- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS — National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre said Friday that the country is on edge like he’s never seen it before, and that it’s up to attendees at the group’s annual meeting and like-minded individuals to fight for its future.

“NRA, this organization, is about giving a voice to all the people like all of us in this room today and everyone else in the country that feels like we do,” he told the crowd at an opening event at the group’s annual meetings.

“I love it because corporations can’t control it, politicians can’t control it, the media can’t control it,” he said. “By gosh, there is an organization … that says ‘this is what we stand for, and we’re willing to fight for it.’ And that’s what I love about it. And that’s what it’s about.

“Gun rights, where we are right now in this country, have become a metaphor for a feeling it’s kind of all slipping away,” he continued. “It’s yearning for individual rights — the right to be safe, the right to be secure, the right to protect your family. The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the right to live the way you choose.”

Mr. LaPierre said those aren’t old or new values, but core freedoms, and that the next two-and-a-half years leading up to the 2016 elections are probably going to determine the direction of this country “for the rest of most of our lives.”

“And I have never seen it on edge the way it is right now, but if it’s going to be saved, it’s going to be saved — it’s in our hands,” he continued. “It’s in your hands. It’s in people like you just throughout the country that are going to have to … put other things aside and say, ‘I’m gonna engage this fight every single day and you’re not going to back me down. I’m going to be in it, and by gosh, we’re gonna win it.’

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“And the one thing I promise you, and every one of us that work with the NRA promise you: if you will make that commitment and I know you will or you wouldn’t be here today, this organization will stand there every day in a principled fight and defense of these freedoms,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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