Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA), and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke were the most interesting speakers among the Republicans addressing the National Rifle Association’s convention in Nashville, in the view of The Tennessean’s Frank Daniels III. Jindal made a pitch for populism that seemed to resonate, targeting both an overbearing government and big business as reasons for change. Walker was personable and got strong, positive reactions from the crowd. Santorum, after his obligatory remarks about guns, focused on how America has abandoned religion and faith, which is why we are failing.
Perhaps the most aggressive speech came from Clarke, who proposed a change in the Great Seal of the United States. To great applause, he said, “You know, the one with the American bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other? We should take those arrows out of the eagle’s claws and replace them with a semi-automatic rifle, preferably one that shoots M-855 ammunition.” Other presidential hopefuls addressing the forum were Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.