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Palin rallies gun owners at NRA convention

Posted May 14, 2010

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— Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Friday told thousands of people attending the National Rifle Association's annual meeting that they need to stand up for the right to own firearms.

Mixing self-deprecating humor with folksy stubbornness, Palin, a Fox News analyst and former governor of Alaska, said the nation is safer when responsible Americans have guns at the ready.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," she told the cheering audience.

Palin, who is an NRA member, also blamed the media and popular culture for unfairly characterizing gun owners, noting she doesn't fit the caricature of gunning down moose while hanging out of a helicopter.

"American gun owners and hunters, we are not the ones that are glorifying violence and abuse. Hollywood should look to its own business and clean it up, and then they can tell us how to live our lives," she said.

NRA officials estimated that about 9,000 people filled the Time Warner Arena in Charlotte to watch Palin's speech.

"She represents what America is about," Jeri Pelosi said.

"I didn't realize how strong an NRA member that she was and the fights that she's had," Michelle Gagz said.

Sarah Palin for president button Crowds locked and loaded for Palin

About 70,000 people are expected to attend the weekend conference, which includes an exposition with four acres of exhibits. Charlotte tourism officials said the event is the largest conference ever held in the city, topping the 2003 National Baptist Convention by about 20,000 people.

Other notable speakers during the conference include actor Chuck Norris, conservative commentator Glenn Beck, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center, which lobbies for gun-control laws, said politicians like Palin could be hurting themselves by fighting for greater gun rights.

"People are more likely, by 24 points, to vote against a candidate who is pushing for more guns in more places," Helmke said, citing a recent Brady Center poll. "I think that's a message that the politicians that are showing up here – Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, the rest of them – need to listen to."

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  • gunny462 May 17, 2010

    "But that policy seems as shortsighted as Palin's ability to comprehend her impact on society."

    OMG LOL And what has your BRILLIANT Prez giving you or us the American People? She has more experience in government than PBO will ever have. Here's a REAL question,

    how much is PBOs czars (and their aides) making in a year? minus HC and car insurance, of course... OOOh wait, you as a U.S citizen CAN'T get access to that info AND they get HC AND AUTO insurance for free (because they drive GOVs).

  • gunny462 May 17, 2010

    "Are the conservatives going to give us back our freedoms that the Patriot Act took away?"

    The one PBO said he was getting rid immediately when he came into office? Yup that one...

  • wls47 May 17, 2010

    Where is "Drill, baby, drill!" now? Why isn't she insisting on offshore drilling now? She rammed this political slogan down our throats two years ago and everyone said, "Yeah, ok, let's give it a chance." But that policy seems as shortsighted as Palin's ability to comprehend her impact on society.

  • Da Toy Maker May 14, 2010

    "I must admit, I would pay to see Sarah Palin....in a live, televised debate with the Fruitcake Lady!
    6079 SMITH W
    "
    LOL. The best post there is in a long while.

    Unfortunately, the Fruitcake Lady passed away. She is just so good!!!!!!!!!! Really miss her.

    Yes. I do support the 2nd Amendment.

  • james27613 May 14, 2010

    Funny how Brady Center mouthpiece Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center, always use their polls when they are on camera.

    Come November, the people will decide who stay in office and who gets a pink slip, not a lobbyists poll.

  • blackdog May 14, 2010

    If you wish to own a machine gun, you can. Legally. But you won't like the way you are treated if you get pulled for speeding or such...And, they are very expensive.

  • 6079 SMITH W May 14, 2010

    Just curious...why is it that people who don't agree with Sarah Palin are labeled "liberals" who are anti-American and anti-gun? I resent the implication and it sounds "elitist" to me.

  • saturn5 May 14, 2010

    People love using the term "assault rifle" or "assault weapon" to try and sound scary. Many hunting rifles are more powerful than so called "assault rifles" but you don't hear any hysterical claims about them. Remember, we're not talking about fully automatic weapons like the military has - these are semi-automatic at best. One trigger pull fires one bullet. What typically makes an "assault rifle" different than a "hunting rifle" is being black and scary looking. Friendly hunting rifles usually have wood stocks and don't look nearly as scary. Fully automatic "machine guns" that fire as long as you hold down the trigger have been very strictly regulated since 1934.

  • blackdog May 14, 2010

    The NRA NEEDS the money from the Tea Party. The right wing NEEDS to promote fear and loathing as the evil confronting us. And they alone have the solution to the imaginary problem. This, to get money for their "cause"... Send me $100, and I will HEAL YOU !...

  • james27613 May 14, 2010

    'Assault Weapon' 'Saturday Night Special' etc, etc.

    Unless you have a FFL, you can not own or possess any full automatic weapons, period.

    Nothing wrong with owning semi automatic firearms as long as you are law abiding citizen.

    Some may claim that 'I don't need to have one of those', well guess what, this is the USA not some communist country.

    Some people collect stamps, cars, coins and yes, even firearms.

    Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    More criminals are walking around with firearms, these are the people we need to worry about.

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