America was founded on noble principles that have made our nation a light of freedom for the entire globe. I believe we must hold true to those principles and defend the values and culture that have always made our country the greatest force for liberty the world has ever known.
First and foremost, America's founders believed that our freedom was a gift from God to all people. This very simple assertion at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence has been the foundation on which everything great about our country was built. As a nation and a culture, we must continue to affirm that primacy of our Creator.
Just a few words later in the Declaration of Independence, the first rights of all people are spelled out: "
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That first word -- "life" -- indicates the touchstone right that guarantees all the others. As Middle Tennessee's representative, I will defend the Right to Life with every fiber of my being. I was proud to be named "Legislator of the Year" in our state by Tennessee Right to Life and I will not ever waiver from my commitment to this most fundamental principal of freedom.
I will also defend the enumerated rights in U.S. Constitutions' Bill of Rights -- as they are written in the document. The right to religious expression must be protected -- which in today's world usually means protection from government censorship. Freedom of religion does not mean the government-mandated absence of religion and I will fight the left-wing to defend our right to religious expression.
Like many Tennesseans, I not only support our Second Amendment freedom to own firearms, I exercise that freedom. I'm proud to own a weapon for self-defense and recreation and I am the proud holder of a Tennessee carry permit. I have been an aggressive advocate for the constitutional rights of gun owners in the legislature and am proud to have received the "A+" rating and endorsement of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action in my campaigns.
I understand the threat currently posed to our Second Amendment by a left-wing Administration and Democratic majority. As a result, I will not only support the Second Amendment, I will be a leader on the subject -- taking action to stop the left from eroding our rights. I will support the extension of right to carry laws across state lines. I will oppose efforts to restrict law-abiding gun owners' rights on federal land. I will oppose the ammunition taxes and onerous ammunition registration schemes that liberals use as a backdoor way to gut the Second Amendment. I will oppose Attorney General Eric Holder's drive to impose a new ban on guns based solely on their cosmetic features. I will stand firm to make sure our criminal justice system in this country focuses only on the bad people who commit crimes and not on the law-abiding citizens who are exercising Constitutional rights.
I will also work hard to shine a light on an essential Constitutional right that is too often forgotten by modern Members of Congress -- the 10th Amendment. This Amendment, part of the original Bill of Rights, expressly reserves powers not enumerated in the Constitution to the states and the people. It is an important check on federal power that was integral to the great system of governance that made us the freest people on earth. If the modern Congress had always paid heed to the 10th Amendment, our government would not be as large and over-bearing as it is today.
I believe that our nation's strength comes not from our size or our wealth, but from the strength of our culture -- beginning from those first words in the Declaration of Independence and continuing to the goodness and morality that is so common in Tennessee families today. This moral strength cannot be taken for granted and as a U.S. Congresswoman I will defend our culture's moral underpinnings in both foreign and domestic policy.
The terrorists of Al Qaeda hate America because we believe in freedom, free enterprise, and equality. Dictators of every stripe hate America's light of freedom because their power depends on keeping their own people oppressed. In Europe and here at home, moral relativists seek to undermine the religious strength and family-centered values that built a nation where freedom is so honored. I believe we must defend our values, our culture, and our traditions and that is exactly what I will do.