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Remarks by Chris W. Cox at NRA's 2010 Annual Meeting of Members, Charlotte, NC, May 15, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, did you ever have the memory of some event in your life sneak up on you out of nowhere, smack you in the face and make you cringe with regret ... because you wish you had done something different?

Now, I’m not talking about college indiscretions…

I’m talking about Election Day 2008.

I bet a lot of people look back on that day.... and wish they could turn back the clock.

Well, unfortunately, we can’t.

But you can steer the course of the future ... or slam on the brakes ... when you push that button ....or pull that lever..... on Election Day.

Because when you vote, you set in motion cascades of events that change our lives.... for the rest of our lives ...

Here's what I mean.

Ten years ago almost to the day, NRA President Charlton Heston stood here in Charlotte and called on NRA members like you and gun owners across America to Vote Freedom First!

And on Election Day 2000 you did!

But you didn't just stop Al Gore. Your vote won us a lot more.

Like the confirmation of Attorney General John Ashcroft who proudly changed the position of the United States Government in support of the Second Amendment as an individual right!

That was necessary because just the year before, Bill Clinton’s Justice Department  said under the Second Amendment, you have NO personal right to own or use a gun.

Well, your voice and your vote put an end to that lie.

In 2002, your vote stopped another lie when you elected a Congress with the guts and integrity to let Bill Clinton's gun ban expire.

And by voting freedom first in 2004, you:

- kept John Kerry out of the White House ...

 - kicked Tom Daschle

out as Senate Majority Leader ...

- and crushed seven years of roadblocks to finally give lawsuit protection to America's firearms industry!

You saved the Second Amendment from bankruptcy – not with bailouts ....

but with your ballot.

The results are now being written into history books.

Because through Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito, your one vote for President Bush secured two new votes on the U.S. Supreme Court!

Two years ago, American history was made when the Court finally said that we were right and our opponents were wrong:

the right to keep and bear arms is the individual right of every – lawful – American – PERIOD!

Now, since this is a family gathering, I'm not going to use Joe Biden language, but this is a BIG....

An individual right  means those school books that try to brainwash our kids through revisionist history are history!

But it’s not over.

As you know, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley thumbed his nose at the Heller decision and continued to ban guns.

So we sued.

And in just a few weeks, the Court will decide the historic case of McDonald vs. Chicago.

 Folks, we won’t stop until ALL Americans --not just the rich --
....like Mayor Bloomberg…

 ...and not just the arrogant, like Mayor Daley...

...but all Americans –

have full access to the Second Amendment whether they live in Washington D.C.,Chicago,or right here in Charlotte!

Here’s another way your vote makes a difference.

Every pro-gun leader

you elect .....

and anti-gun politician

you defeat ...

means fewer bad laws....

and more good laws.

Good laws that make us all safer and prove that we're right the gun-haters are wrong and they need to keep their hands off our safety and our freedom!

We're seeing that in statehouses across the country, where thanks to you, we keep winning.

We’ve improved Right to Carry in 7 states this year.

That’s important, because every time we reduce fees, extend the length of your permit or expand where you can carry can mean the difference between life and death.

Self defense reform is REAL health care reform.

Our medicine?

- Castle Doctrine in 24 states...

- No Katrina gun confiscations in 28 states....

- Right to Carry in 40 states ...

- and reciprocity spreading across the country.

And you know what?


Our victories are making EVERY American safer , even the gun-haters who just don't know how lucky they are to have us out there.  And since November 2008 there's A LOT more of us out there!

Folks, we've changed the whole debate on this issue.

To show you what I mean, watch this clip from an Ohio news program last





Can you imagine a judge telling people to arm themselves ten or even five years ago?

I can't.

But he’s right.

People are concerned. We're worried.... and hell...we're MAD.


Can you blame us?


I mean, look at what these politicians are doing.


To pay for things we didn't ask for, can't afford, and don't need ... they're scrapping things we can't live without!


It’s crazy!


They're flooding our streets with criminals and at the same time, they're firing cops!!




So they can build art walks and buy electric cars for government bureaucrats!


When you add an Attorney General who's never had the guts to prosecute criminals we know where it leads.

When all this hits the fan and the politicians want cheap, easy answers, guess whose guns they're gonna come after?

Yours and mine.

And it's not just OUR politicians.

Global gun banners have joined forces with freedom-hating governments.

Their goal?

To impose universal gun control ON US!!

But they’re not just in some smoke filled room at the United Nations.


Watch this video:


»(ROLL VIDEO # 2 -




Folks, I don’t know where in the First Amendment Mayor Nutter finds the “right not to get shot”.


But I guess it does allow him to shoot off his mouth....and show how little he knows about the Constitution he swore to defend.

My message to Mayor Nutter is simple… learn how to read.

And my message to the UN and Mayor Daley is also simple:

The National Rifle Association of America will NEVER allow foreign countries – or hack politicians – to trample our sovereign Freedoms!


Our Constitution is permanent.

But courts....courts can change.


President Obama just nominated a second candidate for the Supreme Court.

Who knows if they’ll be a 3rd  or 4th.

What could it mean for you?

Last December,

Justice Ginsburg gave a speech about creating a future, wiser Supreme Court.

And guess which 5 to 4 decision she said it could reverse?


You got it – the Heller decision.


These are all games the elite play to get their way.


And I know it's hard not to just shake your head and laugh.


But it's no joke.


The consequences of losing can change your life.


