Robin Smith / May 7, 2018

NRA Cheers Trump’s 2A Promises

“We will never give up our freedom. Americans were born free, we live free, and we will die free.”

In 2017, President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits. In Dallas on Friday, Trump made it two years in a row, even after the Parkland school shooting that yielded a wave of calls for gun control efforts ranging from banning certain types of guns and magazines to the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Walking on stage to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” which has become the anthem of Trump rallies, the president was greeted by a wall of applause and rowdy calls of support, characteristic of a college football game or NASCAR race. The Leadership Forum held in Dallas featured its largest crowd to date.

Trump’s remarks were hardly distinguishable from his Washington Township event held just a week earlier in Michigan. So vividly “Trump,” the president played to his crowd with off-the-cuff rhetoric and a few punchlines. Trump spoke effectively about the hypocrisy of demanding we outlaw guns after mass shootings versus the silence after the use of trucks, vans and knives in recent public terror events. Classic Trump.

Furthermore, make no mistake: Trump was standing before some of the most intense voters out there.

An analysis in The New York Times back in October 2017 looked at the 2016 November election results through the lens of gun ownership. Following the Las Vegas mass shooting, the Times noted, “No other demographic characteristic created such a consistent geographic split.” The paper created a red-blue electoral map according to gun ownership voters. In short, if only voters in homes with guns had voted in the last presidential election, Donald Trump would’ve won every state except Vermont. This backs up both Pew Research and Gallup that have demonstrated that gun owners are both more likely to contact an elected official about policy and to vote for someone who shares their position on guns.

So what? Well, you know all those attacks leveled at the NRA after the Parkland shooting, where an armed school resource officer waited outside while 17 victims were murdered by a known-to-be-troubled 19-year-old? The critical placards and harsh talking points were aimed at the NRA, but those who actually own guns and value gun rights were always the intended target. As Democrats would frame it, you either love kids and hate guns or love guns and hate kids. Don’t mistake the real target of Democrats’ hatred — gun owners, not their organization.

The dripping disdain of the celebrity media mobilized to do the Democrats’ bidding was ever present in the coverage of the NRA’s annual convention. The perfect example was in the completely manufactured lie that the NRA banned guns at its own meeting for the purpose of the safety of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Democrats and gun-control advocates pounced on the constructed narrative that students should be equally protected by gun bans in schools with only law enforcement armed for a response.

We suppose they forgot that what they claim to want — a gun-free zone with guns only in the hands of the police — was exactly the situation in Parkland. Other than the actual shooter, the armed school resource officer failed to respond to a man known to most everyone at the school as volatile and even too dangerous to have a backpack on campus.

As Americans have grown to know, fake news outlets lie. They did not report that the layers of systems already in place failed to prevent the Florida school shooting. That includes the politically correct approach to screening troubled individuals, all to keep statistics in a range to get federal funding. Leftmedia outlets completely fabricate a storyline to continue their never-ending badgering of law-abiding gun owners.

While President Trump’s remarks served up red meat to a crowd fed up with the direction America’s been taken by Democrats, the NRA membership is not only a group devoted to voting. Members put their cash on the barrelhead through personal contributions.

The first full month following the Parkland shooting featured a wave of marches, walkouts and regular railings against responsible and lawful gun ownership. And yet the NRA marked a 15-year fundraising high of $2.4 million from March 1 through March 31. All but $500,000 of this total came from donations of $200 or less, reflecting a wave of support to defend the right to bear arms in the face of the steady drumbeat of mass media opposition.

Among the wide-ranging remarks made by the president — he covered everything from the humming economy to the appointment of conservative judges to the Russia collusion investigation — came a line that captured Trump’s endearing trait. As he addressed the drawn-out inquiry by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump declared, “We’re all fighting battles. But I love fighting these battles. It’s really a disgrace what’s happening to our country.”

The NRA crowd is hated by coastal elites for knowing that their God-given rights to worship and speak freely, as well as to own property and the rest, are protected only by the right to bear arms. They love this fight, too. And they love a president who won’t back down when there’s a fight for the average American. “Americans will never surrender,” Trump promised. “We will never give up our freedom. Americans were born free, we live free, and we will die free.”

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