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Interview with Chris Cox of the NRA
OCTOBER 02, 2007


GLENN: So, last week when I told you there was a bill, there was this bill going through the house, it was going to make people soldiers, for instance, that, you know, had post-traumatic stress syndrome, they were never going to be able to get a gun again, and word was that it would go all the way down to people who had been diagnosed with A.D.D.. So I called Wayne La Pierre on the air. He said, no, Glenn, this is great. Then what happens? Then I get an avalanche of people who are N.R.A. members who are saying that that's not true and that the N.R.A. is not doing their job, and from people who say, I've been a lifelong member of the N.R.A., blah, blah, blah, but they're selling us out. The problem is, we don't know who to trust anymore. We've got to throw lifelines to each other and know who we can trust. Chris Cox is here from the N.R.A..

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox

COX: Hey, Glenn. Thanks for having me.

GLENN: You bet. I look at the poll numbers. We trust our soldiers, we trust -- some of us trust our churches, but then you go down the list and you get into the single digits, the president is on the highest of government. Our congress is at an all-time low. Only 11% have confidence in our government. That's lower than attorneys. We don't -- media is in double digits and, you know, in the teens as well. We don't know thousand trust and now, Chris, I'm getting mail from N.R.A. members who have trusted you guys, you know, their whole life and they say that you're not given the straight scoop on this bill. So give me the straight scoop on the bill on what it was, how you went in and changed it and why it's good.

COX: Glenn, I appreciate the opportunity, because there is a lot of misinformation coming from a lot of different people on this legislation. If you'll bear with me, I just want to take you back to how we got here. In 1993, congress passed the Brady bill. N.R.A. opposed it, but we lost it, but we were able to win on an amendment, because the Brady bill had a 5-day mandatory waiting period before anybody would get a gun. We opposed that. We were able to have that waiting period go away after five years and be replaced with what they called an instant check. Well, if you fast forward 14 years, congress has spent half a billion dollars and they still have failed to deliver on that promise of a fair and instant check. We all hear nightmare scenarios about people not getting their guns the day before deer season opens. You hear about people in the system that shouldn't be, bus there's more than the Glenn Beck out there who is a felon or rapist and all the people who can't get guns.

GLENN: I apologize to all the Glenn Becks out there, by the way.

COX: Congress needs to do their job, because 99.99% of the people who go through the system are good, honest Americans, good people who just want to exercise their right to buy a firearm. Okay. So what do we do? The system's broken, congress, not surprisingly, has failed to deliver on that promise of a fair and instant check. Do we ignore it or do we try to make it better for those 99.99% of the people who do go through that system who are good people? The National Rifle Association has been on record for decades saying that, look, if you are mentally adjudicated by a court as defective, if you're criminally insane, if a judge has said that you're a danger to yourself or others because you're telling people that you're going to go out and murder someone, there's no law that congress can pass that's going to stop a bad person from doing something truly evil. Criminals, by definition, break the law, but we've said all along that you should screen those people out and try to prohibit them from getting firearms if they truly are crazy.
GLENN: Sure. If a judge has said they are a danger to themselves or to society, they should clearly never get a gun.

COX: That's the national rifle association's position. It's been our position for decades. There are groups out there who are opposed to that position, who believe that insane people should be able to legally purchase firearms.

GLENN: Probably be the insane people.

COX: We disagree with that position. What this legislation would do is it would inject some common sense into a system that has none. The Clinton administration stuck 90,000 veterans who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder into that system. Okay. That was wrong. The worst part of it is, under the current law, there's no way for those people to get out. So these soldiers who maybe some of them really did struggle when they got back, they've gone through their treatment, they've taken their medication and now the judge says, thank you for your service, you're back on both feet, you're ready to reenter society, there's no problem here, they're still banned from owning guns for the rest of their life. Glenn, I don't care who you are, the American people think it's wrong to treat our soldiers this way. This legislation would give these guys and girls an opportunity to get their rights back that they don't have right now. On top of that, it requires all those -- I talked about people who were in the system who shouldn't be, people who have had an adjudication, but the final disposition is that, okay, you took your medications, you're fine. Those people deserve to be removed from the system. Under this legislation, it would demand that they're removed from the system. I've also heard this talk about, oh, well, if you get a D.U.I. or if you go in for voluntary treatment, you're going to lose your gun rights, if you have A.D.D. or have some type of voluntary counseling, it's wrong, and whoever is saying that hasn't read the legislation or they're simply lying and trying to bring attention to themselves. The National Rifle Association would never support anything that treats honest people like criminals. The one thing that people, your listeners need to know about this legislation, is there is not one person who is currently legal to purchase a firearm today who would be disbarred -- or barred from owning firearms if this became law. Again, not one person who is legally able to own a firearm today would be banned from owning a firearm if this became law. On top of that, there's a lot of people who are in the system now who are going to get out of the system because it's going to demand that duplicative names and bad records and old adjudications and all these are going to be required to be removed from the system as it is now.

