Second Amendment Rights

Floor Speech

Date: July 20, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend from the State of Virginia (Mr. Good) for helping host this Special Order and being here in my absence.

Oftentimes, I think that we make this partisan. Republicans are seen or characterized as unempathetic or uncaring in the face of so many tragedies. Of course, it couldn't be further from the truth. We are empathetic. Our hearts break just like everyone else's.

But we recognize that in this imperfect Union that seeks to be more perfect every single day, with every single action, that the right to defend oneself, the right to bear arms, is enshrined in the founding documents, the founding documents that we all take an oath to uphold and defend.

We don't just dismiss that like it doesn't exist. We understand that, unfortunately, there are evil people in the world and that this right exists, given to us by God, outlined in our Constitution, so that we can then defend ourselves from any assailant, from any attacker, because we have the God-given rights of liberty and of life. We have that.

We seek some kind of protection for ourselves that also protects our God-given rights but doesn't allow the criminals to prevail upon us in our homes, in our businesses, and on the streets.

Yet, right now, while Americans are suffering the worst cost of living in 40 years--I know the administration doesn't want to talk about it. Right now, violent crime is up 30 percent, an unprecedented rate, not told to us by Scott Perry or Bob Good or Ralph Norman, but by our FBI, an unprecedented rise in violent crime.

Right now, right down the hall, instead of dealing with the rise in crime; instead of dealing with the fact that DAs, supported by the extreme radical left, are letting criminals out on the street; not dealing with the issue that millions of people are flowing across our border, certainly laced with a certain criminal element with no regard to American laws coming across our border; notwithstanding the fact that some of the people that lead our country at the highest levels bailed out violent criminals and paid for their bail to be on the street to then assault and assail their neighbors, that is all happening right now.

Down the hall, as we speak, our colleagues on the left are trying to reinstitute the assault weapon ban, the assault weapon ban that they know, since 1994, when it was instated then, did absolutely nothing to solve this problem.

Because they don't really care about crime--they don't care at all. We are seen as unempathetic. Meanwhile, every city, every weekend across the country, is like a war zone. You would actually be safer in a war zone. I know. I have actually been to a couple of them. You would actually be safer in a war zone than downtown Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, or New Orleans.

But they are down the hall working on a solution that doesn't fix anything. It doesn't fix a thing. It takes our rights away and doesn't solve anything.

We are here because we believe that Americans have the right to defend themselves, to be free, and to be safe in their homes. We are here as Freedom Caucus members to say that we do stand with the Constitution. We actually believe in our oath. We think that we can do both. We think that we can defend ourselves and stop most criminals' violent activities.

But there have to be consequences. What you are seeing right now across the country are the consequences of not holding people accountable. That is what you are seeing right now, violent criminals being let out on the street over and over again. The message being sent by this administration and our colleagues on the other side of the aisle is it is okay. It is okay to just do that. It is okay to commit any crime you want.

Heck, there was a gentleman in New York minding his store. He was attacked. He defended himself. Unfortunately, the attacker's life was taken. What did the district attorney do? He charged the man who defended himself with murder. That sends a signal to every criminal that it is okay to commit your crimes.

Mr. Speaker, it is not okay. This solution is not going to solve anything except disarming law-abiding citizens, meanwhile knowing that the criminals that are willing to disregard the law and use the weapon to kill somebody are certainly going to disregard the law and maintain that weapon when you tell all law-abiding citizens that they must turn theirs in.

Mr. Speaker, this cannot stand. We are here today to say that no matter what happens down the hall, no matter what vote they bring out of that partisan-led committee to disarm America, we will oppose it with every fiber of our being. We will oppose it.

Even if we lose on this round, in 6 months, when we are in the majority around here, if they were to be successful in imposing this confiscation on American citizens, the confiscation of not only the rights to life but the rights to self-defense, we will reinstate them.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Good) for carrying the load for us here.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Faulkner was killed in Philadelphia by Mumia Abu- Jamal, and all they usually ask me about that is: What are we going to do to get that killer out of prison?


Mr. PERRY. Right.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, my good friend from Virginia is absolutely right. That is our duty here.

People think that the Federal Government maybe is supposed to provide so many things. I am sure that every one of us has different visitors that come in and ask us what the Federal Government can provide for them.

What this government was set up for by our Founders--and, unfortunately, many of our citizens don't know it--is to provide us with the rights that have been given to us by God and to defend them. That is what we are supposed to be doing here.

Right down the hall, it is not about making sure that we maintain our rights to defend ourselves, to maintain the rights that everybody in that room swore an oath in the Constitution to uphold and defend. They are actually looking to strip the very people that are law-abiding, the very people that would follow the law, would purchase the weapon legally, would file the paperwork and do everything that is required in their States. Those are the people that they wish to disarm.

They are not in there talking about stopping criminals. They are not talking about stopping criminals. They are talking about stopping law- abiding citizens who are trying to defend themselves when somebody breaks into their home at night or their store or prevails upon them on the street when they are out with their children or, heaven forbid, our citizens dare to travel to one of these cities anymore.

I represent a company in my district called Starbucks. Their CEO is closing stores all across the northwest of our country because of safety. People want to go to Starbucks. They can't because it is not going to be there anymore, not because of sales, but because of safety.

If that is not a sign of a sickness--and the CEO of Starbucks, I don't know that he thinks that the answer is an assault weapons ban. Maybe he does. But I haven't heard of the Starbucks being held up by an assault weapon.

Every single week, every single weekend, people are killed in major cities, horrific violence, perpetrated whether it is with a knife or whether it is with a handgun. But it is the people that do it. These are inanimate objects. Great Britain banned handguns a long time ago and is now considering banning knives because knife attacks are on the increase.

Our country has a sickness, and we are sympathetic to it. But taking the tool away doesn't address the sickness. Unfortunately, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are so focused on the firearm that they can't even see past the fact that they are disavowing their oath to the Constitution.


Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, the right to defend ourselves. Mr. Good and I, our colleagues on this side of the aisle, we haven't voted to defund the police. We support law enforcement.

Even though we support fully law enforcement, here is what we know: When someone breaks into your home and you pick up your phone, it is going to take a certain amount of time, unless law enforcement is sitting out in your driveway. You are going to have to do something about it at that moment.

What our colleagues on the other side of the aisle right now are telling us is: No, you are not going to have any opportunity. You are not going to have any ability to do anything about it.

You can use harsh language. I suppose you can throw the lamp that is on your bed stand in self-defense, but that doesn't stop the assailant's bullets that are coming into your home for who knows what reason.

Mr. Speaker, we deserve--because we have earned the right to defend ourselves. We live in America. We have a Constitution that we live under. It outlines our rights as ordained by the Good Lord above. We cannot have this Congress and man take them away from us.