STATELINE - Americans can't be gun-shy about defending the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association said on Friday night.
Wayne LaPierre told 545 people attending the first Great Northwest "Clingers" Festival and Second Amendment Rally sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho at Stateline Speedway that our rights are being attacked like never before.
"The elites don't care about us," he said under sunny skies. "Protection is in our own hands."
LaPierre said the country could be one Supreme Court appointment away from breaking the back of the Second Amendment.
"It's important that we stay active every day," he said. "The Second Amendment is about all the good guys have."
LaPierre said government is failing at protecting people, based on national crime statistics, and that is one of the reasons the NRA remains vigilant in its fight.
"We need a complete top-to-bottom scrub of the Department of Justice," he said.
LaPierre called the United Nations "a club of governments" that doesn't care about individual freedoms.
He said America needs to remain unique from the rest of the countries in the U.N.
"We are the only country in that corrupt organization that has a Bill of Rights," LaPierre said. "That's what separates our country from every other in the world.
"If some criminal breaks down your door at night, don't count on the baby blue helmets of the U.N. to help out."
LaPierre said the United States becoming like the United Nations as a whole and settling for less freedoms is a slippery slope.
"That is a critical step of losing our unique American way of life," he said.
LaPierre said the media and "political elites" make the NRA and other defenders of the Second Amendment out to be extremists, but that's not the case.
"We're law-abiding Americans," he said. "We breathe the same free air as our founding fathers. And we will fight because we are Americans."
Another speaker at the rally, held simultaneously with the River City Rod Run in nearby Post Falls, was Marshall Foster, founder of the World History Institute, formerly the Mayflower Institute. Marshall said it's important to know the past before heading into the future.
Foster said the key to the Declaration of Independence is to understand its optimistic tone. He said contains "divine principles" and was the culmination of what Americans believed.
"All the colonies were united and they weren't talking to the king," Marshall said of the covenant. "They were talking to God."
Foster, who will give a free workshop today at 9 a.m. at Candlelight Christian Fellowship in Coeur d'Alene called "Real Hope for Our Time," said it's easy to get skeptical with the way the world is today. But there's still hope.
"That Declaration is still the belief system of the American people," he said. "Covenant keepers win and covenant breakers lose."