BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today challenged President Barack Obama’s use of an empty chair in the Guest Box at tonight’s State of the Union speech to signify victims of gun violence, suggesting instead that the chair could be filled by someone who used a gun to save lives.

“The use of an empty chair is an empty gesture by a president many people consider an ‘empty suit’,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It’s essentially cheap theatrics aimed at stirring the emotions of his far left base, and like so many of his other efforts, won’t accomplish a thing.

“Instead,” he suggested, “the president could find a genuine hero to fill that seat, someone like the Vietnam veteran who shot an armed robber earlier this month in Corpus Christi. Or he could offer the seat to former CNN reporter Chuck de Caro, who defended himself and his wife, former CNN anchor Lynne Russell, from an armed parole violator during a robbery attempt at an Albuquerque motel last summer.

“There are plenty of armed citizens and police officers who could easily fill that empty seat, providing examples of empowerment,” Gottlieb contended. “It would send a message from the administration that we don’t think people should be victimized. But the president isn’t interested in recognizing the deeds of good guys with guns. He’d like everyone to believe they are safer without the protection of a firearm, or someone carrying a gun.

“Maybe the president’s Secret Service detail should walk around with empty holsters,” he said. “That might effectively relay his disregard for armed self-defense than having an empty seat in the gallery, and it would set an example he seems to want all Americans to follow.

“If none of these examples is good enough for the president,” Gottlieb offered, “then he ought to dedicate that empty chair to Carol Bowne. She was the New Jersey woman who was murdered last year while local police delayed her application for a permit to buy a handgun. She was a victim of the kinds of gun laws that Obama and his minions would like to see enforced across the country.

“Let that empty chair be a monument to the president’s empty talk about supporting Second Amendment rights,” he concluded.