The National Rifle Association cast its opposition to Obama’s plans as “the fight of the century” in a letter circulated at the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, known in the trade as “the SHOT show,” in Las Vegas.
“I warned you this day was coming and now it’s here,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s fiery executive vice president, wrote in a fund-raising letter to the group’s 4 million members. “It’s not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!”
The letter reflected the NRA’s tough, no-holds-barred campaign against tighter restrictions on weapons and echoed a sharp video released by the group that calls Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for having the Secret Service protect his two daughters at school while saying that he is “skeptical” about armed guards in all schools.
The SHOT show draws more than 60,000 gun enthusiasts, dealers and manufacturers to see the latest weapons and accoutrements. The convention floor contains 12 miles of firearms displays, mostly military-style assault rifles, and many booths display the kinds of high-capacity clips the administration wants to ban.
On Wednesday, the brass from the NRA and other gun-advocacy groups spent the day in closed-door sessions planning a response to Obama’s proposals, according to people close to the groups who spoke on condition their names not be used in describing internal deliberations.
LaPierre accused Vice President Biden of lying when he said there would be an open discussion before the administration developed its plan to restrict access to certain weapons and clips.
“The NRA sat in on a White House meeting that was sold to the public as an ‘open discussion’ about how to improve school safety.” LaPierre wrote. “But that was a dirty lie. They didn’t listen to gun owners’ concerns…they didn’t consider any real solutions on how we can keep our kids safe. Instead Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms.”