GLENN: This is not the way this amendment started. How did you so hijack this amendment?

COX: Well, let me just talk about a couple other things we've been able to do. Under the last --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Is that political? I think that was a political answer. Look at that. I think he just said, "I'm going to answer it the way I want to answer it." "I'm going to answer the question you didn't and."

Is that what you're doing?

COX: Every year, the National Rifle Association has to go to Capitol Hill and lobby and make sure that congress doesn't stick gun owners with the bill for the system. It is a expensive administration. Clinton administration wanted to charge gun owners a federal fee to pay for all of this. Every year we have to go back to make sure that they don't do it. Under this legislation, it would become permanent law that gun owners would never be charged. It would also become permanent law that they were going to audit the system every year to make sure that Janet Reno is not buying laptops for security guards with money that's supposed to be into a system that's supposed to clear innocent and honest people to purchase a firearm. So this started off as a funding bill. Basically congress throwing a bunch of money at a problem to try and fix it. We were able to encourage some of our friends to make some positive changes to where it really does make the system better for honest gun owners in every way.

GLENN: Chris, I don't know if you can answer this, and I understand the position that you're in, there's going to be a president next and the N.R.A., the last thing I want to do is be on record saying run for your lives from this person because you're not exactly going to, you know, get a lot of help from that president if indeed --

COX: I can tell you right now unapologetically, the Clinton administration from the '90s was the most anti-gun, anti-second amendment administration in the history of our country, and if there's another one, it will probably be worse. And so if you're asking, are we trying to make sure that we can do everything we can, God forbid we have that, you're damn right we are.

GLENN: Here's the thing that worries me. And again, we have nothing to worry about as long as we continue to worry. The thing that frightens me, Chris, is I can see a time where we have financial disorder in this country and we've been hit by a major attack and maybe it would be at malls or at schools or something like that, and I could see somebody, even like Rudy Giuliani saying, okay, we've got to clamp down and declare martial law or whatever it would take, and I could see us losing rights and really not getting those gun rights back. Are you comfortable with the field of Republican or conservative candidates that they're not going to take us down a road to where, if God forbid something bad happened, that we would lose those rights? Are you comfortable? You don't have to name names. Are you comfortable with those people understanding the second amendment and seeing that it wasn't written for sportsmen, but it was written for defense of the American people?

COX: Glenn, I'll answer it in two ways. One, there are candidates out there running for president who understand, they get it, they are unapologetic in their support of the second amendment and they know what it means. There are candidates out there who are awful, who actually, like Hillary Clinton, like -- you mentioned God forbid one of these things happens again. You and I both know, unfortunately, something bad is going to happen, whether it's a man made disaster or a natural disaster, we're going to be faced with an awful situation. People used to say, "Oh, Chris, N.R.A. is crazy, nobody's going to come and take your guns away, that's just rhetoric, you're just trying to raise money."
That happened. It didn't happen in San Francisco or New York City where you might expect it, it happened in the sportsmen's paradise, it happened in Louisiana, they ordered door-to-door confiscation from people. They pointed their guns at people at a point when they needed them most. It happened just a few years ago, and so we know it's going to happen. So, yes, we need to make sure that we have elect officials at every level who are going to respect us. Hillary Clinton, federal legislation came up that said we are going to prohibit the government from seizing guns during times of an emergency from law-abiding people. 14 people in the senate out of 100 voted against it. Guess who one of them was. Hillary Clinton. Are we comfortable? Absolutely not.

GLENN: Has that been passed?

COX: It was passed. It was passed and signed by the president in 2005. Now, again, it's a step in the right direction. That addresses the federal issues, but we're going on the state level and trying to pass it state by state to make sure that that never happens.


You know in all honesty,I cant muster how Glenn Beck works for CNN,he's like a car going the wrong way,up a one way street,working for CNN.
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