South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem defended the right to bear arms during a speech at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Houston, Texas, on Friday, sharply criticizing what called the “awake mob”.
Noem, a Republican, made the remarks at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum just days after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was scheduled to speak just before Noem but chose not to personally attend the event, instead paying a second visit to Uvalde on Friday.
In a speech that lasted around 20 minutes, Noem strongly defended the Second Amendment and spoke about the history of gun rights in the US. She also appeared to criticize the French Revolution and compared the toppling of statues in modern America to the “radical mob mentality” of 1790 Paris.
“The first 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights, were ratified as of December 15 1791. But what else was happening in the world at the time? The French Revolution,” Noem said.
The governor pointed out that the Declaration of the Rights of Man —the founding document of the French Revolution— “does not include the right to bear arms.”
“In Paris, which was the center of European learning and culture for a thousand years, mobs toppled statues and crosses,” Noem continued. “Does it sound familiar to you?”
“They attacked religion, they desecrated churches, the mafia consumed French society until out of all the chaos a dictator could emerge,” she said.
Noem was referring to events beginning in 1789 that were inspired in part by the American Revolution. French King Louis XVI was overthrown and later executed, while Napoleon Bonaparte eventually rose to power and declared himself emperor. The violence that took place during the revolution was criticized at the time and in subsequent centuries.
After a brief discussion of what the Founding Fathers might have been thinking at the time of the French Revolution, Noem focused on gun crime.
“When gang members kill innocent children in Baltimore or Cleveland, they may mention it in passing on the local news, but when a deranged, mentally unstable killer who fits the political narrative of the left kills innocent children and people, media take the opportunity to paint millions of law-abiding gun owners, and you and me as barbarians, monsters,” she said.
Noem criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others for pushing tougher gun laws and praised an increase in gun ownership before returning to the 18th-century story.
“We’ve seen the same kind of radical mob mentality on the streets of American cities that swept through Paris in the 1790s,” Noem said.
“The awakened mobs are tearing down statues, and it doesn’t matter whose they are. Our founding fathers, Catholic missionaries. They even wanted to go after Mount Rushmore. Well, not on my watch,” she said.
Many statues of historical figures have been torn down or removed in recent years following the protests over the death of George Floyd in 2020, particularly those associated with the Confederacy and slavery. Many conservatives have criticized the effort to remove such statues.
The governor went on to discuss her own history, including a bill she signed allowing firearms to be carried without a permit and changes to South Dakota’s “stand your ground” law.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.