Reaffirming to the nation that the Second Amendment is secure while he is in office, President Donald Trump delivered what many believe was his best-ever State of the Union address, perhaps marred only by the last seconds when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up behind him and ripped her copy of the speech transcripts to pieces.
Read the full speech here, transcribed by the New York Times.
It was a stunning moment seen on live television by millions of viewers, resulting in almost immediate condemnation on social media, and now there is a petition at MoveOn.org calling for her resignation as speaker.
After noting that his administration has defended religious liberty, the president remarked, “Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
As Republicans and members of the audience cheered, a man identified as Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the victims at the 2018 Parkland, Florida high school shooting, shouted out from the balcony about “victims of gun violence.” He was calmly removed from the gallery, according to MSN.com, which identified him as “a prominent gun safety activist.”
Guttenberg has become a gun control proponent since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School almost two years ago. His daughter, Jaime died in the attack along with 16 other students and adults. The report at MSN revealed he had been invited to the event by Pelosi.
Trump makes a habit of declaring he will protect gun rights during speeches around the country. Both of his sons are reportedly devoted gun owners, and Donald, Jr. has appeared at National Rifle Association conventions.
After the incident, according to the Miami Herald, Guttenberg sent an apology on Twitter for his disruption.
“Tonight was a rough night,” he reportedly stated. “I disrupted the State Of The Union and was detained because I let my emotions get the best of me. I simply want to be able to deal with the reality of gun violence and not have to listen to the lies about the 2A [second amendment] as happened tonight.
“That said,” his message continued, “I should not have yelled out. I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I am receiving. However, I do owe my family and friends an apology. I have tried to conduct myself with dignity throughout this process and I will do better as I pursue gun safety.”
It is not clear what “lies” Guttenberg believes Trump told about the Second Amendment, which gun owners believe to be the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights, and the built-in “insurance policy” against government tyranny.
Pelosi is under heavy criticism from conservatives for her on-camera destruction of the speech transcript. She reportedly received support from four freshman congresswomen known as “The Squad”—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)., Tlaib is the representative who infamously told a group of supporters shortly after being sworn into office, “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the mother—–r,” according to The Guardian.
The MoveOn.org petition was started by a man who identified himself as Mike DiMaio. Here’s the text:
Failure to uphold her oath of office for years by putting politics ahead of the Constitution and its requirement to defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, by allowing a president and his cabinet with ties to our adversaries who mock our laws to go unchallenged in public hearings.
Why is this important?
By ignoring the Title of Nobility Clause (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution), ignoring the attacks on freedom of the Press, ignoring blatant obstruction of justice and abuse of pardons, proves Nancy Pelosi is incapable of keeping this country free of a potential dictatorship and must relinquish her position of Speaker of the House.
During his address, transcribed at the New York Times, President Trump hit all of the high points, without once alluding to the recent impeachment that happened in the House chamber, where he was delivering the speech. Instead, taking a positive approach, Trump listed the many accomplishments of his three-year-old administration.
The economy is booming, more jobs have returned to the United States from overseas, new jobs have been created, unemployment is way down from when he took office, the military has been rebuilt, the border wall is under construction, he has filled more than 180 federal court vacancies with conservative judges and two Supreme Court justices.