News / USA

NRA Leaders Step Up Calls to Fight Restrictions on Gun Ownership

NRA Leaders Step Up Calls to Fight Restrictions on Gun Ownershipi
X
May 05, 2013 9:35 PM
More than 70,000 people attended the annual convention of the National Rifle Association, or NRA in Houston this weekend to conduct organizational business, listen to speeches and get a look at some of the latest products offered by gun manufacturers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports, resistance to recent proposals to limit access to guns was the focus of the event.

NRA Leaders Step Up Calls to Fight Restrictions on Gun Ownership

Greg Flakus
More than 70,000 people attended the annual convention of the National Rifle Association, or NRA in Houston this weekend to conduct organizational business, listen to speeches and get a look at some of the latest products offered by gun manufacturers. Resistance to recent proposals to limit access to guns was the focus of the event.

NRA members came from all over the country to rally for the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is under threat, according to NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre. "We will never back away from our resolve to defend our rights and the rights of all law-abiding gun owners," he said.

This convention comes only weeks after the U.S. Congress rejected a gun control bill prompted by last December's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 small children and six adults.

NRA pressure on lawmakers played a role in defeating the bill, and so did Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. “If you are a violent criminal, we should come down on you like a ton of bricks and, at the same time, we should safeguard the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens," he said.

Most of the more than 70,000 people here for this convention support the NRA leadership in opposing almost all forms of gun control.

Steve, who came here from the northwestern U.S. state of Washington, fears that expanded background checks could eventually lead to confiscation of all firearms. "They want to register all the guns. They want to know who's got them and in every country that has done that, what has been the natural outcome," he said.

Steve also opposes a ban on so-called assault weapons, which include semi-automatic rifles popular with target shooters. "By demonizing these guns, they are scaring the population into accepting giving up more of their freedom," he said.

But even here there are people like Ramona who favor enhanced background checks. "I think it is essential to have background checks. I don't think there is any harm in doing them and I think it will help with the enforcement," she said.

Recent polls have shown many of the NRA's five million members think like Ramona.

That some of them might help promote measures to reduce gun violence is the hope of Erica Lafferty, daughter of a Newtown victim.

"The most recent polling I have seen showed that 74 percent of NRA members do support the universal background checks; it seems like their leadership is way more right," she said.

Part of the problem is a deep cultural divide between Americans who learn at an early age to use guns for hunting and target practice, and those who see the proliferation of guns as a threat to their children and society at large.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid