NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre renewed his call Thursday for armed guards in schools and urged gun owners to “stand and fight” for the Second Amendment.
In a speech billed as the NRA response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for new gun regulations, LaPierre noted in remarks to the National Wild Turkey Federation in Nashville that the speech didn’t mention school security. He dismissed Obama’s calls for background checks for all firearms purchases and bans on assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
“We will not be duped by the hypocrisy in the White House or the Congress who would deny our right to semi-automatic technology, and the magazines we need to defend ourselves and our families,” he said.
LaPierre said the proponents’ real intentions would be to “ban every gun they can, tax every gun sold and register every gun owner.”
George Thornton, the CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, said his group agrees with LaPierre’s positions, even though not all of the gun-control proposals would directly affect hunters.
“You really don’t need large clips for hunting,” he said. “However, I have a very strong belief when you start to limit things, that the limits continue to chip away.”
LaPierre also said a universal background check would not stop criminals or the mentally ill from getting firearms.
“Even when prohibited people are flagged by the system now, they are almost never stopped,” he said.
Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011, said in a statement that background checks are a simple and fair way to keep children safe.
“If a dangerous criminal can’t buy a gun in a store, they shouldn’t be able to buy a gun at a gun show or on the Internet,” he said. “That’s just common sense.”
While LaPierre was critical of the president in the speech, the remarks were milder than sentiments he expressed in an opinion piece published this week by The Daily Caller, a conservative website, in which he predicted the president’s financial policies will lead to chaos.
“Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it,” LaPierre wrote.
“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face _ not just maybe,” he said. “It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”
Don Robinson, a turkey hunter from Dyersburg who attended the speech, said he supported LaPierre’s call for armed school security and agreed that universal background checks wouldn’t catch criminals and people with mental illness.
“Mentally ill folks that have no right or reason to have firearms in their hands, we should have a system in place to prohibit that, rather than a law-abiding person having whatever they need to protect themselves and their country,” he said.”
Fellow hunter Steve Gage of LaGrange, Ind., said he’s concerned that politicians “don’t have a full understanding of the weapons that are being discussed,” which he said could lead to unintended consequences for recreational firearms.
“As an example, my shotgun that I carry for turkey hunting would be illegal in New York because it has a pistol-grip stock,” he said. “So the laws they’re talking about passing have an effect on the guns that we’re using.”
Associated Press writer Kristin M. Hall in Nashville contributed this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night