The following is an excerpt from the keynote address I gave at the Arizona NRA Centenary Banquet on June 2, 2012, in Phoenix, AZ.
“I want to speak to the Second Amendment. I want to speak about the right to bear arms.
Because there is no criticism of America more widespread, more vociferous, more universal: than the Second Amendment right of the American citizen.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I belong to a generation of Australians that have never picked up a gun. When I was just eleven years old, the federal government implemented gun reform in the wake of a dreadful and heart-wrenching massacre conducted by an insane man garnishing an AR-15. The government of day implemented a comprehensive and elaborate gun buy-back scheme where Australians, the compliant people that we are, visited our local police stations and handed in our firearms.
In doing this, the government, while well-intentioned, took the guns out of the hands of the law-abiding citizen, leaving only the criminals armed.
In the sixteen years since this reform, there has been negligible change to the crime rate, other than a spike in knife activity and violent assault.
Any advocate of gun ownership is considered extreme and dangerous. The Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun that my father played with as a child, and sat under many an Australian Christmas tree for generations, is outlawed unless you have a special permit, safe, serial code stamp.
I know this. I spoke to the Daisy Factory staff in Rogers, Arkansas one tour and as a gift, they allowed me to construct my own Red Ryder which they sent to me. They had even disabled the toy- it could not shoot a pellet. I received a letter from Australian Customs and Immigration and the first line read: “Dear Mr. Adams, we are in possession of an illegal firearm addressed to you.” It went on to explain what I would require to have the gun released to me. I would need police clearance, a gun license, a three day safety course, a safe, a serial code number stamped on it by a gunsmith and the gun would need to be registered to a gun shop. When I suggested it would only be a wall-piece, the bureaucrat I spoke to almost went into melt-down, informing me I could hold up a bank with that gun.
That is the state of play in Australia, your fellow frontier nation.
Now, I want every person in this room to listen really carefully to what I am about to say because I could be living your future if you do not remain vigilant.
Nothing, Ladies and Gentlemen, nothing- is more emblematic of the exceptionalism of America than the Second Amendment. Without the second Amendment, there are no other Amendments: the rest of the Constitution is a recommendation. It defines what America is about. It speaks to the character of America and to the mentality and philosophy of the American. It reflects why America came into being and the success of its human experiment. Civilian disarmament is based on the assumption that people are irresponsible (unless they work for the government). America was founded on the opposite premise.
Just as there is no greater moral imperative than keeping America strong, there is no greater moral imperative than supporting and advocating the Constitutional right to bear arms.
You take away the guns of America, you take away America.
Let’s set the record straight here.
Because I’m done with the elites and their misinformation.
I’m done with the namby-pamby society.
I’m done with the effete urbanites.
I’m done with the world-citizen politicians.
They have fired thousands of volleys of shots, wielding their weapon of distortion in their war on individual liberty, and the casualties have been truth and reality.
The right to bear arms is not wrong, immoral, evil, bad or unnecessary. It’s the opposite. The right to bear arms is the greatest test of genuine freedom, the best protection of you, your family and your property; the greatest deterrent of governmental overreach, the greatest disincentive to foreign invasion, the greatest defense to the two cancers of the West- radical Islam and socialism, and the greatest asset to a confident and individualistic society.
If you don’t understand why owning a gun is important or necessary, you don’t get freedom. If you don’t get that criminals will always have guns, then you don’t get logic. If it does not concern you that the very first act of virtually every totalitarian regime over the last hundred years has been to disarm its population, then you are beyond help. If you want to greet a home invader, car-jacker, thief or rapist with an umbrella and harsh words, give up your rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to replant and reinforce the spirit of individualism, self-reliance and independence in all areas that made this nation great.”