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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More