National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told gun owners Tuesday that President Obama "doesn't understand you'' and wants a national registry of firearms in order to tax or confiscate the weapons.
"He doesn't understand you. He doesn't agree with the freedoms all of you cherish,'' LaPierre said at an evening gathering of a hunting and conservation foundation supporters in Reno. His dinner speech was aired on the NRA's website and in part by MSNBC.
LaPierre, also chief executive officer of the gun-rights lobby group, offered what he said was a response to Obama's inauguration speech a day earlier, when the newly re-elected president said, "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.''
"Obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word, just another word for extremism,'' LaPierre said. "It's a way of redefining words so that common sense is turned upside down,'' he said.
He ridiculed the notion that legal limits on high-capacity magazines of ammunition "or bans on hundred-year-old firearm technology .... will somehow make us safer.''
LaPierre said that Obama "wants you to believe that putting the federal government right in the middle of every firearms transaction will somehow make us all safer.''
"He wants to put every private, personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government, and he wants to keep all those names in a massive federal registry,'' LaPierre said. He added that there could be only two reasons for such a move: "To either tax them or take them.''
The NRA leader spoke at the annual Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards at a casino in Reno. The NRA encouraged coverage of the remarks and made a television feed available.