WASHINGTON (AP) — Banning some assault weapons and requiring background checks for all firearms purchases aren’t a serious attempt to reduce gun violence, a top National Rifle Association official warned Tuesday as Congress geared up for the year’s first hearing on the subject.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, said the country must instead focus on boosting security at schools, enforcing existing gun laws and taking more steps to deny guns to people with mental illnesses.
“Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals. Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families,” LaPierre said in testimony he planned to deliver Wednesday at a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
LaPierre’s statement, released Tuesday by the NRA, came nearly seven weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults. The horrific slayings have revived the national debate over gun control, with President Barack Obama proposing a range of restrictions last week and members of Congress introducing legislation on the subject.
LaPierre’s testimony was similar in substance but somewhat milder in tone than some statements the organization has made recently.
Less than two weeks after the mass shooting, LaPierre attacked the “media machine” for blaming the gun industry for attacks like Newtown and said what was needed to prevent the next massacre were armed guards and police in every school. Earlier this month, the NRA ran a television ad calling Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for voicing doubts about having armed school guards while his own children are protected that way at their school. While Obama’s children have Secret Service protection, officials at their school say its own guards don’t carry guns.
“We need to be honest about what works and what does not work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law-abiding have failed in the past and will fail in the future,” LaPierre said in his prepared remarks.
A ban on some semi-automatics considered to be assault weapons was tried from 1994 to 2004 and failed to reduce crime, he said. He also said background checks will never be universal because criminals won’t submit to them. Both are among measures that Obama is seeking.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has already introduced legislation taking similar steps to Obama’s proposals, including banning assault weapons and magazines that house more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
She said Tuesday that she will hold her own hearing on gun control because she was unhappy that three of the five witnesses testifying to the Judiciary panel on Wednesday are “skewed against us.” Feinstein is a member of the committee.
Despite the momentum gun-control advocates have gained since the Newtown shootings, it will be difficult for them to prevail in Congress this year because of the popularity of guns in many states — including several represented by Democratic senators — and the formidable muscle of the NRA on Capitol Hill, lawmakers and other say. Among other obstacles, the Republican-run House has shown little immediate interest in making dramatic changes in the laws.
“It’s hard,” Feinstein said of gun legislation prospects. “I know it’s hard. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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