Editor’s note: The following is a statement from Wayne LaPierre, the EVP and CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA):
Recently we watched in horror as two unspeakable tragedies unfolded in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Like all Americans, we at the NRA extend our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families, and we salute the courage of our law enforcement officials and first responders.
But there’s nothing about an insane criminal committing a horrible act that should lead to the government taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. That will only make us less safe.
Yet, that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now. A highly-orchestrated effort to disarm American citizens unlike anything we’ve ever seen in this country.
It’s an effort to destroy the NRA. To defame our millions of members and tens of millions of supporters. An effort that’s fueled by billionaires and a multi-billion dollar media machine that couldn’t care less about fighting crime. Their fight is against you, your guns, and your freedom.
And that’s exactly why the NRA will always stand and fight and never give in. Because we can’t make this country safe – we can’t make our country a better place by slamming the door on the Constitution and the Second Amendment.
The way to make this country safe is to slam the door on violent criminals. Like NRA members have been demanding for the past forty years. And make no mistake. No organization in America has done more to fight violent crime than the NRA.
We’ve demanded hard time for hard crime.
We’ve fought for full prosecution of gun criminals. No plea bargaining. And no parole.
We’ve demanded full enforcement of federal gun laws, already on the books, to take armed drug dealers and criminal gang members off our city streets.
And we’ve repeatedly called for our background check system to be fixed – to stop criminals and those who’ve been adjudicated mentally ill from buying guns.
But we will not allow anti-gun politicians and elitist billionaires to jump on the back of a horrible tragedy and blame good people for an act of pure evil. We will always defend our right to defend ourselves. And no one is going to take that away on my watch.
No one is going to take that away as long as NRA stands and fights for freedom. Freedom-loving Americans are still the majority in this country. And if we stand up, if we fight – we win.
Let’s stand together now. Let’s make this country a better, safer place.
And let’s fight to make sure no madman or billionaire or elitist politician ever takes away our God-given right to protect our lives, our homes, and the people we love.