He was introduced by a biographical video, and then gave some short remarks, which were more of a general speech about “first principles” of small government than specifically tailored to gun rights, and with a trademark touch of folksiness. “I’m simply another American, another American story,” concerned about the direction of our nation. He also spoke of his wife, and said “I think she’d make a much better first lady than Bill Clinton.”
The most telling moment came during the Q&A. One question went “some say” that the Second Amendment can be interpreted differently in different regions, and that what works in New York or Chicago may be different in Tennessee–an obvious reference to Rudy Giuliani’s current view. Does Fred hold the same view? His answer was simple: “nope.” He also added that “It’s more than coincidental that cities that have the highest crime rates have the most restrictions on guns.” Giuliani, of course, would object to the categorization of NYC under his leadership as a crime haven, but I’m sure most people in this audience would side with Thompson on that one.
In response to another question about whether Thompson said, “I think we’re winning on the interpretation of the Second Amendment.” He joked that he had developed a rather complicated interepretation of the Second Amendment: “It means what it says.”
I would say it was a sober, rather than a fiery performance, but he was warmly received as he didn’t have much to prove to this crowd.
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