President Trump took the stage at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum today to thunderous applause. He used much of his speech to the thousands gathered in the Lucas Oil Stadium to tout the latest economic results — the economy grew at a rate of 3.2% in the first quarter — and claim that his administration is draining the swamp “faster than anyone ever expected.” He also talked up the border wall and criticized the now-concluded Russia collusion investigation.
Regarding guns, the President pledged not to sign new gun control legislation currently being considered in Congress, noting that “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”
He promised to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and fight violent crime, putting dangerous offenders behind bars. He noted that violent crime in the US is down, claiming that murders in America’s largest cities dropped 6% in the nation’s largest cities from 2017 to 2018 (and wondered, “What’s wrong with Chicago?”). During the same period, he said, 21% fewer law enforcement officers were shot.
He advocated letting law enforcement do its job by arresting violent criminals, while noting that his administration has supplied police agencies with surplus military equipment such as bullet proof vests, moves he called “common sense.”
He also applauded improvements in school safety exemplified by what he said are 30 states that now allow highly trained teachers to carry guns in the classroom to protect their students. Because, he said, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Trump brought onto the stage three people who protected themselves and others with defensive gun uses, including Stephen Willeford, who shot the Sutherland Springs mass shooter. All three thanked the President for his support of Second Amendment rights.
Trump closed by noting that guns make our nation safer and stronger, from the shot heard ’round the world in 1775 to today. He finished by thanking the crowd and promising, “I am with you, and I will never let you down.”