Governor Bobby Jindal of the State of Louisiana
GLENN: It's gun week all week on the Glenn Beck program. I told you before I'm not a joiner. I don't join clubs or anything else, but about a year ago I joined the NRA because I started reading the words of the founding fathers and I started really paying attention to what was really going on in our country and our rights and everything else and also started getting a little spooked like our founding fathers warned us and encouraged us to be, a little spooked by our own government, and I joined the NRA and I'm just thrilled that they asked me to be the keynote speaker at the convention this Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, and Governor Bobby Jindal is a guy who is going to get an award. In fact, I understand, Governor, that you didn't even know you were getting an award until some people in our office told you yesterday, and I'm sorry if we spilled the surprise.
GOVERNOR JINDAL: No, it's a great honor. Apparently it was on a part of NRA's web page. They invited me to come and talk and I hope they are not listening. I'll act surprised on Saturday.
GLENN: Don't tell them -- they've got guns. Don't tell them I wrecked the surprise. I wanted to talk to you because we were on television last night and a lot of people -- what's surprising to me is a lot of people don't even know that guns were taken away in America right after Katrina. It wasn't widely reported in the media and you're the guy who led the effort to make sure it could never happen again, although I don't know if I believe that can ever be done without vigilance from the American people. But guns were taken away, something that everybody says could never happen.
GOVERNOR JINDAL: Glenn, that's exactly right and it's amazing to me you didn't see more front page stories, breaking news on national news channels. Over 1,000 guns were confiscated from law-abiding citizens, especially in the city of New Orleans, and the stories would shock you. Wayne La Pierre came down here and said it was the first time in American history, the only time that the government, through the threat of force, took away weapons, guns from law-abiding citizens. Now, think about that. You never thought it would happen in the sportsman's paradise. We're talking about just to put some names and faces to this, there was a grandfather, a guy who was taking care of his family. Three men came to him with a machete. He was able to scare them off with a gun that he had. Time and time again, business owners used their guns to defend themselves. Now, remember there were signs saying if you loot, we'll shoot. The civil authorities said -- a lot of the First Responders did an amazing job. They can't be an every block, every corner, every hour of every day. There's no power. You can't call 911. No water. There's all kinds of rumors and stories about looters and thieves out there. So the civil -- you know, the civil order's not what it normally is. You have to be able to defend yourself. And then you hear these stories, and the NRA's got a powerful video on their web page about their grandmother, they broke into her home, wrestled her to the ground, took away her gun. She was later robbed. The bar, the business owner who defended his business with his gun. They confiscated his gun and then literally within several hours, next day, his business was robbed. The search and rescue team that try to go in and help people, they were turned around. They even -- federal law agencies that deputized some of their officials to be able to carry weapons, they weren't allowed to go in because they had weapons. And they said, we can't go in there unless we can defend ourselves. With all the stories about looting and people potentially even shooting at First Responders, there are stories after stories, and every time you talk to people about this, they just tell you, it couldn't have happened in America. They cannot believe that it actually happened, but it did. Happened in New Orleans, happened -- 1,000 guns were confiscated. We passed -- I authored a federal law that has become law in 2006, July 2006 that basically says they cannot do this, God forbid if there's another natural manmade disaster, they can't come in and take away your gun. The police organizations get it. They said, yeah, it doesn't make sense, we don't want to be in the business of going after law-abiding citizens; we've got enough work to be doing.
GLENN: I tell you that I have spoken to some very powerful senators in Washington. One of them was, quite honestly when he said it to me, he said it to me off the record. I said, "I don't want to hear this kind of stuff from you." He said, "Glenn, I'm telling you that the way our country is set up right now and the way we're headed, all we have to have is another Katrina-like event but having to do with, you know, Muslim extremists or something like that and the government will crack down and they will try to confiscate the guns and they will say, we have to do it, we have to -- and he said, we will lose rights, one right after another. And there are a lot of people that are very afraid that, you know, what was said that would never, ever happen in America happened already. What's to stop them from doing it again?
GOVERNOR JINDAL: And where's the shock and the outrage? One thing Katrina proved is that there are going to be times when you have to be ready to take care of yourselves. As well as people get ready for these disasters, make sure you've got your prescriptions, your water, your food, you've got an evacuation route. But part of it is if you're going to be there with your property, with your children, with your family members and you can't call 911, there's just, there's no ability to turn to the normal mechanisms, you have to be able to defend yourself. And you want those looters to be fearful. You don't want those looters to know they are the only ones that are armed. The law breakers shouldn't be the only ones with guns in that situation. And here's the thing. 99 members of the house voted against my bill. Now think about this. I simply had a bill saying you don't lose your constitutional rights after a natural disaster.
Now, imagine if the federal government came in there and said, you know what, we're going to suspend the other amendments, you are not going to have the right to speak, all of a sudden you would have the ACLU, you would have every national newspaper, you would have everybody up in arms, to use a pun about that. How in the world are there 99 house members that think it's okay for you to lose your Second Amendment rights just because there's been a storm.
I was thrilled we got over 300 people that voted for it, but the fact that 99 members didn't vote for it, voted against it. And you should have heard, Glenn, some of the arguments on the floor that made no sense, made -- I mean, there was no logical -- I didn't hear one rational argument about why this shouldn't become law. There were a lot of crazy hypothetical situations that weren't true, but when they stuck to the facts, it was pretty overwhelmingly obvious that there were a lot of people grateful they had their Second Amendment rights that day.
GLENN: First of all, we're going to show the videotape on television tonight of the grandmother that was wrestled to the ground and they took her gun. Was there anyone that you know of, governor, that said -- because this is what everybody says: A, the police will never go and take the guns away. Well, they just did. And the other thing is, out of my gold dead hands, you'll have to pry it out of my cold -- was there anyone that said, absolutely not; this is a violation of the Constitution; I am not relinquishing my guns?
