NRA's LaPierre: We Won't "Accept Blame" for Criminals

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 29 2013 2:20 PM

The NRA Says It Won't "Accept Blame" for Criminals Who Use Guns

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The NRA's Wayne LaPierre calls on Congress to pass a law putting armed police officers in every school in America during a news conference at the Willard Hotel Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The gun control/safety debate will again take center stage in Washington tomorrow when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a high-profile hearing on the topic. There are currently five witnesses slated to testify, but it's two men in particular that are likely to attract the most media attention: Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive.

Everyone pretty much knew what each would likely say shortly after the hearing was scheduled. But now we know exactly what LaPierre will tell lawmakers during his opening statements. Via Politico:

"Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals," LaPierre is scheduled to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee. "Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families," he added.
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You can check out the full prepared remarks here. LaPierre, of course, has made similar comments in the past. ("The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said in response to the Newtown school massacre.) The more interesting portion of the hearing will no doubt come during the Q-and-A session with the lawmakers, particularly when Sen. Dianne Feinstein gets her turn to question LaPierre.

Kelly, meanwhile, finds himself in a slightly more unique position. It's hard to imagine that any NRA-friendly lawmakers on the panel will be eager to be seen taking an overly aggressive posture toward the former astronaut, who has served as a de facto spokesman for his wife since she was shot two years ago.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.