NRA Chief LaPierre Outlines Radical Agenda at CPAC

February 11, 2011 3:42 pm ET — Chris Brown

Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Wayne LaPierre, gave a fiery speech yesterday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that could only be described as wildly off-target. In a strange portrayal of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, LaPierre faulted "political opportunists" who "rushed to advance their legislative agendas."

LaPIERRE: Tragically, a Member of Congress and others were seriously wounded. We continue to pray for them and wish them well. [...] Predictably, the political opportunists rushed to advance their legislative agendas. You all know what I'm talking about. [...] The media and the political elites want us to believe that if we just pass another law or two, we can stop a madman bent on violence. That's dishonest, and you know it is. If we could legislate evil out of people's hearts, we would've done it long ago. And when they tell you that a government ban on certain firearms or magazines will somehow make you safer? Don't you buy it. Not for one second. Because it's a lie, just like the lies they've told you before. [...] Their laws don't work. Their lies don't ring true. And if Tucson tells us anything at all, it tells us this: Government failed. [...] When it comes to protecting us from the mayhem of a violent madman, government is an abject failure. Even worse, by its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government policies are getting us killed and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence.

Ironically, LaPierre was the one advancing a political agenda. The NRA has been in the lead in opposing legislation on high capacity magazines, fixing loopholes in the background check system and virtually all legislation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Recent polling indicates that LaPierre and the NRA are pushing policies that are far out of line with what Americans, gun owners and even the NRA's own members support:

LaPIERRE: Predictably, the political opportunists rushed to advance their legislative agendas.

63% of Americans favor a ban on high capacity magazines

86% of NRA members say we can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.

LaPIERRE: When they tell you that a government ban on certain firearms or magazines will somehow make you safer? Don't you buy it, not for one second.

58% percent of gun-owning households favor a ban on high capacity magazines.

LaPIERRE: Even worse, by its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government policies are getting us killed and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence.

86% of Americans and 81% of gun-owning households support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check at gun shows. 

69% of NRA members support requiring all sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks. 

88% of Americans and 87% of gun owners support prohibiting people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.

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