President Obama is trying to take away Americans’ fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution, National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said Tuesday night.
“They are God-given freedoms. They belong to us in the United States of America as our birthright. No government gave them to us and no government can ever take them away,” LaPierre said in his first response to the president’s inaugural address Monday.
Speaking at the 56th annual Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Award dinner in Reno, Nev., LaPierre said Obama’s speech “made a mockery” of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
The weight of LaPierre’s speech was an attack on the president’s remark that “we cannot mistake absolutism for principles.”
He said the right to bear arms sanctioned by the Second Amendment is an absolute freedom not open to reinterpretation.
In his speech Monday, Obama said that “Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way,” implying that the constitutional provisions need to be interpreted to suit today’s changed world.
LaPierre countered Tuesday night, saying that “absolutes do exist. Words do have specific meaning in language and in law.”
LaPierre also repeatedly harked back to the theme of a controversial NRA ad that aired last week calling Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for allowing his daughters at a private school to be protected by armed guards while opposing gun-carrying security forces for schools around the country.
The president wants to allow criminals and elitists to have the freedom of weapons, but denies it to the rest of Americans, LaPierre said.
“We believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semi-automatic firearms technology. We believe that if neither the criminal nor the political class and their bodyguards and their security people are limited by magazine capacity, we should not be limited in our capacity either," he said.