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NRA chief defends 'absolutism,' decries Obama's comments

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:19 a.m. HST, Jan 23, 2013

Wayne LaPierre Jr. spoke at the NRA members' annual meeting on Saturday.

RENO, Nev. » A top National Rifle Association official on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of seeking to redefine the rights of gun owners, telling a hunting and wildlife conservation group that the president's use of the word "absolutism" in his inauguration speech was an attack on law-abiding citizens who own firearms.

Obama said in his speech Monday that Americans shouldn't "mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."

The remark was interpreted by the NRA as a reference to the organization's steadfast opposition to any new gun regulations.

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told a Weatherby Foundation awards ceremony that the Second Amendment gives Americans the unfettered right to own a firearm, but the president wants to redefine that freedom.

"Absolutes do exist, words do have specific meaning in language and in law," he said.

The president wants Americans to believe that "putting the federal government in the middle of every gun transaction" will make them safer, LaPierre said. But the NRA believes people have the right to defend themselves and their families with semi-automatic firearms technology, he said.

"No government gave them to us and no government can take them away."

Obama last week unveiled a set of legislative proposals and executive actions on firearms that were formulated in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.

The NRA responded to the proposals by posting a Web video that labeled Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing his daughters to be protected by armed guards while not embracing a proposal — supported by the NRA — that would place armed guards at all schools. The organization has also planned an aggressive lobbying push to thwart new gun regulations and has been raising money in response to the outcry for new gun laws.

LaPierre's speech on Tuesday was billed as a response to Obama's inaugural address.

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frontman wrote:
People kill people ........... they use knifes, bats, cars and yes guns but PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE
on January 23,2013 | 04:47AM
Smiling wrote:
People kill people with GUNS!!!!!!
on January 23,2013 | 06:44AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Wayne LaPierre is a nut. Just look at that picture of him. It's people like him that give the NRA a bad name.
on January 23,2013 | 05:52AM
ricekidd wrote:
no he is not.... people like you are the one who's nuts. Typical Hawaii resident comments.... non educated welfare recipient.
on January 23,2013 | 06:17AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Your omniscience impresses me. Why don't you go trim your toe nails before they reach your nose.....wayne...
on January 23,2013 | 06:22AM
busterb wrote:
Give ricekidd a break, obviously not from here. So how could (s)he understand we we consider to look like a nut? I mean if (s)he was from here, (s)he would be typical right? Meaning everyone is the same...
on January 23,2013 | 06:30AM
hawaiikone wrote:
The picture selection is merely a reflection of the media's bias.
on January 23,2013 | 10:45AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The picture selection might have been more judicious if the idea was to encourage meaningful dialogue. Talk about demonizing one side of the story.
on January 23,2013 | 06:38AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Not a Kodak moment huh?
on January 23,2013 | 09:40AM
Anonymous wrote:
Hey, loquaciousone, there's no question the choice of photo the AP selected for the story is a deliberate attempt by the "liberal media' to portray LaPierre in a bad light. In other words, to make him look crazy. When a photographer's taking a 100 photos a minute, there are bound to be photos like this. They could have easily picked another photo. But they didn't. It's despicable, really.
on January 23,2013 | 07:15AM
bodysurf_ah wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 23,2013 | 07:24AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Too many over the falls at Makapuu?
on January 23,2013 | 03:35PM
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