Referring to comments President Obama made during the 2008 campaign that some bitter people were clinging to their guns and their religion, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told the NRA conventioneers in Pittsburgh Saturday that “I want you to know I stand here tonight as a gun-clinger and a God-clinger, unapologetically.” He got a standing ovation from the crowd of 70,000 in attendance. He added that like most of the crowd, his father and grandfather were gun-clingers, too. And so was George Washington, who signed the Militia Act of 1792 requiring gun and ammunition ownership for all males over the age of 18.
Huckabee made clear he understands that the Second Amendment is not about hunting, it is about preserving our freedom. If in a time of civil unrest you have someone arrive on your property trying to steal your provisions and threatening your family, your command for the intruder to get off the land is a lot more effective when you are standing behind a 12-gauge or a Glock 40. We are not just gun owners, he told the crowd, we are patriots who love our country.
Most of us were taught how to handle and use a firearm by a parent. Huckabee’s worst fear as a child was not the gun, it was fearing his father if he ever misused a firearm. It wasn’t a toy. Huckabee’s father was an old fashioned patriot who laid on the stripes, and Mike Huckabee saw the stars.
Touching on the economy, Huckabee suggested that we as a society were paying an awful economic price for absentee fathers who abandon wife and children and leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab. Two thirds of the children in poverty would not be in poverty if the mothers of those children were married to their fathers. These issues cannot be ignored.
It is not about the expense of certain government programs, it’s whether they should exist at all.The government should not be the ones picking winners and losers among banks, car companies, and Wall Street firms. Government officials are rather to be referee.
It’s not just about being gun-clingers. It is also about clinging to God. Without his blessing, our country would not exist. Without Him, it will not survive. Fathers and mothers raise kids better than government ever will.
Huckabee finished his speech by telling the story of his visit to the Yad Vashem holocaust museum in Israel with his daughter, who was 11-years-old at the time. He was at first worried that it might be too traumatic. Then followed the fear that she would not really understand the lesson that we should never look away as evil advances. At the end of the tour, Sarah Huckabee signed the guest book with five words, which Governor Huckabee said he would never forget and proved she really did get it: “Why didn’t somebody do something?”
As we leave an unfathomable debt to our children, and see our own freedoms disappear, we should ask ourselves whether our children will see their children write the same words about our country. He suggested that the crowd at the NRA convention were the somebodies that would do something to preserve our freedom.
The video of the complete speech can be found at the NRA’s website, 8th bullet* point to the right in the window of videos to the right**.
*No pun intended. ** Also, no pun intended.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.
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