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NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre: "Boston proves" gun control is dangerous





(CBS) National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre linked the April 15 Boston bombings with the ongoing struggle over gun laws in America on Saturday, asking the audience at the annual NRA convention in Houston, "How many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago?"

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NRA CEO: "How many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago?"

 

Who has been more effective in the gun-control debate?
NRA
( 84% )
White House
( 6% )
About the same
( 10% )
 


 

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"Imagine living in a large metropolitan area where lawful firearms ownership is heavily regulated and discouraged," LaPierre said. "Imagine waking up to a phone call from the police, warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home."

"I'm talking, of course, about Boston, where residents were imprisoned behind the locked doors of their homes, a terrorist with bombs and guns just outside," he said. "Frightened citizens, sheltered in place, with no means to defend themselves or their families from whatever may come crashing through the door."

"How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?" he asked. "How many other Americans now ponder that life-or-death question?"

LaPierre, perhaps the most aggressive public face of an organization that has determinedly fought efforts by President Obama and Congress to strengthen gun laws in America, reiterated his belief that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

"Boston proves it," he said. "When brave law enforcement officers did their jobs so courageously, good guys with guns stopped terrorists with guns."

LaPierre said the administration and "Washington elites" are interested only in "demonizing law-abiding gun owners," accusing them of exploiting tragedy "by choice, for political gain."

LaPierre has previously drawn the ire of gun-control opponents for his provocative rhetoric. Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot in the head and nearly killed during a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle prior to the NRA's convention. In it, he called for a "new generation of leaders within the NRA," arguing that LaPierre and other leaders within the gun-rights organization had abandoned the interests of their members to instead defend the profit margins of the gun industry - all while enriching themselves.

Kelly, also the head of Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization seeking to reduce gun violence, wrote, "The NRA used to be a great organization." But now, Kelly argued, "The NRA leadership's top priority is to make sure the corporations that make guns and ammunition continue to turn huge profits."

Citing LaPierre's $1 million annual salary, Kelly argued that the NRA "turned their backs on the very safety measures, like background checks, that the organization used to stand for - in exchange for cold, hard cash."

In April, the Senate, at the urging of the NRA, voted down a proposal that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers.

"It seems to me that the time is right for a new generation of leaders within the NRA," Kelly wrote.


 

A WBEN Photo Album: NRA's Annual Convention 
AP Photos from the Houston Chronicle's Johnny Hanson
AP Photo

Heath Bryant of Cypress assists his son, Tate, 5, to shoot a target using a video game-style of gun at an exhibit booth during NRA Youth Day events at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits.
  AP Photo

NRA member and musician, Ted Nugent, greets fans and signs autographs at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

 
AP Photo

With a little help, a child shoots an Airsoft gun at a target during NRA Youth Day events at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits
  AP Photo

11-year-old Ryan Weaver inspects a rifle, during the NRA Annual Meeting of Members at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits




 
AP Photo

Born in 1917, the oldest life NRA member in attendance, Wayne Burd, holds up the plaque he received for being a member since 1938
  AP Photo
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, speaks during the NRA Annual Meeting of Members at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings
AP Photo

Glenn Beck speaks during the NRA convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Houston.

 

 
AP Photo

Oliver North, left, is greeted by NRA President David Keene during the NRA Annual Meeting of Members at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings
AP PhotoNRA members listen to speakers during the NRA Annual Meeting of Members at the National Rifle Association's 142 Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the George R. Brown Convention Center Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Houston.
AP PhotoHarry McKay, right, of Tampa, Fla., dressed as Patrick Henry talks with Ray Henicke of Abilene, Texas and his wife, Karen as they wait in line for the Glenn Beck book signing event during the NRA convention in Houston Saturday.

 NRA leaders told members the fight against gun control legislation is far from over, with battles yet to come in Congress and next year's midterm elections, but they vowed that none in the organization will ever have to surrender their weapons. 


                            (AP Photos/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson)

 

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