US gun lobby says firm `no` to gun control
Washington: Apparently unmoved by a national outcry over the Sandy Hook school massacre, the most powerful gun lobby in US has ruled out backing new proposed restraints on firearms in the country and instead has pushed for placing armed guards in schools.
Terming moves by President Barack Obama and sections of US Congress to frame strict new laws to control guns as "phony", Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), said Sunday that planned legislation to outlaw military-style assault weapons would not work.
He repeated the NRA`s call to place armed guards in schools and argued that prosecuting criminals and fixing the mental health system, rather than gun control, were the solutions to America`s mass shooting epidemic.
A disturbed 20-year-old Adam Lanza on December 14 barged into Sandy Hook elementary and shot dead 20 six-and seven-year old children and six adults with a military-style assault rifle before taking his own life with a handgun as police closed in.
The bloodshed triggered a national debate on gun laws.
In the aftermath of the horrific massacre, Obama said he would support a new bill to ban assault rifles and put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a panel looking at a wide range of other measures, from school security to mental health.
Echoing support for gun control, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein has pledged to table a bill on January 3 that would ban at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, and would curb the transfer, importation and the possession of such arms.
In a point blank "NO" to the proposed law LaPierre told NBC, "I think that is a phony piece of legislation, and I do not believe it will pass for this reason. It is all built on lies that have been found out."
"We don`t think it works and we`re not going to support it," he said.
The NRA claimed that earlier shootings in 1999 at Columbine High School, when 12 kids and a teacher were gunned down by two senior students, occurred despite similar legislation being in force at the time.
"I don`t think it will (work). I keep saying it, and you just won`t accept it: it`s not going to work, it hasn`t worked. Dianne Feinstein had her (previous) ban and Columbine occurred," LaPierre said.
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