Dana Loesch

Address at CPAC 2017 – Feb. 23, 2017

Dana Loesch
February 23, 2017— National Harbor, Maryland
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Hey, guys! So what a test to follow the great one and then Senator Cruz, right?

Thank you guys so much for being here.

All right. A couple things, there are a couple things that I want to I want to talk to you guys about.

First off, maybe you heard that—and I'm actually pretty stoked about this—they just announced this week a pretty cool position that I am so proud and honored to have with a group that I have been a member and defender of since I was a kid, and that's with the NRA.

So technically—I know, I know, I love them, too—I am the special assistant to Wayne LaPierre's office for Public Communication and a national spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, the original civil and natural rights group of the United States of America. And I couldn't be happier, because this is such an important group.

All right, so let me just, like, get personal for a second. This is why I am on board with this group. A couple of years ago I wrote a book called "Hands off my Gun," and I detailed why I do not want to be an unarmed victim. And let me tell you something—we have the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case that's going to be making its way towards the Supreme Court. We have midterms coming up. It still isn't…we always have to protect our natural rights.

I had my life protected by a firearm. Now, I get that the people like Shannon Watts and the people like Michael Bloomberg and all of these very well-to-do one-percenters that like to outsource their firearms to someone else and they think it's virtuous because they pay someone to carry them…I don't…I'm not a frillionaire like sugar daddy Michael, so—and I don't think y'all are either.

When I was a kid, my grandparents—because all my family's from the Ozarks—when I was a kid I was staying with my grandparents, myself and my little cousin, we were in my grandparents' bed and it was a late summer afternoon, late summer evening, window was open, breeze was blowing through and I was just about to sleep. I heard the evening news on; they were wrapping up their broadcast. And then I heard from out in the woods this wailing. It was this inhuman wailing. And at first it didn't register with me. I kept thinking, well maybe I'm having a bad dream. And it got closer and closer to the house.

Now down in the South, down in the Ozarks, my grandparents never locked their doors. They also don't put their guns up in these big giant locked rooms. They keep them in wood cabinets with etched glass in the front like a china cabinet, you know, for guns.

And this noise got closer and closer, and finally I heard the punching of feet in my grandparents' gravel driveway. It was my aunt, who had been beaten within an inch of her life, who was running away in the woods barefoot and bloodied with broken teeth because her felon of an S.O.B. ex found her, beat her up and told her he was gonna kill her.

And this prohibited possessor went for his criminally possessed firearm as she ran to my grandparents' house, only place she knew she'd be protected. And with that, my grandpa—I was terrified at that time—he went to the bedroom. This NRA member, World War II Navy vet went to the bedroom, grabbed his shotgun, went and sat on the front porch, cocked it and started swinging. And that made me feel safe. And I went back to sleep.

Now, when you call the law, down from where my family is, on average, 911 one call, 20-minute response time, even longer down there. It was about 35 minutes later that the law finally did come and as it turned out that abusive ex-con did actually drive to my grandparents' house, turned off his lights, but when he saw the silhouette of that old vet sitting on the porch with a gun, he thought better of it.

And that's because the NRA protected his rights and they protect your rights. That's what it comes down to.

And you know what—everybody sits here and talks about a big tent. Let me tell you something. All my Ozark kin— they're all blue-collar voters. These were all Clinton Democrats—you know, the Democrats, the blue-collar flyover people—my second book, "Flyover Nation"—that were good enough to vote for the Clinton in the 90s but when they voted for Trump November 8th they were suddenly racist and bigots and, you know, all this stuff. They were good enough to carry Slick Willy to the White House but when they changed affiliation, what, they weren't good enough for you anymore? They weren't good enough for Democrats?

These are the people…these blue-collar voters…. Do you know why, do you know why Democrats lost in November? You want to know why they lost? Because these people are worrying about how they're going to put food on their table. They're worried about how they're going to pay their premiums of the health care that they didn't lose yet. They're worried about how they're going to keep their lights on, how they're going to keep their jobs. And you had Hillary Clinton out there saying she was going to ruin the coal industry. These people were worried about being blown up if they decided to go up to the city and go out to the mall because we have domestic terror incidents.

And instead of getting answers from one particular party, instead they got lectured to about pronouns. They got lectured to about who can use whose bathroom. They got lectured about everything that has nothing to do with the vital necessities of day-to-day life. And that is why Democrats lost.

