Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stump Speech # 1

Good evening.  It's great to be attending the (NRA/SAF/CALGUNS/ETC) meeting here in ___________.  I'm here to discuss Candidate X and (his/her) position on guns.

First, let me introduce myself.  I am Daddy J. Bear.  I grew up around guns, and as an adult came to realize that gun rights for the American citizen are civil rights, no less than the right to publish a newspaper or have a lawyer represent you in court.  I am a member of the NRA and the SAF, and have blogged a bit about guns and gun rights at my blog.  I am a proud gun owner, target shooter, and attempted hunter.

Candidate X and I share much the same beliefs about guns and gun rights.  Basically, it's none of the government's business whether or not a citizen owns guns, which guns they own, or whether or not they carry a gun in a lawful manner.  Unless you break a law, you should be left alone.  Gun rights are important in America for a number of reasons, but the ones that come to mind immediately are these:

  • Self defense - I do not want to the United States become a country that has a policeman on every street corner, but that's what it would take for law enforcement to provide the same amount of defense to people and property as an armed populace provides.
  • National Defense - A nation of riflemen is a nation that can defend itself.  If a young man or woman is brought up in the shooting sports, they have a leg up on someone who has to be convinced that a gun will not reach up and bite them and then taught how to shoot.  
  • Keeping the Government Honest - As much as I enjoy target shooting and hunting, that's not why the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights.  They knew that a government that controlled the weapons of its people could easily control the people themselves.  So they put in language that limited the government to regulating, not outlawing, firearms and the manner in which the civilian population can obtain and use them.  A government that has nothing to fear from its citizens becomes a tyranny very quickly.

Recognizing these and the myriad other reasons that we value the civilian ownership and use of firearms in our country, Candidate X and I, when we are elected, plan to do the following to protect and re-establish gun rights:

  • Within the first 100 days of the administration, we will introduce legislation to amend or repeal the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986.  In NFA 34, we will remove language that deals with suppressors, short barreled rifles, and short barreled shotguns.  A suppressor is nothing more than a muffler for a gun, and there are specific reasons a gun owner may wish to own a short barreled rifle or shotgun.  In GCA '68, we will remove the prohibition against interstate commerce in pistols, and relax provisions pertaining to the purchase of firearms through the mail.  We went almost 200 years in this country where you could legally ship a gun from one state to another without having to go through an FFL, and we see no reason to stop that now.  As for FOPA '86, we will remove the provision that prevents the transfer of a newly manufactured automatic weapon to private citizens.  If you want to burn up your ammunition with a gun that is equipped with a happy switch that is newer than Return of the Jedi, have at it.
  • In addition, we will introduce legislation supporting national reciprocity of concealed carry licenses.  If you can get a driver's license in Maine and have it recognized in Oregon, then your main CCW license should be just as good in Oregon.  Of course we will leave it up to each of the several states to come up with their own laws as to how and where a gun may be carried by citizens within their borders.  Whether or not a state requires a CCW license in order to carry a gun is up to the states, but we will encourage this at the federal level.  
  • We will also direct the civil rights division of the Department of Justice to work through the courts to assist citizens whose gun rights have been infringed upon by states whose gun laws are so restrictive that they restrict gun ownership, carry, and use.  Things that will bring the weight of the federal courts and the Attorney General down on a state include may issue CCW laws or a lack of CCW at all, gun registration and gun ownership licensing, lists of allowable guns, or onerous fees and requirements for a citizen to get a CCW license.  
  • We will direct the director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program to expand that organizations efforts to promote gun safety training and marksmanship programs in our nations high schools and universities.  We ask that the NRA and other gun rights groups put their weight behind these efforts in order to promote this effort.
  • Candidate X and I will never sign international treaties that infringe on the 2nd Amendment or any other Constitutional guarantee of rights, and we will pull out of any such treaties that have already been signed but not ratified by the Senate.  If a treaty that the Senate has ratified infringes on any civil right of our citizens, we will work with Congress to have that ratification revoked.
  • We will work with the CMP and our foreign allies to repatriate as many of the weapons that we have loaned or sold to the world over the last 100 years.  These weapons of war can be brought back and resold to our citizens at a profit to the CMP and used to train the next generation of citizens to be responsible gun owners.  We built these guns, we paid for them, and now we should bring them home so that they can be used once again to make America stronger.

Candidate X and I truly believe that a nation of people who own and use their guns is a nation that respects itself and will stand on its own without government interference.  We also believe that with every right in the Constitution comes a responsibility to use it responsibly.  You have the right to print a newspaper, but you do not have the right to libel someone or to plagiarize their work.  As gun owners and shooters, our 2nd Amendment rights are tempered by our responsibility to police ourselves, lest those who want to take them away become emboldened to try again.  The NFA and GCA were passed because of a public perception that the common ownership and use of firearms of certain types was causing problems in our society.  If the most onerous parts of these and other gun control laws are stripped away, we must, as responsible gun owners, prevent those who would abuse gun rights from becoming a big enough problem that anti-rights groups can take our rights away again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have one final request for you:  Get involved.  Whether or not you support Candidate X, become as involved as you can in this election and the political process.  Vote, and encourage those around you, including those who disagree with you, to go to the polls in November.  Take your children with you to the polls so that they learn how easy it is to vote and can see how important it is to make your voice heard through the ballot box.  On other political matters, learn about the issues that Congress and the President are dealing with, and make sure they know how you feel about them.  Write to your legislators, both here in _____ and in Washington.  Go to their offices and tell them in person what you think they should do.  Attend rallies and demonstrations so that they know it's not just a few people trying to talk to them, but rather a vast multitude of voters.

My fellow citizens of the United States of America, we are fortunate in that a lot of the restrictions to our gun rights are being won back, even when opposed by the government.  The National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the myriad other pro-rights groups in our country are doing wonderful things through the state legislatures and the courts.  Now, it's time to send a president who understands and supports gun rights to Washington.  I hope that throughout the campaign, the election, and the administration of Candidate X, you will support us as we try to continue the trend of restoring and protecting gun rights to the people of the United States.

Thank you for your time.   God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.
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