NRA convention takes aim at gun legislation
Leading pro-gun political conservatives served up heaping portions of rhetorical red meat Friday to NRA members at the organization's 142nd annual convention, with Gov. Rick Perry telling the crowd that the "correct response" to horrific gun violence like the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., "is not another federal law . . . Perry's appearance before the convention at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center was preceded by a video of him taking target practice with a semi-automatic rifle. A lifetime NRA member, Perry . . .
For the most part, the lineup of speakers, which included former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., concentrated on President Barack Obama and others who favor gun control, including Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Perry accused Obama of wanting to "disarm the American public."
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the Obama administration . . . Cruz took a leading role in torpedoing a measure by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would have expanded background checks to include sales at gun shows, over the Internet and through classified ads.
'Never back away'
Wayne LaPierre, the lobby's CEO, accused the news media of being in league with Obama, Bloomberg and others in a "vicious effort to attack the Second Amendment." LaPierre characterized the NRA as the bulwark in defense of gun rights that liberal politicians would gladly take away. "We will never back away from our rights, the rights of all lawful American gun owners," he said.
Most of the speeches were aimed at firing up the more than 70,000 members and gun enthusiasts at the convention center. The convention is unfolding as Manchin and others on Capitol Hill strategize over ways to push the background check through the Senate in a second attempt. The speakers characterized a political conflict in which they were perpetually on defense. But they were emphatic that they believe they will ultimately triumph in what they characterized as nothing less than a crusade. It was a vision that gun-control advocates outside the convention rejected.
"The NRA's lineup of ultra-right personalities represents a vision of our nation that was roundly rejected in the last election," said Josh Sugarmann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, who traveled from Washington. "It's a reflection of how out of touch they are with mainstream America - especially after the tragedy of Newtown." Earlier Friday, a small group of protesters . . . quietly read a list of 4,000 victims of gun violence, starting with the names of the 26 who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.
Outreach to members
Joining them at midday was Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who was among the victims, most of them children, who died in shooter Adam Lanza's attack with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Lafferty said her presence in Houston was less about protesting the NRA than it was about reaching out to members on the expanded background check legislation defeated in the Senate last month. "There'll be another vote in the Senate," she said. "I'm confident it will pass."
Inside, NRA members and gun enthusiasts milled about 400,000 square feet of hall space filled to the brim with 550 exhibitors. The roster included everyone from household brand names like Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Colt to smaller concerns such as Slidefire Solutions of Moran, Texas, which makes a device that legally permits semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully automatic machine gun fire.
Originally posted by normbenignI have not read that bipartisan bill but have an idea of what is in the bipartisan bill.
Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to transfer firearms via internet sales, or even across State lines. It can't be done without a background check, and BATF and the Justice Department aren't aggressively pursuing felons who try to get past the current checks.
Do you have even a slight idea of exactly what was in the more than 8,000 page bill, supposedly about expanded background checks?
Originally posted by normbenignSo you are against extending to gun shows the background checks already performed at retail stores?
How about a summary or outline? Why portray it as enhanced background checks, when the current background check system isn't fully utilized? What else is in there?