U.S. Congressman Dan Boren, Democrat from the Second Congressional District of Oklahoma and a member of the National Rifle Association's (NRA) Board of Directors, addressed the NRA's 139th Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Charlotte, North Carolina today. Boren, one of the strongest defenders of the Second Amendment in the House of Representatives, highlighted his legislative work on gun rights in Congress, his thoughts on the recent DC v. Heller Supreme Court decision pertaining to the District of Columbia gun ban, and his views on the NRA's efforts in assisting gun-owners across the nation.
"It is an enormous honor to speak at the NRA National Convention. For me personally, it is the largest crowd I get to address all year and the participants are very receptive and energized. I know there are plenty of Oklahoma gun-owners and hunters in the room curious to see what I have to say. My goal when addressing the convention is to reinforce my support for the second amendment and provide my perspective as a member of the House of Representatives on the current issues facing gun-owners and sportsmen across America," said Boren.
This marks the second time that Boren has addressed the NRA's annual gathering -- the first being in 2008 which was the same year Boren was elected to the organization's Board of Directors. Throughout his career in public service, Boren has remained firmly committed to upholding and protecting the Second Amendment. Boren's legislative background in outdoors issues includes being the current Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Second Amendment Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"As I was preparing for being here today, one question kept coming to my mind. "What does it mean to be an American?' It's a tough question that has a lot of answers. For us, as Members of the National Rifle Association, the answer to this question comes back to the Second Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.' Coming right after the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech, I believe that the Second Amendment is in the DNA of America and Americans."
"Because I; we, and every gun owner in America must continue, in the great tradition of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin, to proactively defend the Second Amendment. There is an old saying in Washington: You're either at the table or you're on the menu. And we, as gun owners, hunters and shooters, need to make sure that our Second Amendment rights are never on the menu."
"But fortunately, for our sake, the NRA knows that the best defense is a good offense. And together, we have become proactive."
"Just last fall, the NRA and loyal gun owners went to battle with the DC government to protect its citizens' right to possess a firearm. The landmark Supreme Court case was in many ways a straight forward test of the Second Amendment. The question was "do D.C residents have the right to possess a firearm to protect their house and their family?" I, along with a bipartisan majority of the House and Senate; including the Vice President of the United States at the time, signed "A Friend of the Court Brief," arguing that DC's gun ban was completely unconstitutional."
"And because of the NRA's hard work, we are beginning the process of restoring gun rights in yet another American city that previously had none. And this victory, while historic, should remind everyone in this room why we can't get complacent. Because complacency leads to erosion, and the erosion of our rights leads to the oppression of gun owners everywhere.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to be here today. I am proud to be a member of the board of the NRA. I believe in liberty. I believe in freedom. My right to keep and bear arms is an important part of my heritage ..I'm looking forward to the day that I can teach my daughter or little boy to shoot and hunt and handle fire arms with respect."