DALLAS, Texas-- In 2014, Indiana Governor Mike Pence welcomed the National Rifle Association (NRA) to its 143rd annual conference in Indianapolis.
Today in Dallas, Vice President Pence was the opening act for his boss at the NRA’s 147th meeting at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
“The last two years have been filled with sights and sounds this small town boy could have never imagined I would live to see,” the Columbus, Indiana, native told a packed house of NRA supporters in the center’s main hall. “Last year President Trump spoke to this very gathering, the first president to do so in 34 years. He told you then in his words that you have a true friend in the White House and I’m here today as his vice president to tell you you have two friends in the White House.”
While the NRA claims that the gun ownership rights of Americans are under attack in the wake of several fatal school mass shootings, Pence said the rest of the nation would do well to follow Indiana’s lead.
“President Trump has urged leaders all across American to follow the example of states like Indiana and allow qualified school personnel on a voluntary basis to carry a concealed weapon because the quickest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Pence to rousing cheers. “We’re now providing more than $2 billion to local governments ensure the security of our schools and the safety of our students. It represents the single largest investment in school safety in American history.”
Pence’s comments met with favorable support from NRA members outside the hall.
“It was an added bonus to find out both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would be here today,” said Jeff Teer who drove over from Shreveport, “He’s a motivator, he’s got a good message for America, we’re headed in the right direction and, hey, we’re fixing to make America great again.”
“He’s like Trump and he’s very supportive and Christian-based which is strong for us families and prayer,” said Texan Melody Strother.
“I think he’s great,” said Justin Michael who traveled from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to hear the White House duo. “I think his morals and views are all in the right place and as far as gun rights, I think they are on the right track.”
Trump promised his continued support for gun rights as well as veering off script to bash the media and the Mueller investigation into the president’s alleged connections with Russian operatives.
“Paris, France, has the toughest gun laws in the world. Nobody has guns in Paris, nobody, and we all remember more than 130 people plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly wounded,” said Trump, referring to a 2015 terrorist attack.
“You noticed nobody every talks about that,” he continued. “They talk about the people that died but they never mention that 250 people had horrible wounds. I mean they never mention that but they died in a restaurant and various other close proximity places. They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time, and gunned them down, one by one. ‘Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here. Boom!’ If one employee or just one patron had a gun or if one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorist would have fled or been shot and it would have been a whole different story.
Trump also suggested cars, trucks and vans would have to be outlawed after their recent use by drivers to run down pedestrians in New York City, Toronto and London.