"Self-reliance is the ethic that made America great, and our Founders understood that. They knew there would be circumstances where Americans might need to use firearms to protect themselves and their families. Some Second Amendment detractors think this is a mere abstraction, or a relic of America's distant past. But Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights every day to protect themselves from criminals, as happened in Scottsdale, Arizona where earlier this year, a 74-year-old woman defended her home from a man who repeatedly attempted to break in, extort money and threatened to set fire to her garage. The Second Amendment -- and its guarantee of an individual right to keep and bear arms -- is certainly not an abstraction.
But the clear meaning of the Second Amendment has not stopped those who want to punish firearms owners -- and those who make and sell firearms -- for the actions of criminals. It seems like every time there is a particularly violent crime, the anti-gun activists demand yet another restriction on the Second Amendment. I opposed the ban on so-called "assault weapons," which was first proposed after a California schoolyard shooting. It makes no sense to ban a class of firearms based on cosmetic features. I have opposed waiting periods for gun purchases.
I have opposed efforts to cripple our firearms manufacturers by making them liable for the acts of violent criminals. This was a not-so-cleverly disguised effort by some to use lawsuits to bankrupt gun manufacturers. They sued gun manufacturers to hold them legally responsible for the actions of lawbreakers. Had they prevailed, they would have bankrupted manufacturers, driven the costs of guns and ammunition sky high, and forced government and military customers to buy from foreign sources.
Like your members, I am a committed conservationist. I have long supported multiple uses for public lands that ensure they are available for this and future generations to hunt, fish and explore. Over 12 million hunters in the United States contribute $25 billion to the economy, much of it in rural areas. Hunters pay billions of dollars in federal revenue through license and other fees. Here in Kentucky, hunters spend over $400 million and support thousands of jobs. Senators Obama and Clinton claim they support our hunting heritage, but they voted to allow lawsuits that would force American gunmakers out of business and to ban ammunition commonly used for hunting. Their votes reveal their real views -- far more than their occasional statements of theoretical support for the Second Amendment heard on the campaign trail.
Over the years, I haven't agreed with the NRA on every issue. I have supported efforts to have NICS background checks apply to gun sales at gun shows. I recognize that gun shows are enjoyed by millions of law-abiding Americans. I do not support efforts by those who seek to regulate them out of existence. But I believe an accurate, fair and instant background check at guns shows is a reasonable requirement. I also oppose efforts to require federal regulation of all private sales such as the transfer between a father and son or husband and wife. I supported campaign finance reform because I strongly believed our system of financing campaigns was influencing elected officials to put the interests of "soft money" donors ahead of the public interest. It is neither my purpose nor the purpose of the legislation to prevent gun owners or any other group of citizens from making their voices heard in the legislative process.
Those disagreements do not detract from my long record of support for the Second Amendment and the work we have done together to protect the rights of gun owners from the political attitudes of the moment in Washington that view the Second Amendment as a once quaint custom that must now yield to the judgment of modern enlightened opinion. We have real differences with the Democratic candidates for President. They have learned something since 2000. They don't talk about their plans for gun control. They claim to support hunters and gun owners. But just because they don't talk about gun control doesn't mean they won't support gun control. Let's be clear. If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected President, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk. They have both voted as Senators to ban guns or ban ammunition or to allow gun makers to be sued out of existence."
ANY man who thinks he can tell me what I can or cannot do with my own property doesn't deserve the title of Meter-Maid (with heartfelt apologies to all the wonderfully dedicated Meter-Maids), let alone President. Back when such cretins discovered that they lacked the wherewithals to take away our rights face-to-face, they went out and hired lots of like-minded men and even some women they then armed to do the job for them. They even demanded that these traitorous scum swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, knowing full well that many of them would do what they were told and learn to like it.
And boy did they ever.
John McCain has proven himself to be just another leftwing gun-grabber who wants the job of telling government jackboots which door to break down next.