NRA Chief Cites Boston Bombing in Push Against Gun Control

Wayne LaPierre: Many 'Wished They Had a Gun'

Outrage: National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre cited the Boston Marathon bombings to bolster his fiery attack on gun control laws.
getty images
Outrage: National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre cited the Boston Marathon bombings to bolster his fiery attack on gun control laws.

By Reuters

Published May 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Multi Page

Heavy-handed gun laws and a culture disapproving of gun ownership put citizens in a vulnerable position during the door-to-door search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last month, NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said on Saturday.

“How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?” LaPierre asked in a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston.

“Residents were imprisoned behind the locked doors of their own home, a terrorist with bombs and guns just outside,” LaPierre said, referring to the police search in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

Reiterating a theme from earlier speakers, he said law-abiding gun owners were under attack through government moves to control gun ownership, despite the need for self-protection.

“Lying in wait right now is a terrorist, a deranged school shooter, a kidnapper, a rapist, a murderer, waiting and planning and plotting in every community across our country, lying in wait right now,” LaPierre said.

“No amount of political schemes, congressional legislation, presidential commissions or media round tables will ever change that inevitable reality.”

The convention is the first national gathering of members since last year’s high-profile shooting sprees at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

It also comes less than a month after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, a step favored by U.S. President Barack Obama and most Americans.

An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.

A CBS News/New York Times poll released on Wednesday showed that 88 percent support background checks for all gun buyers and that 59 percent are disappointed or angry about the Senate vote.

Several demonstrations in support of stricter gun control took place across the street from the convention center.

Speakers lambasted Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others.

LaPierre announced that the NRA had reached 5 million members, increasing by 1 million since December after the Newtown shooting.

NRA First Vice President Jim Porter told members that the background-check proposal would have made criminals out of honest gun owners.

“Selling a gun to a good neighbor, just like you would do today, becomes a felony, and the government takes your guns,” he said.

Porter, who is expected to be voted in as the NRA’s next president by board members on Monday, highlighted the role of the rank-and-file in the fierce political battle over guns.

“That family, our family encompasses tens of millions of Americans. We are the vanguard of those citizens. The gun lobby - that’s you,” he said. “With our liberties at stake, we trump the billionaires, the media and the politicians every time.”

‘THAT’S A BABY’

On Friday and Saturday, a group gathered outside the center to read aloud the names of people who had died from gun violence in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre in December.

Austin resident Heather Ross said on Saturday morning that she had been there since 7 a.m. on Friday.

“It’s really intense to read these names because a few of them on there are zero or 1 years old, and that’s hard. That’s a baby,” Ross said.

“Then when you read one that’s your age, or your sibling’s age, or you read all the names (of people who died) on your mother’s birthday - that’s very impactful and you go through it a little bit slower.”

A group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered signatures and messages on large signs set to be delivered to U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas.

They held a photo session on Saturday with some former Harlem Globetrotters and former NBA players and broadcaster Steve “Snapper” Jones to bring attention to children who were shot and killed.

Another group, Texans for Smart Gun Regulation, organized a protest in front of the convention center Saturday afternoon.

Occupy the NRA, organized by Aaron Black, an unofficial spokesman for last year’s Occupy Wall Street protesters, held a news conference on Saturday morning to “say yes to guns and no to the NRA.”

“I’m tired of watching our democracy being hijacked by these guys,” Black said. “It’s time for people to stand in front of this issue and not just send email petitions around.”

NRA organizers expected 70,000 people at the three-day convention, which ends on Sunday. Saturday’s events also included a sold-out “Stand Up and Fight Rally” featuring conservative TV and radio personality Glenn Beck.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.