National Rifle Assn. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre lobbed a scathing critique at President Obama's second inaugural address Tuesday night...LaPierre's speech, delivered at the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, targeted one line in particular from Obama's Monday address: the president's declaration that "we cannot mistake absolutism for principle."
"Obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word -- just another word for extremism," LaPierre said.
He later added, "Mr. President, you might think calling us absolutists is a clever way of name-calling without using names. But if that is absolutist, then we are as absolutist as our Founding Fathers and the framers of our United States Constitution. And we are proud of it."
LaPierre reiterated what he and other NRA officials have said publicly in recent weeks: that major changes to gun laws, such as those proposed by Obama last week, would face strenuous opposition from the gun rights lobby. He denounced stricter background checks as burdensome to law-abiding gun owners, particularly those who want to pass along family heirlooms.
The White House has proposed requiring background checks on all gun sales, including those by private sellers. But in a summary of its proposals, the administration suggested certain "common-sense" exceptions to the rule, such as transfers between family members...
...Obama's inaugural speech had only one brief allusion to gun violence: "Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm."
But it was the president's call to reject absolutism that attracted the bulk of LaPierre's ire.
["We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said at one point in his speech on Monday.]
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