Just ask Matthew Kemmeling of Evansville, Indiana.

Matt worked at a hospital.

He always received perfect reviews.

So put yourself in Matt's shoes.... on a sunny day back in January.

It's your birthday.

You have to go to work, but you plan to celebrate on your way home by doing some plinking at the range with your .22 rifle.

You make your rounds, and everything's going fine.

Then you get a call from your boss.

He wants you to stop by his office.



It's the beginning of a new year ... and it's your birthday ... maybe you're getting

a raise.

So you walk into your boss's office....and the HR Director'sthere with him.



They shut the door, and the real reason for the meeting becomes clear....when they ask if you have any "weapons" in your truck.

Well, yeah...

"I have a .22 Targetmaster rifle... I'm heading to the range after work."

Folks, that ended the conversation and ended Matt's 23-year career.

They fired him on his birthday.

They kicked him out of the building.

Wouldn't even let him clean out his locker.  

Matt's gun was unloaded, and locked in his truck.

They didn't care.

Matt didn't even have ammo.

They didn't care.

Matt had a Right to Carry Permit.

They sure as hell didn't care about that.

All that mattered to them was a stupid hospital policy banning firearms in the parking lot.

Folks that could have happened to any one of us.

And it's an outrage.

That's the reason we fight for workplace protection laws.

We got one in Indiana this year, but not soon enough to save Matt's job.

He's here today. Matt, I promise to keep fighting...to make sure what happened to you....doesn't happen to anyone else.


We're not afraid to go up against anybody who tries to stand between you and your rights.....and that includes the attorney general in my home state of Tennessee.

He claims to support the Second Amendment.

But he recently said landlords can ban you from having a gun in your apartment or rented home.

That's economic discrimination.

Think about it.

If you've got the money to own your home, you can have a gun.


But if you can only afford to rent, you’re outta luck.

No money, no freedom.

These laws make civil rights a joke.

When that kind of arrogance is allowed to stand it endangers all our rights.


What if your landlord banned you from reading a newspaper.... or having a Bible in your home?

Americans wouldn’t stand for that for a second....and WE won't either!


We're gonna fight  as long as it takes.


Because  no landlord....no boss....no attorney general....NOBODY.


NOBODY....should be able to make it illegal for you to protect yourself and your family!


Because God forbid, you might just need to protect yourself.

Benjamin and Nicole Goeserran a karaoke business at local restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee.


They loved to watch people sing, and dance, and have a good time.


But one night last April, everything changed.


Please watch this video:


»(ROLL VIDEO # 3 -




That ban on self-protection in restaurants created the ideal environment for a stalker to become a murderer.


Imagine the agony of having the one person you love more than anyone else on earth die right before your eyes, knowing you could have saved them.


Knowing you had the means to save them right outside in your car, but the law wouldn't let you.


What kind of a law is THAT?


That's the kind of law that needs to be changed.


I asked Nikki Goeser to join us here today...

Nikki... we're so sorry for your loss.


Please stand up so your NRA family can thank you for your dedication and your courage.


With Nikki's help, we continue our fight for Restaurant Carry in Tennessee.


In the last year, we passed it twice with overwhelming margins ...and both times Governor Phil Bredesen vetoed it.


Governor Bredesen, I hope you’re listening...


You told us on your candidate questionnaire that you supported Restaurant Carry...




But know this:

we will not back down…

we will not go away...

and Governor --

we're going to be around A LOT longer than you are!


We all have a responsibilityin this fight because there are others who have paid the ultimate price.


Heroes ... like Navy

SEAL Chief Adam Brown, who gave his life for our country in Afghanistan just eight weeks ago.

Adam's squad was trapped by heavy fire outside an enemy compound.

Ignoring the obvious danger, he charged forward and drew the fire away from his team... sacrificing his life to save theirs.


I knew Adam.... and saw first hand how much he cared about the NRA and our members.


Once he even thanked ME for what WE do.


I owe it to Adam to keep fighting for freedom and our way of life.

We ALL do.

But truth is, too many gun owners aren’t.

Would you believe it if I told you that20 to 25 million gun owners haven’t even registered to vote?

It's true.

And in our fight..your vote's the only ammunition you've got.

There's no excuse.

If they think "my vote doesn't matter"....it does.

If they think “my state's a lost cause”....it's not.

Just look at what happened in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts last year.

In Virginia, we replaced an anti-gun governor with a pro-gun governor. And won 61 out of 62 races.

In New Jersey, we beat an anti-gun governor. And won 26 out of 30 races.

In Massachusetts, just look at Ayla Brown’s dad, UNITED STATES SENATOR Scott Brown!

If he can win there, we can win anywhere and everywhere.

But we WON'T keep winning if tens of millions of gun ownerscontinue to sit on the side lines.

So spread the word:

If you don't like the way our country's going, don't just sit there and gripe about it....

Do something about it!

We owe it to every hard-working American, like Matt Kemmeling..... to make sure that you never have to give up your rights .....to keep your job.

We owe it to Nikki Goeser....  to make sure that no one EVER pays the price she paid.

We owe it to Adam Brown.....to fight for what we believe in.

And we owe it to every soldier serving overseas today...
to make sure the America they come home to ....
is every bit as free as the America they left behind.

We can do this.
We can do this on Election Day.

Let's show our strength....

Let’s show our passion....

And together....

let’s protect God's greatest gift to mankind...freedom.

Thank you very much!


Chris Cox 2010 Annual Meeting

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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.