RUSH: Here is President Reagan at the NRA, May 6, 1983. Now, Trump’s on his way there. He’s the first president the since Reagan to speak to the NRA. Four years ago… This is an interesting little tidbit. Four years, ago almost to the day, Barack Hussein Obama became the first sitting president to ever address a Planned Parenthood conference. Bill Clinton did not attend one. I don’t know if Hillary did as a representative of Bill Clinton, but I do know that Obama was the first sitting president to ever address a Planned Parenthood conference.
Now, ask yourself a question. Obama wouldn’t go to the NRA. (impression) “Of course not! Gun violence, too many unnecessary deaths. It’s just carnage out there. There’s no way! We want to take guns away from people!” Ask yourself something. Who has killed more people with their policies, the NRA or Planned Parenthood? Hint: It’s not even close. Planned Parenthood and their policies are responsible for 1.3 million abortions a year. The NRA can’t even get close. Yet where’s Obama? All concerned with saving lives and preventing danger and so forth. Here is Reagan in 1983. The NRA convention that year was in Phoenix.
REAGAN: I’m delighted to be with all of you. It does my spirit good to be with people who never lose faith in America, who never stop believing if her future, and who never back down one inch from defending the constitutional freedoms that are every American’s birthright.
RUSH: They went nuts out there. This was just a couple of years after he was shot by John Hinckley, by the way. Just two years after the attempted assassination.
REAGAN: It’s a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun control laws. I happen to know this from personal experience.
CROWD: (laughter and applause)
REAGAN: You know, I’ve always felt a special bond with the members of your group. You live by Lincoln’s words: “Important principles may and must be inflexible.” Your philosophy put its trust in people, so you insist on individuals being held responsible for their actions.
RUSH: Right on. The applause throughout Reagan’s speech to the NRA in 1983 was never ending. Here’s another example of that, our final bite…
REAGAN: The NRA believes that America’s laws were made to be obeyed and that our constitutional liberties are just as important today as 200 years ago. And, by the way, the Constitution does not that government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
RUSH: That went on and on and on, and Reagan just owned the event. So we are waiting on President Trump. I don’t know what time he’s scheduled to actually make the speech. But he left about, oh, a half hour ago. Washington to Atlanta? One hour 15, maybe. So I’m thinking he’s got a two o’clock scheduled address. It’s probably known out there. I just haven’t seen the time. I’m just guessing based on my deep knowledge of flight times and ground transportation times when you have no stoplight stopping you, no stop signs.
So my guess would be around two o’clock. I spoke to the NRA early, early on. Wayne LaPierre invited me. It was not my best; I’ll tell you it was not my best. I felt a sense of regret for a long time afterwards. They made me the most incredible rifle, custom-made rifle, and presented it to me. (interruption) Well, no. The reason was that I got too much advice on what the group was expecting. One organizer say, “No, we want to hear your historical references and knowledge, the efforts to restrict guns.”
Other people said, “No, no! Don’t do any of that. Just go out and be who you are. Talk about whatever’s on your mind today tailored to the NRA.” So I started thinking about it too much and I tried to please every potential faction in the audience, and it just… It’s a lesson. Don’t listen to what other people tell you they expect. If somebody invites you to speak, it’s because they want you for who you are; just go be that. I mean, it wasn’t bad, folks. It was just it could have been… It wasn’t my best. That’s the thing. I never forget those that weren’t the best, ’cause it’s untapped potential.