Rubio: ‘They Like to Paint Us As Paranoid, Bitter People’

by Charles C. W. Cooke

The NRA’s work, Senator Marco Rubio told the NRA convention this afternoon, is “a key part of our effort to save the American Dream in the 21st century.” And that American Dream, he argued, is “is often misunderstood” “Far too many in our country today,” Rubio averred, “view the Second Amendment right of each individual to own and bear arms as a relic of the past” — as “a guarantee that has outlived its usefulness and purpose. ‘Why do we need guns to secure our families?’ they ask. That is what government can do for us now.”

Among those who misunderstand the right to bear arms, Rubio said, are the media, which, he suggested, will “continue to perpetuate stereotypical myths about those who feel passionately about gun rights,” and has habitually indulged in “an orchestrated attempt not simply to erode our right to bear arms, but to stigmatize gun owners and gun ownership.” “They like,” he added, “to paint us as paranoid, bitter people, clinging to God and a Constitution that they believe is outdated, at least when it comes to the Second Amendment . . . They attack this very organization, the NRA, as the problem — never mind that you, its members, are some of the most law-abiding individuals anywhere.”

The senator drew a distinction between law abiding citizens who follow the law, and criminals who do not, telling the story of “a young lady who works in [his] office” who “grew up in Miami, in a family of hunters” but discovered, upon moving to Washington D.C., that she had effectively lost her rights. “This young woman’s story reminds us of all the honest, law-abiding, patriotic Americans that are just trying to achieve their American Dream for themselves and their families,” he said. “They may not agree with all these laws, but rest assured they will follow them.”

“But the evil people who would do them harm will not.”

Having laid out why “making it harder for law abiding Americans to defend themselves has not, does not and will not prevent future tragedies,” Rubio closed with a familiar pitch for American exceptionalism. Those who say, “no other country has a constitutional right like this,” he argued, “imply that there is something wrong with us.” But America is different, he continued, “unique from any other nation on earth.” “We don’t want an America that is just another country,” he said. “We want an America that is different than any other place on earth” — “where people have a right to speak freely, worship openly — and own a gun.”

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