Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.


She was reacting to some D.C. residents who wanted their Second Amendment rights back. Let's watch the tape:


Well, it was Eleanor who had to pipe down… because in D.C. vs. Heller, the Supreme Court finally said what we’ve known all along.


The Second Amendment is an individual right and D.C.’s gun ban and self-defense ban were unconstitutional.


Friends...Dick Heller will forever be known as the man who took on the D.C. elite...

and beat ‘em. He’s here with us today. 


Dick, please stand up and be recognized!


I want to share a story with you that sums up the sorry state of affairs in D.C.


It’s 2006. Melroy Cort and his wife are driving from their home in Ohio to Maryland. 

They drive through Washington, D.C. to get there. Melroy has a valid Ohio Right to Carry permit.... and he's carrying his 9mm in the car for protection. While driving through D.C., they get a flat tire, and pull over to fix it. Concerned, he takes his gun from the car and puts it in his jacket. Someone sees it happen... and dials 911. Within minutes, the police show up and arrest him.


Here's a little background on Melroy Cort: 


During his third tour of duty in Iraq, Corporal Melroy Cort was wounded by a makeshift bomb, and had to have both legs amputated above the knee. 


So he was headed to Maryland, to Walter Reed Army Hospital... for treatment.  


When he was arrested, they handcuffed him in his wheelchair... and forced him to

spend the night in jail.


Now let me tell you a little something about D.C. 


If neighbors call 911 about some crack deal in progress... there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll even send someone. 


But when a Marine Corporal - confined to a wheelchair because of his service to our country - strays into D.C. with his legally owned firearm... they can’t put him in jail fast enough.


And that’s our nation’s capital for ya. 


If you’re a gun owner, they put you in jail.


But if you’re Mayor, and get caught smoking crack, they put you on the City Council.


Now legally, Heller was limited to D.C. 


That’s why we filed lawsuits in San Francisco and Chicago the day after the decision.


I’m pleased to report that San Francisco’s already folded like a cheap suit. 

We didn’t just win that case… we made them pay our legal fees.


But the Chicago case continues... and we hope to be back to the Supreme Court soon. 


And that’s a good thing. 


Because we’re not going to rest until EVERY City, EVERY State, and EVERY Court in America RESPECTS the Second Amendment!


Folks, this is about self-defense. 


Because at its core, the Second Amendment is about self-defense. 


That’s why we work so hard to expand Right-to-Carry, including in our national parks. 


Our opponents have criticized us.


They say if you and I are allowed to carry handguns to defend ourselves... people won’t visit parks.


Let me tell you why they’re wrong.


It's a beautiful New Years Day, 2008. 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, a recent graduate from the University of Georgia, is hiking on the Appalachian Trail. 


Meredith is petite… 5 foot, 4 inches, 120 pounds. 


Her roommate calls her “feisty.”


Also on the Appalachian Trail that day is Gary Hilton. 


But he's not out for a New Year's Day stroll.


No....he has evil on his mind.


Armed with a knife, Hilton jumps Meredith from behind.


Meredith has a green belt and a blue belt in two martial arts, so she fights back,

and knocks the knife from his hand. 


Meredith keeps fighting... but it’s not enough. 


Hilton hits her so hard he breaks her nose... then he ties her hands behind her back.


He drags her to his van, where he gets out the chains and padlocks.  


He rapes her. 


Three days later... THREE DAYS LATER... he drags Meredith back into the woods. 


He ties her to a tree, steps away, and has a cup of coffee. 


He comes back, and cuts off her head....




Folks, I don’t know if Meredith Emerson wanted to carry a gun in that park. 


But, I do know she never had that choice. 


So, she never had a chance.


Let me say this - and let me say it REAL clearly: 


NO politician sitting in Washington, D.C. has the moral authority to tell any law-abiding American that they can’t carry a gun to defend themselves. 


Park or no park.... period.


Your NRA is fighting for you - every day. 


Your boss wants to fire you for leaving your gun in your car at work? 


We passed worker protection laws in 10 states, and we're not stoppin’.


H.R. 45 tries to impose federal licensing and registration on every gun owner? 


We're killin' it.


The Department of Defense stops sellin’ its spent brass? 


We fixed it.


“Ammo serialization” gets introduced in 18 states? 


We beat it... in ALL 18 STATES.


New York and Washington D.C. want to bankrupt gun manufacturers?


Their lawsuits are thrown out of court this year.... because of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.


If they want a fight... then we will fight!


Today, we’re well positioned.


We have friends in both parties. 


But remember, we were well positioned back in the early 1990’s, too. 


That’s why we have to be always wary, always watchful, and always vigilant.


These aren’t short-term fights with short-term consequences.


Let me give you just one example of what I’m talkin’ about.


If it weren’t for NRA members, George Bush would not have been there to appoint

John Ashcroft Attorney General... who changed the official position of the U.S. Government on the Second Amendment.


And even more important, he wouldn’t have been there to appoint Chief Justice John Roberts... and Justice Sam Alito to the Supreme Court …


And they wouldn’t have been there last year to cast the deciding votes in Heller.


It all started... when you answered the call. 


You renewed your membership…


You registered to vote.... 


You put a bumper sticker on your truck.


You walked a precinct, and talked to your co-workers about the election. 


You voted Freedom First… and made sure your friends did, too.


Look around, right now, at who you’re sitting with. 


Your spouse, your child, your parent... your friend, your shooting buddy, your colleagues. 


We’re all here, in no small part, because of those around us.


Now, look beyond those you’re sitting with. 


Look around this entire room, full of fellow NRA members, like-minded gun owners,

and…all of us… Americans who value our freedom.


Now imagine... our entire nation.... tens of millions of gun owners.... joining our fight...

in a single unified movement.


Look, if you pull a trigger..... 


We need you.


If you pull a trigger because you’re a hunter… you need to be an NRA member.


If you pull a trigger because you have a Right to Carry permit... you need to be callin’ your congressman.


If you pull a trigger because you’re a competitive shooter... you need to be registered to vote.


All of us who support the Second Amendment... whether you pull a trigger or not...

have the power to make this happen!


Someone once asked me... who we would elect if every gun owner was an NRA member. 


I said:  “Anyone we want”.


Let's make that… a reality.


God bless you, and God bless our National Rifle Association!


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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.