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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid