Allen West, a National Rifle Association board member, spoke about the need for a strong Second Amendment during a talk sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom Wednesday.
“What I want to do tonight is talk to you about what the founding fathers were thinking about when they came up with the Second Amendment and also the relevance of this amendment to us here today and across the world,” West said.
West is a former U.S. congressman from Florida, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a contributor to Fox News. During his tenure in Congress, West often made headlines for his incendiary remarks about then-President Barack Obama, house democrats and Muslims.
According to Young Americans for Freedom, the event was planned in March in response to the OCC administration taking down a flag the group had flown which depicts two crossed assault rifles with the phrase “don’t tread on me” — during Club Rush in February.
“This is our Second Amendment right. This is our friggin’ First Amendment right too. They told us, ‘Sorry, you have to take it down,’” Jazmin Badillo, 22, a business communications major and club member said of the incident.
At the time OCC’s administration explained that facsimiles of weapons are not allowed on campus, so the flag had to be taken down. This rule has since been changed by the Associated Students of Orange Coast College to allow for such images to be displayed on campus.
The audience of about 250 was boisterous with many shouting affirmatives and “amens” in response to West’s rhetoric. Also in attendance were OCC interim president Kevin Ballinger, Campus Safety Director Jim Rudy and Coast instructors including Rendell Drew.
During his talk, West said Senator Kamala Harris vowed to use her power of the president if elected by taking away people’s guns.
“This senator said if she were elected president that she would use executive order to eliminate the Second Amendment,” West said.
Senator Harris actually stated, “What I will do is put in place a requirement that for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they are required to do background checks when they sell those guns. I will require that for any gun dealer that breaks the law, the ATF take their license away.”
West related easily to the audience, frequently sharing light jokes and patriotic anecdotes.
At one point West implored, “how many people here own firearms?”
West posed a hypothetical of a truck driving through a crowd of people to show how tools such as guns may be misused, but that doesn’t mean they need to be banned.
“If a truck goes out and runs over 27 cars and creates an incredible pile up and loss of life on I-70, we wouldn’t turn around and say we want to ban all trucks,” West said.
However, vehicles are regulated because of the danger they may pose if they are not used responsibly. Still, West insisted the Second Amendment, “shall not be infringed,” saying nothing for how well regulated gun owners should be.
West presented numerous ways in which the Second Amendment was being taken away or even restricted would harm the rights of law-abiding citizens, even comparing the changing climate over gun regulation in the United States with the current crisis affecting Venezuela.
“Let’s look at why the Second Amendment is important to the United states,” West said before a video played showing military vehicles driving over citizens in Venezuela.
“I think what’s important about the message that you heard tonight was that he was talking about your constitutional rights. He’s talking about our innate liberties, the liberties we have as Americans. We should be discussing the Second Amendment, especially in the face of craziness,” OCC political science instructor Drew said.