Posted: Feb 14, 2013 8:59 PM by BRIAN MONTOPOLI - CBS News
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre told the Wayne Convention and Sport Show of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Nashville today that President Obama's State of the Union address exposed the "charade" that the president's gun control efforts were tied to protecting children.
"It's not about keeping kids safe in schools...They only care about their decades-long, decades-old gun control agenda," said LaPierre.
"In an hour-long speech, nowhere were the words 'school safety' to be found," he said. "Just think about that. Less than two months after saying we had to look at our schools, the president made not one mention in his entire speech of the need to improve security for our schoolchildren."
While it is true that Mr. Obama did not utter the exact phrase "school safety," he did specifically reference protecting children within the context of gun violence.
"Of course, what I've said tonight matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource: our children," he said. "It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans -- Americans who believe in the Second Amendment -- have come together around common-sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because these police chiefs, they're tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned."
The president went on to call on Congress to hold a vote on gun control measures in the name of victims of gun violence, including 15-year-old Chicago native Hadiya Pendleton who was shot to death soon after performing at inauguration-related ceremonies last month.
LaPierre's speech follows an op-ed in which he suggested that Americans need guns to protect themselves from "Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals." He claimed that "superstorm" Sandy exposed "the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia" and that "Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States."
"It's not paranoia to buy a gun," he wrote. "It's survival."
In his remarks in Nashville, LaPierre renewed his call to put armed guards in every public school in the country and said that his warnings that Mr. Obama would work to "destroy our Second Amendment rights" if reelected were coming true. He railed against the president's proposal for universal background checks - which polls show are supported by more than nine in 10 Americans, including 85 percent of NRA members - saying "there's nothing universal about it at all."
"Think about it - criminals won't be part of that database," he said. "It's common sense. They'll steal their guns or they'll get everything else they want on the black market."
"It's going to be our names, the names of good people, that will be put in this massive database," LaPierre added.
The NRA CEO said that Mr. Obama has "taken the art of public deception and manipulation to a whole new level" and told the audience that NRA membership is five million strong and growing by "tens of thousands."
"For our Second Amendment freedom, Mr. President, we will stand and fight throughout this country for our freedom," he said. "We promise you that. Every single one of us from one end of the country to the other."
LaPierre left the stage after his 20-minute speech to a standing ovation.
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