NRA Harshly Criticizes White House After Meeting

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 10 2013 5:38 PM

NRA “Disappointed,” Says Biden Meeting Had “Agenda To Attack the Second Amendment”

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The NRA says it "will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen"

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

The National Rifle Association didn’t waste time making nice, releasing a statement Thursday afternoon blasting the White House shortly after it emerged from talks with Vice President Joe Biden. The group said members of Biden's task force on gun violence are only focusing on ways to restrict gun ownership. “We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment,” the NRA said. Although the task force led by Biden insisted it wouldn’t prejudge any proposal, it “spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners—honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans.”

So far all this increased debate about gun control seems to be helping the NRA. The group told Politico’s Mike Allen it has gained more than 100,000 new paid members over the past 18 days. “Our goal is to get to 5 million before this debate is over.” Some had been optimistic, insisting that NRA's willingness to sit down with the White House should be seen as a sign of progress. Today’s meeting marked the first time the group has been involved in any discussions about restricting gun rights in almost two decades, points out Politico.

Read the full NRA statement after the jump:

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today's White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.
We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be "prejudged," this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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