ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE
The chief lobbyist of the NRA argued that protecting constitutional rights ensures a just society at a speaking event March 7 in MGC.
“How is it just to deny citizens their right to purchase and own a firearm?” Chris Cox, executive director of National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and chief lobbyist asked students.
Cox spoke about the importance of protecting Second Amendment rights.
“Gun ownership has been a heated debate over recent years,” Cox said. “Many ask, ‘How can an armed society be a just society?’”
A just society is one that applies laws fairly and equally and functions under facts, reality and reason instead of what individuals want to see, Cox said.
“Firearms are the great equalizer,” he said. “The weak against the strong and the merciful against the merciless.”
Cox defended the right to own firearms by using the example that a 90-pound unarmed woman needs protection against a 200-pound attacker.
Cox said a disarmed citizen is a defenseless citizen.
“Human beings have two ways to communicate: persuasion and force,” he said. “Firearms remove force from the equation.”
He also criticized legislative attempts to impose restrictions upon a citizen’s right to bear arms, saying that is was not right for a government to make its people “defenseless,” including a federal acts that prohibit carrying a concealed weapon in public.
“The public would be outraged if the government took away religious freedom,” so the same protections should be applied to the Second Amendment, protecting law-abiding citizens’ right to own and carry firearms for personal protection, Cox said.
Students asked Cox about a wide gamut of topics during the question and answer session, including Maryland’s recent removal of its gun permit stipulation that an individual most show evidence of personal threat to own a gun.
A student also asked why the NRA supports citizens’ rights to own heavy assault weapons.
Cox said the NRA lobbied fairly for citizen’s rights to own handguns and larger hunting guns, because, in economic times such as these, hunting is a viable way of putting food on the table.
When challenged on his statements that disarmed societies had higher amounts of violent crime then the United States, Cox said, “the riots in London would have never happened [in the United States].”
However, Cox said comparing firearm accessibility to crime rates does not mean one causes the other.
Cox concluded the night by stating that it is each individuals right to chose whether they are comfortable with firearms, but that it should remain just that: a choice.
“Personally,” Cox said. “I would choose a firearm to a karate chop to protect myself.”
AU College Republicans sponsored the speaking event. AUCR President Todd Carney said the organization believed students would benefit from learning how to get involved in protecting their constitutional rights.