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America must seize freedom again by undoing the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Bill.

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America must seize freedom again by undoing the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Bill.

Mr. La Pierre has served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association of America since 1991. This article is excerpted from the remarks he delivered to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Jan. 23, 2004.

Thank you for inviting me to be among the brethren who are the caretakers of our nation?¢â??¬â??¢s soul.

As of last week, Canada?¢â??¬â??¢s gun ban and gun registry has been declared a colossal failure that squandered billions, while more and more gun crime sickened their society.

England?¢â??¬â??¢s gun ban and gun registry has been declared a colossal failure that squandered billions, while more and more gun crime sickened their society.

Australia?¢â??¬â??¢s gun ban and gun registry has been declared a colossal failure that squandered billions, while more and more gun crime sickened their society.

South Africa?¢â??¬â??¢s gun ban and gun registry has been declared a colossal failure that squandered billions, while more and more gun crime sickened their society.

But in America, since 1991, the number of privately owned firearms grew by about 70 million guns.

In America, since 1991, the number of states with Right-to-Carry more than doubled, from 17 to 37 states.

In America, since 1991, the percentage of the American population living in Right to Carry states doubled from 30% to 60%.

So we have more guns, more gun owners, more citizens carrying guns, and more citizens living among citizens carrying guns….

And what?¢â??¬â??¢s the effect on crime?

In America, since 1991, the total violent crime rate has been cut 35%, dropping every single year to a 30-year low.

  • Murder, down 43%.
  • Rape, down 22%.
  • Aggravated assault, down 28%.
  • Robbery, down 47%.

    By every measure, the debate over lawful gun ownership should be over.

    But the liberals, like Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, still want your guns.

    The United Nations wants to take away your guns.

    The Brady Campaign wants to take away gun shows and even more semi-automatics.

    The so-called Americans for Gun Safety want to take away Eddie Eagle.

    Hollywood wants to get rid of you.

    The list is long. So on one hand, we have all this global evidence of gun control failures.

    On the other, we have all these new threats.

    But the worst of it is this: Just when Americans need to hear these facts and know who stands where, they?¢â??¬â??¢ll be deprived.

    Thanks to a hand-wringing band of whiny politicians who?¢â??¬â??¢ve entered into a smelly insider deal called the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. I call it an incumbent protection scheme.

    You know it as McCain-Feingold, a bald-faced insult to the constitutional freedoms of common Americans.

    And I?¢â??¬â??¢m here to guarantee you on their behalf that it will not stand.

    A lot of people think that just because the U.S. Congress passed it…and the President signed it…and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it…that means they can freeze you out…sever your tongue…and choke your voice to silence.

    And you?¢â??¬â??¢ll just have to get used to it.

    If they can steal that much freedom today, think what they?¢â??¬â??¢ll embezzle from your children and grandchildren…who will never get it back.

    No, we will not be silenced.

    We?¢â??¬â??¢re going to use every means to restore the 1st Amendment.

    And now, I am telling you that the time has come to look at every option.

    We will be heard.

    And we?¢â??¬â??¢re even beginning the process of looking at one final option.

    It hasn?¢â??¬â??¢t been used in 215 years.

    Until now, it wasn?¢â??¬â??¢t necessary.

    It?¢â??¬â??¢s buried in the Constitution?¢â??¬â??¢s Article Five, which authorizes the people to convene a Constitutional Convention . . . and seize freedom again.

    So, if there is no other way, we will demand a Constitutional Convention.

    It?¢â??¬â??¢s now a crime to criticize Congress when it needs it most.

    We?¢â??¬â??¢re back to the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798…

    First, we will invite participation by an unprecedented representation of common Americans…groups who may have absolutely nothing in common…except the right and the duty of free speech on behalf of their memberships.

  • We will test the limits of McCain-Feingold.
  • We will introduce the repeal of the Wellstone speech gag.

    And if that doesn?¢â??¬â??¢t work, we will begin pursuing the two-thirds of states it takes to petition for a Constitutional Convention.

    And a Constitutional Convention can amend the U.S. Constitution as it sees fit on any topic, without asking anybody for permission.

    All it takes is 34 state legislatures.

    And here?¢â??¬â??¢s what?¢â??¬â??¢ll happen: When we get to state number 33, as they did in 1912, Congress will buckle.

    This class of political elites will do what they?¢â??¬â??¢ve always done when the people threaten their power. When state number 33 signs up, they?¢â??¬â??¢ll back down. And we won?¢â??¬â??¢t stop until they restore the full measure of freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

    And here?¢â??¬â??¢s what?¢â??¬â??¢ll happen.

    When we get to state number 33, like they did in 1912, Congress will buckle.

    This class of political elites will do what they?¢â??¬â??¢ve always done when the people threaten their power.

    When state number 33 signs up, they?¢â??¬â??¢ll back down. And we won?¢â??¬â??¢t stop until they restore the full measure of freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

    You know, for decades the NRA has preached that erosion of one freedom in the Bill of Rights invites erosion of them all.

    This outrageous new law is proof that what we predicted has come to pass.

    Inch by inch, law by law, month by month, these self-dealing power addicts will happily deny you the freedom they reserve for themselves and the media?¢â??¬ ¦quot;whose narcotic of power feeds the addiction.

    Well, they?¢â??¬â??¢re about to suffer a sobering withdrawal.

    It?¢â??¬â??¢ll last until we restore freedom to its full measure…as America?¢â??¬â??¢s children watch and learn.

    And we will reclaim lost liberty, pilfered by the powerful who, left unchallenged, would reduce the Bill of Rights to a dusty piece of the past…and render it useless to the common men and common women?? ¦it once honored, elevated, and celebrated.

    Come join us.

    It will be a blessing for our children, and a civics lesson for the ages.

    Together we will seize freedom again.

    Thank you.

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    Written By

    Mr. LaPierre is Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association of America.

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