The National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre speaks during an event organized by the Tennessee Conservative Political Action Committee at MeadowView Friday. Ned Jilton II photo.
KINGSPORT — National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took aim Friday night at Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s recent comment that people in small-town America are “bitter about their lives and that’s why they cling to their guns and their religion.”
LaPierre, speaking to about 200 people at an event organized by the Tennessee Conservative Political Action Committee, claimed Obama’s remark was a peek into how “the elites” think about people.
“It was and sounded like an arrogant statement from an out-of-touch elitist,” LaPierre said. “Senator Obama opposes people having guns in their homes for self-defense while he and his family enjoy armed professional security around the clock.”
The other Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is just as bad as Obama, but “she’s been bad a whole lot longer,” LaPierre charged.
“No matter how much she tries to tell her story right now ... Hillary Clinton was the most anti-gun first lady in the most anti-Second Amendment administration in American history,” said LaPierre.
Both Obama and Clinton refused to sign friend-of-the-court papers asking the U.S. Supreme Court to support the Second Amendment in its consideration of the ban on firearms in Washington, D.C., LaPierre said.
“They weren’t friends of the court then, and they are enemies of the Second Amendment now,” LaPierre said of Obama and Clinton. “I believe a candidate’s position on firearms freedom is the single most reliable predictor of their conviction about all of our other American freedoms.”
LaPierre was also critical of New Orleans law enforcement officials confiscating legal firearms out of homes after Hurricane Katrina hit.
“Never again let anyone tell you that honest citizens don’t need firearms because the government is always going to be there to protect you,” he told the crowd at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center.
He added the United Nations has declared “there is no human right” to self-defense and that any nation condoning gun rights is committing a human rights violation.
LaPierre said the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the 30-year Washington, D.C., gun ban could be a milestone for the Second Amendment which states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
“I think the Supreme Court will be on our side,” LaPierre predicted.
LaPierre stressed that as a result of the NRA’s efforts, 40 states have right-to-carry arms permits.
“Our Second Amendment says what it means and means what it says,” he said.
U.S. Rep. David Davis, who spoke before LaPierre, said that even with the gun ban there’s a murder every 50 hours in Washington, D.C.
“That tells me that gun bans don’t work,” said Davis, R-1st District.
Both LaPierre and Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey of Blountville were also critical of Tennessee Democratic House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s anti-gun positions.
Ramsey said Naifeh, D-Covington, has been instrumental in killing bills to allow gun permit holders to carry firearms into state parks and places where alcohol is sold.
Legislation to keep newspapers from publishing the names of gun permit holders, said Ramsey, also died in the Democrat-controlled House.
“There’s no public good that comes from publishing that in the newspaper,” Ramsey pointed out.
There are now about 200,000 gun permit holders in Tennessee, Ramsey noted.
“You know how much trouble we’ve had with them — zero,” said Ramsey.