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LaPierre: NRA, members will never surrender guns

By Juan A. Lozano

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:44 a.m. HST, May 04, 2013

HOUSTON >> The public face of the National Rifle Association implored members today to never give up their weapons in the wake of recent gun control efforts in Congress that he said will "destroy us and every ounce of our freedom."

"We will never surrender our guns, never," Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told several thousand people during the organization's annual member meeting, which is part of the yearly NRA convention being held this weekend in Houston.

A defiant LaPierre said the "political and media elites" have tried to use December's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school and other recent ones "to blame us, to shame us, to compromise our freedom for their agenda."

LaPierre directed much of his criticism at President Barack Obama and his efforts to pass legislation in Congress that would have expanded background checks for gun sales. That bill failed to pass in the Senate last month.

LaPierre said the bill "got the defeat that it deserved."

"The bill wouldn't have prevented Newtown or Aurora," he said, also referencing last year's shooting at a Colorado theater. "It won't prevent the next tragedy. None of it has anything to do with keeping our children safer in any school anywhere."

Gun control supporters have promised to keep pressing the issue and have made significant strides at the state level, including passing new restrictions on firearms in Colorado and Connecticut.

LaPierre implored lawmakers to direct their efforts not at new gun control legislation but to enforcing current federal gun laws and sending to prison violent criminals who break these laws and rebuilding "our broken mental health system."

"And for God sakes leave the rest of us alone in this country," he said to loud applause.

More than 70,000 NRA members are expected to attend the three-day convention, which began Friday. Acres of displays of rifles, pistols, swords and hunting gear could be found inside the convention hall.

Friday's highlight was a 3 ½-hour political rally filled with fiery speeches from state and national conservative leaders, among them Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. They warned attendees that new gun laws are an effort to take away their rights under the Second Amendment.

The presence of protestors has been minimal during the convention. Across the street, the No More Names vigil read the names of gun violence victims since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. By Saturday afternoon, about 20 protesters were present.

"It's time to move toward global thinking and global peace and solutions that don't require guns," said Tim Campbell, 73, from Houston, who held up a sign that read "No To Arms. No To Force."

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ClearHeaded wrote:
Sad, paranoid, fascists.
on May 4,2013 | 11:56AM
redneckMT wrote:
You will have to take my guns from my cold, dead hands.
on May 4,2013 | 12:02PM
ClearHeaded wrote:
Ooooh, so macho!
on May 4,2013 | 12:44PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
What will you use to fight back against tyranny?
on May 4,2013 | 03:05PM
ClearHeaded wrote:
Partyman: That's sarcasm right? Good one.
on May 4,2013 | 03:55PM
control wrote:
We'll make sure that your spouse buries you with it.
on May 4,2013 | 04:39PM
brb905 wrote:
LaPierre is paranoid. No one wants to take anyone's guns away. All the public wants is reasonable restrictions and safeguards like background checks, etc.
on May 4,2013 | 12:16PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Actually that is not true. Honolulu's police chief and his assistants have made numerous public statements to the effect that they do not believe that the public is entitled to own guns and that they would indeed like to take them away.
on May 4,2013 | 01:47PM
gtracer66 wrote:
IF only LaPierre and the NRA would spend some time and money to bring freedom to Hawaii. Hawaii is the most liberal anti gun state around. Gun laws here border on the ridiculous. Despite statistics that states with concealed carry laws (and even moderate leaves of CCW permit holders), violent crime levels are low, Hawaii refuses to actually issue CCW permits (even though the law allows them). Does anyone know anyone with a CCW permit? I didn't think so. No matter how much I love Hawaii, I'm saddened that our legislators refuse to accept the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. They shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose what part of the Constitution they want to recognize and enforce. What will be next? Freedom of speech, or religion, or unlawful search and seizure? If we don't accept one of the amendments, we might as well throw out all of them. Wake up Hawaii, we are part of the United States now. If we were still an independent nation, we could do whatever we want and ignore U.S. laws. But we are not. So we need to decide. Are we part of the U.S. or do we want to be independent. We can't have it both ways. And I'll support whichever way we go with all my strength. But we must decide... are we in or are we out.
on May 4,2013 | 12:31PM
ClearHeaded wrote:
66-We? Go back to the mainland.
on May 4,2013 | 12:45PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Glad the majority here doesn't think like you. Go live in the red states where they are doing away with any gun control laws.
on May 4,2013 | 02:11PM
Thegame wrote:
Go do your homework. The red states are not doing away with gun control laws.
on May 4,2013 | 02:46PM
torxman wrote:
The NRA President and it's members have got to be the most dumbest people in America. Gun control Laws are not taking away your guns. The law is preventing criminals and people with unstable minds from purchasing or owing a gun.
on May 4,2013 | 03:34PM
control wrote:
Yeah, it's a side effect of in breeding.
on May 4,2013 | 04:42PM
Thegame wrote:
The only dumb people are the ones who don't realize we already have laws to prevent criminals and people with unstable minds from purchasing or owing a gun.....but they go unenforced and/or unprosecuted. What are new laws going to do? Think gun control laws don't take away guns....ask the people of New York or Connecticut.
on May 4,2013 | 08:24PM
control wrote:
You are more than welcome to move back to Texas. No one in Hawaii has a legitimate reason to carried a concealed weapon. No one.
on May 4,2013 | 04:42PM
Thegame wrote:
Yep, we'll just keep going with the stabbings and leading the nation in domestics.
on May 4,2013 | 08:30PM
After I'm dead and you take my gun, my family will continue as I did. STUPID PEOPLE
on May 4,2013 | 03:39PM
ClearHeaded wrote:
Good one. Now go stroke you barrel some more.
on May 4,2013 | 03:57PM
patk wrote:
Just a bunch of insecure, ignorant people, like any other cult. Need to flock together like a high school clique. I respect most Non-NRA gun owners, but not NRA sheep.
on May 4,2013 | 04:39PM
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