Gun sales skyrocketed at the end of 2012 after the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. The FBI conductedmore than 2 million criminal background checks ahead of gun purchases in December, according to the National Sports Shooting Association, representing a 58.6 percent increase over December 2011.
The National Rifle Association usually encourages Americans to purchase guns in the aftermath of an attack by spreading rumors of Democrats’ supposed efforts to restrict gun ownership. For instance, the NRA’s CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre once warned that Obama would confiscate “our firearms” and undermine America’s greatness. But on CNN’s State Of The Union Sunday, NRA President David Keene dismissed charges that the organization’s fearmongering is responsible for the spike in sales fand instead blamed President Obama and gun safety proponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA):
CANDY CROWLEY (HOST): The accusation is that you are ginning up this conversation because it helps gun sales.
KEENE: The two people who are selling so-called assault rifles are Sen. Feinstein and President Obama, not us. They’re the ones that are scaring American gun owners. It isn’t the NRA.
While Keene may think American gun owners fear stronger gun laws, like the proposals that Vice President Biden’s gun violence prevention task force will likely release this week, even NRA members overwhelmingly support common-sense measures.
Keene dismissed policies that would limit the availability of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, two proposals that are likely to be included in the recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden’s gun task force. “We don’t think any of those things work,” he said. “You should absolutely be able to compromise on things that accomplish the purpose. Our objection to those things is that they interfere with people’s rights without doing anything to solve the problem.” Biden is expected to send his report to the president on Tuesday.