President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address held a key couple sentences that are reminding all Americans he stands squarely with protecting their Second Amendment rights.
“Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country,” President Trump said. “So long as I am President, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
With that phrase, President Trump set off a striking contrast. On one side, he’s clearly positioning himself as the guardian of Second Amendment rights. He’s got three years of his administration’s record. He’s appointed to two supreme court justices, both originalists who respect the text of the Second Amendment. In addition to the nation’s high court, President Trump has also appointed 44 Circuit Court judges, and 112 District Court judges, all of whom the White House touts as judges who interpret the Constitution as written.
Juxtaposed against that is the current field of Democratic nominees. They labeled the firearms industry as “the enemy.” The leading candidates propose repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, to expose firearms manufacturers to punishing and superfluous lawsuits that wrongfully assign blame for the criminal actions of individuals. This would be akin to holding General Motors responsible for drunk driving accidents.
They go further, wanting to ban modern sporting rifles, the most popular selling centerfire rifle on the market today. More than 17.7 million of these rifles are in circulation, making the commonly owned firearms one of the leading choices for today’s gun owner for self-defense, recreational target shooting and hunting. Candidates want to ration gun purchases, register and track law-abiding gun owners and even require fantasy spy novel fiction technology to use DNA matches for guns to work.
Tearing It Up
If those examples weren’t enough, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demonstrated exactly what her party thinks of the ideals President Trump outlined. At the end of the speech, Speaker Pelosi stood squarely behind President Trump and tore in half the official copy of the speech hand-delivered to her by the President.
Vice President Mike Pence said the symbolism wasn’t lost on him.
“I didn’t know if she was ripping up the speech or the Constitution,” he explained. The Vice President explained he didn’t see Speaker Pelosi rip the documents but called it “a new low.”
Speaker Pelosi attempted to defend her stunt, telling reporters, “It was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative.”
The President’s State of the Union address, and the nonsense that followed, showed what’s at stake in the coming year for the firearms industry and the gun owners who purchase firearms and ammunition. There are two strikingly divergent paths forward on guns for America. One path protects and preserves our freedoms and rights. The other would abandon the promise of freedom entrusted by our Founding Fathers and subjugate free Americans to the whims of government bureaucracies that don’t offer real solutions for safer communities.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.