You may not have ever heard of Nick Freitas before, but I have a feeling we’ll all be hearing a lot about him soon. At first glance, this may seem very political, very Republican vs. Democrat.
But it’s not. It’s about logic versus emotion.
It’s about an eloquent defense of the Second Amendment and the reason that the gun control debate is stalled. And the response to this speech underlined everything that was said.
It’s about people who got so upset about historic facts that they had to leave the room instead of engaging in a discussion.
Last week, he gave a rousing speech on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates in defense of the Second Amendment. Some of his key points:
We need to find out if gun-free zones are effective
We need to understand the reasons behind the Second Amendment
We need to make self-defense possible
We should consider arming teachers
We need to discuss this issue with mutual respect
We have to admit that the government failed in the Florida school shooting
One point he brought up that really spoke to me personally was the fact that not all gun-related acts of self-defense involve pulling the trigger and shooting the perpetrator. I know that in my own case during an attempted home invasion, just the presence of my gun and the perception of the would-be criminals that I wouldn’t hesitate to use it, deterred what could have been a heinous crime against me and my daughter.
Freitas said in the speech that we have an inherent right to defend ourselves and that he will not accept a false narrative. He pointed out that he and his fellow Republicans don’t believe Democrats when they say that all they want to do is ban bump stocks.
Freitas is a retired Green Beret who served 2 tours in Iraq. (source) He was elected to the state delegation in 2016 and is a self-described Libertarian-Republican.
Listen to the entire speech in the video below.
The response by lawmakers
Despite Freitas’s factual and logical arguments, a number of Democrat delegates actually walked out of the room during his recitation of horrific past policies that were instituted by their own party and his plea for mutual respect so that a real conversation could happen.
Delegate Lamont Bagley was really upset, calling the speech “hateful and divisive.”
“We realize that we live in a ugly political moment. So while we were offended, we were not surprised,” Bagby said. “It should embarrass every member of this body that we have allowed such rhetoric to enter these chambers. Bringing up a very painful past to make a political point is disgusting and poisonous.” (source)
Delegate Delores McQuinn, who walked out while Freitas was speaking, told reporters:
“Let us not bring in things that would be hurtful and painful to people who have to live in a skin that some of you will never know and have to endure a reality that being black in America is sometimes difficult.” (source)
Freitas seemed unconcerned at the outrage, responding:
“More and more, offense is used as a weapon with which to turn away debate.And I’m not going to accept that.” (source)
His speech was so popular that he was interviewed by CNN, who played a clip of a Democrat, Delegate Joseph Lindsay, who said he was “offended as he had never been offended since being a part of this body” by Freitas’s passionate speech. He claimed that his colleagues were “emotionally shaken and bothered.”
Freitas wasn’t having any of it.
There aren’t many politicians that I’d say I would support, but Freitas just might be the exception. He’s currently running for the US Senate against Tim Kaine, who is the former governor of Virginia and was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her failed bid for the presidency.
In his announcement for the bid, he promised to combat a worldview that “treats free people as if we were subjects instead of citizens.” He also said, “Quite frankly, establishment elements from both sides of the aisle have been responsible in thinking themselves made from finer clay than the rest of humanity.” (source)
Yep, I’m pretty sure we’ll be hearing more about Nick Freitas.