On Tuesday, National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre criticized President Barack Obama's inaugural address.
"In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama quoted the Declaration of Independence and he talked about inalienable rights," LaPierre said during a speech at a hunting and conservation awards ceremony in Reno, Nev. "I believe he made a mockery of both."
During his inaugural speech on Monday, Obama said Americans shouldn't "mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."
"Absolutes do exist, words do have specific meaning in language and in law," LaPierre countered Tuesday.
"We believe we deserve, and have every right to, the same level of freedom that our government leaders keep for themselves, and the same capabilities and same technologies that criminals use to prey upon us and our families," he continued. "That means we believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semi-automatic technology."
The NRA leader added, "No government gave them to us and no government can take them away."
LaPierre's comments come on the heels of the last week's unveiling of a set of legislative proposals and executive actions by Obama and Vice President Joe Biden formulated in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.
Last month, during a press conference to address the shootings in Newtown, LaPierre made the controversial suggestion that a "good guy with a gun" should be stationed at every school in the country. Two days later on "Meet the Press," LaPierre blasted critics of his plan.
“If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," LaPierre said. “I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it."
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plans to introduce legislation later this week to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons.
The "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013," which centers on banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices—actions backed by President Obama—will be introduced during a press conference on Thursday morning in Washington. Feinstein will be joined by a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, law enforcement officers, and representatives from gun safety and gun violence groups, among others.
- Politics & Government