GOVERNOR JINDAL: I'm not aware of anybody that actually took violence against a federal official or a police officer. There were several instances where people did resist, like you'll see in that video. There were other people on their boats. Usually they were met, you know, with overwhelming force. The NRA did a great job. They came down here, did town hall meetings, videotaped people's testimonies and so they may have a better collection of people's anecdotal experiences. You did hear instances where people try to refuse, try to turn down these law and other federal and other local and other officials, but when they were trying to resist, more often than not they were met with overwhelming force like this grandmother was. And you have to remember these are just regular --
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
GOVERNOR JINDAL: I think more than anything they were in shock. I think they had heard for so long, they just believed that this would never happen in America. And so when you see these videos, when you hear the testimony, you hear people saying, they can't believe that it happened. They just, they can't believe that it happened. That somebody would break into their home, it would happen -- now, let's be clear. She wasn't on somebody else's property. She wasn't bothering anybody else. She wasn't threatening anybody else. She was in her own home. And you talk about other people that were in their own boats, in their own vehicles, in their own cars, in their own businesses, to the bothering anybody else. Their property was invaded. Their guns were confiscated. And here's the outrageous thing. Even after the event, after Katrina, days and weeks and months later, there are still cases. And again Wayne can talk to you about this, about people having to go to court trying to get their legally owned guns back because the authorities said, don't worry, you'll get your guns back. They had to go to court to fight to get those guns. It wasn't just like, all right, we'll hold it for you for a day, for a week, come find it.
GLENN: What are they saying, what are the courts saying? Why do I have to go to court to get my gun back?
GOVERNOR JINDAL: Part of it was they did take great care in every case of certifying which gun belonged to whom or keeping good records and then in some cases you just have local officials that fought it. The good news is now you've got a federal law that says they can't do it again. It gives the right to sue, gives the right to recover, you know, attorneys fees and so at least there's an education piece, there's an enforcement piece up front. So there's no confusion. Officials know up front, you don't have the authority to go in and do this. I mean --
GLENN: That's assuming, that's assuming that -- I mean, Governor, I know you are a Republican and you are a rising star in the Republican party, but I don't know what the Republicans even stand for anymore. There's a lot of people that just don't understand it. There was a lot of these Republicans and the Democrats who have gone so far south, they don't even -- I don't even know -- I don't even recognize them anymore. And then on the other, on the flip side, there are a lot of good Republicans like you and a lot of good Democrats that understand the Second Amendment. My gosh, what does it mean? Are we going to have enough people in there in case of a moment of crisis that would actually be able to stand? You already said you've got 99 members of the House that say no. They can overturn that thing.
GOVERNOR JINDAL: Well, two things. One, I agree. I think the Republican party lost the majority in the House in 2006 and the Senate and these other majorities in part because they got away from their core principles. They started defending spending and earmarks, that was not defensible that they railed against when they were the majority, that's our work cutting taxes down here in Louisiana and showing that you can be truly conservative.
But secondly, you also said something very important at the beginning of our interview which is, we as Americans have to be vigilant. What this incident proved after Katrina was that it's not enough just to say it will never happen in America, because it is happening in America. It did happen in America. And that means we've got to be vigilant every day before there's another Katrina, before there's another disaster because you're right. It shouldn't have taken a federal law to enforce a constitutional right. That right was already in -- you know, and my argument to people that don't like the Second Amendment is it's black and white letter law. People are always inventing things, adding things to the Constitution that aren't there. Here's something that's clearly there. If you don't like it, go try to change it, but don't ignore it. Don't ignore the fact that it's so explicitly in the Constitution to me, and I'm no attorney but I'm amazed at how attorneys can find things in the Constitution that aren't written there and somehow conveniently ignore what is written there. And the arguments against it are bogus. The arguments that, well, it's outdated or whatever. The argument is if you don't like it, go change it. But you don't have the right to ignore it or interpret it to think what you think it means. That Second Amendment right is important. We need it. It's not theoretical, it's not hypothetical. People need it, when they needed it most, tragically in some instances it was actually trampled on.
GLENN: I know you have to run because you have a state to run, but we have a Supreme Court decision coming. It's imminent now on the gun law in Washington, D.C. We have, it looks like Barack Obama is going to be the candidate. How concerned are you on the Supreme Court ruling and what that could change and also Barack Obama who's not exactly a good friend of the guns?
GOVERNOR JINDAL: This is a huge issue in the presidential election. I hope people will focus on this national candidate's very specific questions, what kind of judges they would appoint because these decisions make a huge impact on our lives, especially if we have more activist judges rewriting the Constitution from the bench. Look, the reality is the former President Bush gave us Justice Suitor has not been a friend of the Second Amendment. This President has given us Alito and Roberts who to date have done a better job in terms of protecting the rights and certainly we'll see with the result of this case but it is so important, as we vote for President, one of the most important things a President of the United States does is to appoint Supreme Court justices. We've got a pretty evenly balanced court. I want to make sure regardless of where these Presidents, how good they speak or their other attributes, I want to know if they are going to appoint judges who don't view it as their jobs to go and rewrite the Constitution to make it believe what they think it means. I'm hopeful of this court action. Even if it's a 5-4 vote, hopefully it will be better than that, I'm hopeful this court will continue to explicitly reaffirm an individual right to own for law-abiding citizens to own firearms. To me it's pretty clear what the Constitution says, but absolutely it's one of the most critical questions we need to ask these candidates for President, what kind of judges would they appoint.
GLENN: Governor, we'll see you Saturday.
GOVERNOR JINDAL: Glenn, look forward to it.
GLENN: Thank you. Bye-bye.