Strength Through Pro-Gun Unity
18th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference
by Dave Workman
September 26, 2003
September 27, 2003
|September 28, 2003
"Gun control is elitism...Gun control is power"
Delivering the keynote address at the Saturday awards lunch was Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who said that "being called a 'gun bubba' is not something that's bad in this state."
Patterson is widely regarded as the "father of concealed carry" in Texas since he was a prime sponsor of the legislation while a state senator.
He brought roars of laughter when he conducted a "poll" about Texas concealed carry, asking "How many of you have been involved in a shoot-out at a four-way stop?"
He said none of the dire predictions about gunfights and violence came true. This, he said, is a testament to the fact that "government, by its very nature, underestimates the ability of its citizens to make good choices."
But turning to the serious nature of the gun rights battle, Patterson noted, "We all talk about losing our freedom. We also need to exercise our freedom."
He said that whenever he travels by air, he always takes a firearm. Many of his friends do not understand that this is legal.
"This is the type of activity that needs to be routinely seen by the majority of non-gun-owning citizens as normal," he advised. "When you check in at the ticket counter and you open that hard-sided container and you've got a handgun in there, everybody at the counter looks at you. And you want them to know this is normal. This is not an unusual activity."
Patterson "relishes the opportunity" when authorities single him out for being a gunowner.
"Don't hide the fact that you're a gunowner," he said.
Patterson acknowledged that "many people believe you shouldn't need a license to exercise a Second Amendment freedom, and I don't dispute that concept at all, but we did not lose our liberty overnight and we shall not regain it overnight." He said passage of concealed carry statutes is "moving the ball in the right direction."
"Gun control is elitism," he insisted. "Gun control is power, exercised by people who either have a motive or are not very bright, not very knowledgeable."
He said gun control in Texas dates back to Reconstruction, when the government did not want two classes of people to carry firearms: recently-freed slaves and former Confederates.
Patterson closed his remarks by advising the audience, "Never make the mistake of telling people that the Constitution grants me the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution grants you no rights. It merely enumerates rights that you have by being a free citizen of this nation, who are endowed by your Creator with certain inalienable rights, among those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And without the right to self-defense, all those are in jeopardy."
Following his speech, Patterson was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work to protect gun rights by Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).
A special appearance was made by Robert Glock, managing director of Glock Inc. He noted his Austrian heritage and told the audience, "You are extremely fortunate you have the Second Amendment."
"You cannot appreciate just how special it is to live in a country where it is a constitutional right to own a gun," he stated.
Glock, who helped organize the World Forum for the Future of Shooting Sports Activities and has testified before UN panels in Vienna, London and New York, promised that his company will "do everything in our power to prevent" a global gun ban by the United Nations. He said only the United States, with its veto authority, has the power to prevent that from ever occurring.
"You must forever be on alert to back door attempts to disarm you," Glock said. "Freedom is not free."
Glock was honored with a presentation of a first-time Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) award for international leadership on behalf of gunowners and firearms rights by SAF president Joseph Tartaro and SAF founder Alan Gottlieb.