Representative David Price (NC-04) released the following statement this afternoon after a National Rifle Association (NRA) press conference during which NRA President Wayne LaPierre sought to deflect attention from the role that access to assault weapons has in mass shootings. LaPierre instead said members of the media, politicians, video games, gun-free school zones, movies and music videos all contribute to enabling mass shootings, such as the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, last Friday.
"I was hopeful that the NRA, like so many Americans, was going through serious soul-searching and would emerge determined to do its part to help our country prevent mass shootings. Unfortunately, today's strange, angry press conference shows that the organization's leadership believes everything under the sun enables mass shootings except for the actual instruments of destruction, and that the answer is an America armed to the teeth. I doubt these views represent the views of most NRA members, or most gun owners. I know for a fact they don't represent the views of most Americans.
"Easy access to weapons of mass killing plays a critical role in these tragedies. Every society has violent and deranged individuals, but without ready access to the instruments of destruction they are not able to translate their plans to harm others into mass murder. The vast majority of Americans favor a common-sense approach to prevention that includes reinstating the assault weapons ban to keep military-style weapons off our streets, closing the 'gun show loophole' so we can do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted criminals, banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, and shoring up mental health outreach and treatment, especially for troubled young people."