Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

NRA chief slams anti-gun "elites" after Florida school massacre

Melinda Barton | 23 February, 2018, 01:33

Mr LaPierre blamed lax mental health checks and also, indirectly, socialists for the school shooting. Trump has said making schools safer will be a top priority for the administration.

At the White House, Trump told local and state school officials he had been in touch with the NRA about his ideas to stem gun violence in schools and said "there's a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done".

In a tweet on Thursday the president praised the NRA's leadership and others working at the organization as "Great People and Great American Patriots". Just minutes before LaPierre spoke, President Donald Trump tweeted that he supports the NRA and the work LaPierre is doing.

LaPierre said the NRA will provide support and guidance on how schools can protect themselves free of charge.

The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles, including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15.

The NRA is a key sponsor of the conference, and until now largely quiet about the Parkland, Fl., high school shooting.

The Feb. 14 rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the latest in a series of deadly shootings at United States schools and has spurred unprecedented youth-led protests in cities across the country.

The American Conservative Union's gathering featured speeches by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen - the niece of Marine Le Pen, who lost France's presidential election to Emmanuel Macron a year ago. He urged people to come forward with an "American solution" to "confront and end this evil".

"Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi and more, cheered on by the national media, eager to blame the NRA and call for even more government control", LaPierre said.

The National Rifle Association spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, took some heat at a town-hall event on gun violence Wednesday night, which featured impassioned dialogue between students, parents, educators, and politicians.

LaPierre's speech comes just a day after Florida Republican Sen.

"You should be anxious and you should be frightened" about the potential of another Democratic takeover of the House, Senate and White House", he said. "At the same time, we will continue to oppose gun control measures that only serve to punish law-abiding citizens, these are not mutually exclusive or unachievable goals", the organization said in a statement on Wednesday. "But the NRA, the NRA does care", LaPierre said on stage. "Crying white mothers are ratings gold".

Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in CT, told Trump that his wife, Jackie, a teacher, would say 'school teachers have more than enough responsibilities right now than to have to have the awesome responsibility of lethal force to take a life.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told the crowd that there are three things that need to be done to "keep America safe".

Last year, the Air Force said it had not submitted records that could have stopped the shooter who killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, from buying a gun.

The conservative Breitbart website also ran a story expressing concern about the background checks, saying they would lead to a national gun registry.