NRA head Wayne LaPierre offered another fiery critique of Congress's actions on gun control Friday, suggesting universal background checks and a federal gun registry are only meant to tax guns and confiscate them.
LaPierre got one of his biggest applause lines at the Conservative Political Action Conference, though, when he turned to the matter of self-defense, suggesting that a gun is the best defense against a "violent rapist."
"The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun," he said.
LaPierre said universal background checks, which passed on a party-line vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee in recent days, are a placebo that won't make any difference because criminals won't submit to them.
"In the end, there are only two reasons for federal government to create that federal registry of gun owners -- to tax them, or to take them," LaPierre said. "Are they insane? What's the point of registering lawful gun owners anyways? So newspapers can print those names for gangs and criminals to access?"
Several newspapers have run the names of registered gun owners in their coverage areas -- drawing rebukes from privacy and gun-rights advocates.
He also said medical privacy laws would prevent the mentally ill from showing up during background checks.
"With all the HIPAA laws and patient privacy issues, the monsters at Tucson, Aurora and Newtown -- those names will never be in the system," he said.
Pierre drew standing ovations from the crowd at several points during his address, criticizing the media, Vice President Biden and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the gun-control advocate who has spearheaded the assault weapons ban, which also passed out of the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
LaPierre says the NRA isn't going to back down any time soon.
"We will not be demonized, and we will not be silent," he said.