Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, on Tuesday offered a response to President Barack Obama's second inaugural address.
LaPierre blasted Obama at the 56th Annual Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, saying his remark that "we cannot mistake absolutism for principle" was an attempt to turn common sense upside down.
"I urge our President to use caution when attacking clearly defined absolutes in favor of his principles," LaPierre said. "Mr. President, just because you wish words meant something other than what they mean, you don't have the right to define them any way to want, because when words can mean anything they mean nothing. When absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone's graffiti and our rights and our freedoms are debased."
He said the Bill of Rights, which contains the NRA's cherished Second Amendment, was such an absolute. LaPierre alleged that Obama was seeking to "redefine freedom."
"We believe we deserve, and have every right to, the same level of freedom that our government leaders keep for themselves, and the same capabilities and same technologies that criminals use to prey upon us and our families," he concluded. "That means we believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semi-automatic firearm technology."
In addition to a number of executive actions, Obama has called on Congress to renew the assault weapons ban, restrict high-capacity magazines, and require universal background checks for gun sales. The move angered the NRA, which has argued the best response to mass shootings was "a good guy with a gun."
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