A Virginia lawmaker’s fiery speech on gun rights triggered some Democrats in the state legislature to leave the floor in an “emotionally shaken” state on Friday and has since gone viral on Facebook.
The video of Delegate Nick Freitas’s hard-hitting speech has garnered over 12 million views on Facebook since it was posted by Conservative Review on Friday. Freitas is running in the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va).
In his speech, Freitas urged his fellow lawmakers to have an “open and honest debate” that relied on “data, facts, evidence, analysis, reason, logic, etc., etc.” (No wonder Democrats were triggered).
He pointed out that most mass shootings seem to occur in “gun-free zones” and that the shooters tend to come from broken homes.
“Wouldn’t it reasonable to test whether or not the efficacy of gun-free zones have actually achieved what their intended intent is?” he asked. “What sort of government policies have actually encouraged broken homes?”
He encouraged his fellow lawmakers to analyze the crime rates in the areas around the country where strict gun control laws are in place.
“Whether it’s Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., and others that have incredibly strict gun laws and yet for some reason, hasn’t seemed to stop the gun violence in those particular areas,” Freitas said.
He also suggested that lawmakers look at “the number of cases within the United States where a gun has been used for self-defense.”
Freitas made these points to help Democrats understand that when he and fellow Republicans defend the Second Amendment, “it’s not just some base philosophical conviction that we all have.”
He continued: “The vast majority of horrible atrocities that we’ve seen have happened in those post-enlightenment societies. It’s happened as a result of governments systematically disarming citizens and claiming themselves to be the sole responsible party for their security, and then turning on those came citizens and punishing them.”
He advocated that some highly-trained teachers be allowed to be armed in the classroom, which at least one Democrat in the Virginia House has already said is out of the question.
The fiery Republican mentioned some bills that were coming up for a vote this year to beef up background checks and ban bump stocks, but lamented that Democrats seem hellbent on “tearing apart or gutting the Second Amendment,” which he argued was one of the reasons why they couldn’t have an honest debate on guns.
“Because, quite frankly, I don’t think any of us on this side of the aisle believe you when you say that’s all you want to do,” he said. “It’ll be bump stocks, it’ll be background checks, it’ll be different kinds of background checks that register the guns, then after that, it will be ‘we have to ban assault weapons,'” he argued. “What’s an assault weapon?” he asked rhetorically. “Something that looks scary.”
Freitas continued: “Then after that, it will be semiautomatic rifles, after that, it will be semiautomatic handguns, then it’ll be revolvers, shotguns. Because when the policies fail to produce the results you are promising to your constituents, you’ll be back with more reasons on why we’ve gotta infringe on Second Amendment rights.”
Another reason why it’s difficult to have an honest and open debate on gun policy, Freitas argued, is because Democrats are always comparing Republicans to Nazis and segregationists.
This is where Freitas really unleashed.
“I just want to remind everyone very quickly, it was not our [Republican] party that supported slavery, that fought women’s suffrage, that rounded up tens of thousands of Asian-Americans and put them in concentration camps, that supported Jim Crow, that supported segregation, or supported mass resistance. That wasn’t our party, that was the Democrat party!” he said.
Freitas was gracious enough to acknowledge that he doesn’t believe any Democrats in the chamber actually believe any of those things today, but added, “I would be really appreciative if every time you want to make a powerful point, you don’t project the sins, the atrocities and the injustices the Democratic party perpetrated on others onto us.”
He also blasted the left’s lame talking point that Republicans are “paid off” by the National Rifle Association (NRA). “Why don’t you go take a look at how much money the NRA spends and how much Planned Parenthood spends, ” he said.
A true conversation, he added, “starts with a certain degree of mutual respect.”
There were reportedly “audible groans” on the Democratic side of the Virginia House as Freitas was making his points.
“House Dems seem genuinely stunned by these GOP gun speeches. Toscano asks for recess,” a Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter tweeted.
One Democrat delegate said Freitas’s speech “may be the most offensive thing he’s heard in his time in the House” and his colleagues were “emotionally shaken.”
Del Joseph Lindsey, D-Norfolk, says Freitas's speech may be the most offensive thing he's heard in his time in the House.
"I have seen many of my colleagues emotionally shaken and bothered by either a lack of concern for facts. Or just simply playing to the cameras."
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) March 2, 2018
“Many Democrats even left the room because of Freitas honest expression of historical facts,” wrote Jim Jamitis at Red State.
In response to the familiar histrionic litany of accusations against Republicans including association with Nazism and segregationism—calumnies now amplified by the present gun control fever—Freitas corrected the historical inaccuracies and it was too much for Democrats to bear. They needed a recess to calm down.
According to the Times-Dispatch, Delegate Lamont Bagby said he viewed Freitas’ remarks as racial “dog-whistling.”
Virginia Democrats posted the video on YouTube where it has garnered almost 83,000 views. In the comment section, reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
In an appearance on Fox and Friends Monday, Freitas explained why he went off on the Dems, saying that the rhetoric from the other side had gotten “completely unacceptable” and that he had just gotten tired of it.