Santorum: Gun rights are conservative rights

Gun activists can't focus only on gun rights, former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum argued Friday.

Speaking to an audience at the National Rifle Association annual conference in Indianapolis, Santorum argued that defending gun rights was meaningless without other conservative policy victories.

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"Your country needs you," Santorum said. "At this critical moment to fight on every level because the same folks who are attacking the Second Amendment are attacking your other freedoms, and they're working on every front."

The former Pennsylvania senator warned "the threat is getting bigger" from "people who want to change our country and change our value structure."

And he linked President Obama's call for new gun control legislation to some of the conservative and religious themes that served as the bread and butter of his 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Santorum said the president's signature healthcare law and his support for same-sex marriage were encroachments on other rights and freedoms.

"Just protecting a Second Amendment while all other freedoms falter is not a winning strategy," Santorum said.

Santorum also looked to establish his gun ownership bona fides, saying every member of his family — including his young children — owned a gun. He also joked that, while flowers were "the default gift for most men on a special occasion," that for his wife, "the safe bet" was ammunition.

Late last month, Santorum said he was "very open" to another presidential run.

"No question about it," he told Iowa Public Television. "I'm very open to taking on another run, and right now, I'm just doing everything that I would be doing if I was gonna to run."

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