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NRA's Keene: Americans Approve of Guns More Than Ever

By Henry J. Reske and John Bachman   |   Thursday, 04 Oct 2012 06:42 PM

The greatest accomplishment of supporters of the Second Amendment is the belief that “guns are cool,” National Rifle Association President David Keene tells Newsmax.TV.

Keene, speaking to Newsmax at CPAC Colorado, said that Americans oppose gun laws and it’s not just the work of the NRA or of the Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends to individual Americans.

“The greatest accomplishment of the believers of the Second Amendment today over a decade ago or more is that guns are cool,” he said. “That wasn’t the case before.”

He noted that after a recent breakfast meeting with members of Congress an intern came up to him and said, “Mr. Keene, you don’t know how right you are. My sorority, every Friday, we all go out to the range to shoot.”

“And I said, ‘Young lady, 45 years ago, if I tried to ask out a girl to go to the range and shoot with me, I wouldn’t have gotten that date.’ This is a different America than we’ve had before.

Story continues below the video.

Keene said that over the course of three decades the country debated gun rights and attitudes changed.

“We came to a sort of consensus in this country that Americans do have the right to keep and bear arms,” he said, “that good people should not be denied access to firearms, that the shooting sports are important and that bad people, we should try to prevent them from getting guns. ... The problem is you can’t prevent evil and you can’t prevent insanity, and that’s a difficulty that a modern society has to contend with in a whole lot of different areas. But there is a consensus. There is no need to have a debate.”

In other topics Keene said:
  • Efforts by the United Nations to enact a global small arms ban have been delayed for at least five years but warn that “in the next decade, the liberals who have been unable to accomplish their goals here on the question of Second Amendment rights and in other areas, are going to try to do so internationally.”
  • That up until 1968 with the passage of the gun control law sponsored by Lyndon Johnson’s administration, the Second Amendment had never been a partisan issue. Life members of the NRA prior to that time included everybody from John Kennedy to both Roosevelts to Eisenhower. He said that with the onset of the culture wars in the 1960s “the Democratic Party has been quite properly seen as being anti-Second Amendment.”
  • That President Barack Obama has not pressed for more gun control in the wake of the movie shooting tragedy in Colorado because he knows it is a losing proposition electorally. “He doesn’t want a head-on fight with American’s gun owners and Second Amendment supporters prior to the November election. It’s after that election that we’re worried about.”
  • That Mitt Romney had little choice but to support gun control legislation that came to his desk as governor of Massachusetts. “Mitt Romney had a legislature in which he had 28 percent support. It was in the hands of the other party, it was in the hands of liberals. And what happened when that bill came up to him, the NRA and others worked with him to put on a bunch of amendments that actually helped gun owners in Massachusetts and then said, ‘Go ahead and sign because if you veto it, they’re just going to override a veto anyway and you’re going to get something much worse.’” He added that Romney is very strongly committed to Second Amendment issues.

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