An Iraq combat veteran is getting attention for a fiery speech to fellow members of the Virginia House of Delegates defending the Second Amendment and its supporters.
After asking permission to make remarks on the House floor, Freitas spoke for seven minutes March 2. A video of his speech went viral after the lawmaker shared it on his Facebook page, and now has more than 13 million views.
Here are seven highlights of his points:
1. Find Out If Gun-Free Zones Work
“Wouldn’t it be reasonable to test whether or not the efficacy of gun-free zones [has] actually achieved what their intended intent is?” Freitas asked.
2. Understand the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment right to bear arms does not come from a “base philosophical conviction,” Freitas said, but instead “is rooted in the idea that while we may be a post-Enlightenment society, the vast majority of horrible atrocities that we’ve seen have happened in those post-Enlightenment societies.”
Torture, mass murder, genocide, and other atrocities happen “as a result of government systematically disarming citizens and claiming … to be the sole responsible party for their security,” he said. “And then turning on those same citizens and punishing them.”
3. Make Self-Defense Possible
Guns are a powerful deterrent, Freitas said, and self-defense isn’t limited only to circumstances where a perpetrator ends up killed or wounded.
Americans hold the Second Amendment in “high esteem,” he said, “because we honestly believe that you have an inherent right to defend yourself.”
“Your ability to defend yourself should not be [limited] to your size. Firearms provide someone that is weaker and not as fast the ability to defend themselves from a stronger attacker.”
4. Consider Arming Teachers
Freitas said he agrees with lawmakers who are pushing for teachers to be armed.
“Not every teacher,” he said. “But a teacher that is comfortable with it, is former law enforcement, is former military, that is now in the classroom.”
5. Stop Calling Him a Nazi and Segregationist
Political opponents have called him a Nazi and a segregationist, Freitas said in his speech.
“It was not our 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,” Freitas said. “That wasn’t our party. That was the Democrat Party.”
In an appearance Tuesday on “Fox & Friends,” Freitas also recounted one instance when he was told he was on the side of terrorists.
“What sort of offense do you think someone like me, with two combat tours, who has lost friends to terrorists, [took] about something like that?” he said.
6. Continue the Dialogue With Mutual Respect
Mutual respect, Freitas said, is key to developing solutions that work and coming to agreements.
“It starts with a certain degree of not assuming that the only reason why we believe in the Second Amendment is because the NRA paid us off, he said, adding:
If that’s the sort of logic you want to use, why don’t you go take a look at how much money the NRA spends and how much money Planned Parenthood spends? When I get here and talk about abortion, I don’t assume that you’re all bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood. I don’t assume you’re horrible people because I disagree with you on a policy position.
7. Admit Government Failed in Parkland Shooting
In his last point, Freitas reflected on the Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
“We are going to have a problem with so-called solutions which infringe on people’s liberty under the promise that government will provide for their security,” he said.
“Because ultimately in this last school shooting we had a perfect example of government being engaged over 30 times and still failing to provide security for those students.”