They are our—our—bitter clingers. They are our…. This entire time, you want to know where these blue-collar voters have been? They've been in the NRA, the original big tent. They have been in the NRA—these bitter clingers, these bible-thumpers, these gun nuts, these Second Amendment extremists, those deplorable—have been in the NRA this entire time. Which is why I'm on board with the NRA.

I want to remind people—I was the one who introduced Trump here on stage back in 2015.

Now I'm gonna tell you all this, because some people need little come to Jesus talk and some of my friends on our side, we need to sit down, we need to have a little come to Jesus moment and have a little heart-to-heart for a second, right?

Folks, we all know how primaries work, right? We know how primaries work? We all fight during the primaries. What happened with us during the primaries—do you know why it didn't affect me? Because that's my family reunion every year. Every Christmas, that's my table. Every Thanksgiving, that's my table.

I have the amazing wonderful blessed DNA of being Irish—so go figure—and American Indian and German because my husband. So it's a little crazy. We fight during the primaries but I'm gonna tell you what—during the general election you go to war with the soldiers you have. That's how you win.

Now, we weren't united during the primary and you know why? Because we're not hive mind. We're not betas. We fight. Metal sharpens metal. That's what we do.

But the election's over. And now I don't think that there's anyone who would say, whether they be lukewarm or never or totally pro-Trump, that they are displeased with what has been happening these first, what is it, 35, 36 days? Who can say they are never for Gorsuch? Who can say that they aren't for having a conservative Supreme Court justice?

With that, comes accountability. So let's not mess that up. You get what you want, we hold each other up, and we hold each other accountable. That's how it works. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we expand this coalition that we're growing.

And like I said, you know, when I go back to these Blue Dogs, I read a New York Times editorial that said Democrats were being urged to go further left. Okay. The only way that Democrats are ever going to win is that they have figure out how to run Jim Webb, and even then, I don't think, I even then I don't think that they would come around to him.

Now this…I wanna…. By the way, I want to give a shout out to all those Blue Dog Democrats who went out and swung this election because they voted guns, they voted jobs, they voted manufacturing, they voted trade. They didn't vote bathrooms and pronouns and Beyoncé and everything else.

And you know what? Sorry, Democrats, we stole your girl. You know what? I look at it like this—because of those Blue Dog Democrats that we stole—actually they were, they were with the NRA the entire time. The NRA brought them and helped them and encouraged them to vote for freedom and made sure…look, this is what is on the ballot.

And now as a result of this, we got Neil Gorsuch knocking at the door. As a result of this, we have real generals making decisions in, like the State Department, Pentagon, Department of Defense. These are great decisions.

And you're not going to find no bigger tent than what you find at the NRA. You won't. Men, women, black, white, gay, straight, Democrat, Republican. I've talked to so many members, members that the media with their fake news that they want to ignore.

Y'all want to know what the face of the NRA looks like? All you people back there? Because it seems like whenever there's some sort of, you know, shooting or some sort of tragedy, y'all go to some sort of some lobbyists who used to work for Monsanto instead of coming and talking to actual gun owners. This here is the face of the NRA. I am a face of the NRA. [xx] is a face of the NRA. Chris Cheng is a face of the NRA. Pink Pistols are a face of the NRA. Get it right.

This is the organization for people who want to have a fighting chance—all day, every day.

Now, I'm going to tell you something else. This is the organization for women who don't want to be afraid if they stop at the grocery store to get some milk at night after working all day and they got to get milk and toilet paper for their family and they got to stop at the grocery store. I don't want to feel afraid walking to my car at night, because you have these lobbyist groups out there who think it's virtuous to be a victim and not virtuous to be an armed defender of yourself and your family.

If you care about winning the midterms—because remember Gorsuch doesn't change balance of power but the next one will—remember that. You care about midterms, if you care about saving the balance of power for Supreme Court. If you care about national reciprocity, if you care about the Hearing Protection Act, if you care about a wall. Insert constitutional freedom here—if you care about that—you're not going to find another organization that fights like this.

I'm going to tell you something. We fight like hell—period.

Now, I will encourage you—you can use your phone to sign up. You can use your phone and you can sign up to become a fighting member of a bedrock institution. The original big tent, the original rights coalition—the coalition that was fighting for our right to bear arms.

And I'm going to tell you guys something. I'll tell you back there, wherever you are, for all of those people who like to say that women are too stupid to own guns and don't preach to me about female empowerment while you simultaneously tell me that I am too weak and stupid to own a gun. We had the right to bear arms before we had the right to vote and I'll be damned if you take that from me.

God bless you all. Go sign up today. thank you.