Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, delivered a fiery address to the Conservative Political Action Conference today, saying that guns are not to blame for the shooting rampage in Tuscon — rather, the government is. LaPierre criticized “gun-free zones and anti-self defense laws that protected the safety of no one except the killers,” and said that “by its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government polices are getting us killed, and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence.”
LaPierre also criticized legislation aimed at banning high-capacity magazines like the type used by Tuscon shooter Jared Loughner, saying, “These clowns want to ban magazines. Are you kidding me? But that’s their response to the blizzard of violence and mayhem affecting our nation. One more gun law on top of all of the laws already on the books.” Watch it:
LaPierre’s narrative is absurd on its face. The Safeway parking lot where the shootings occurred was not a gun-free zone, and in fact, one bystander was armed and almost shot the wrong person as he attempted to intervene. Arizona already has some of the most lax gun laws in the nation, and it’s unclear how even more guns would have saved any lives. A much more plausible remedy would be eliminating the magazines Loughner used to fire over 30 shots before reloading.
One of the “clowns” calling for a ban on these magazines is Kelly O’Brien, the fiancee of Gabe Zimmerman, a staffer to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who died in the attack. “The man who killed Gabe and five other people fired 31 shots in 15 seconds. That’s two shots every second,” O’Brien said yesterday. “Ten bullets are more than enough for self-defense, which is why most people own handguns.”