Speaking before the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum in Nashville, Florida Governor Jeb Bush ripped President Obama, while touting his state’s pro-gun credentials. The governor even made a point of supporting the controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws that came under fire during the George Zimmerman trials.
According to the New York Times, Jeb Bush’s biggest crowd-pleaser was a zinger against the President.
“I have a message for the Obama administration. Why don’t you focus more on keeping weapons out of the hands of Islamic terrorists and less on keeping weapons out of the hands of law-abiding Americans.”
In fact, much of Governor Bush’s speech involved President Obama and federal government, painting them as forces trying to undermine second amendment gun rights. As Bush went on to explain, the federal government has become too large and intrusive, but one aspect they have failed to assault is private gun ownership.
“But the Second Amendment is one area where the Obama administration has run into a wall — and that wall is the Kevlar-covered wall of the NRA. The Second Amendment is still safe, and that’s a good thing because the Second Amendment is the original Homeland Security Act.”
Jeb Bush has an A+ rating from the NRA, despite not being a gun-owner himself. His state of Florida has regularly appeared in the debate on gun control. As the governor quipped, Florida has nearly twice as many concealed gun permits as Texas.
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law been under fire since the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012. Despite calls to end the law, or put more stringent rules on when a person can open fire, Jeb Bush stood by the measure according to CNN.
“In Florida you can defend yourself anywhere you have a legal right to be. You shouldn’t have to choose between being attacked and going to jail.”
Governor Bush originally signed the “Stand Your Ground” bill in 2005. During the NRA speech, he praised it as a “model” for people’s right to self-defense.
The media has been talking about a potential Jeb Bush presidential run since Mitt Romney lost in 2012. Governor Bush said he was openly considering it in 2014, and ABC News called his 2016 run “likely.”
His speech to the NRA could be a way to shore up votes from staunch conservatives, who might dislike his more progressive positions on immigration and environmental protection.
If Jeb Bush did run, it’s not clear if he could win the Republican nomination, but if he did it could mean a clash between two political dynasties, the Bushs versus the Clintons.
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