The letter detailing the NRA’s opposition to Obama’s plans was circulated at the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference in Las Vegas.
The show, known in the trade as “the SHOT show,” drew large crowds and several people gathered around the NRA’s booth to watch Obama’s speech on Wednesday, reports The Washington Post.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, wrote in the fundraising letter sent to the group’s four million members:
“I warned you this day was coming and now it’s here. It’s not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!”
The letter written by LaPierre reflects the NRA’s continuing stance against the Obama administration and gun control, which was thrust even more into the national spotlight after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last month.
The group has also called the president an “elitist hypocrite” for having the Secret Service protect his two daughters at their school while he is “skeptical” about allowing armed guards in all schools.
The SHOT show, which the NRA attended this week, draws over 60,000 people in the form of gun enthusiasts, dealers, and manufacturers. They attend the show to view the latest weapons and accoutrements. The convention floor shows off more than 12 miles of firearms displays, most of which are military-style assault rifles. Many booths also display high-capacity clips, like the ones the administration is seeking to ban.
The Huffington Post notes that the NRA added of the Obama administration’s gun proposal:
“Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”
The group continue on, vowing to “continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”
While the NRA’s response to Obama’s press conference on Wednesday did not mention the president or the administration directly, it did say that the organization looks “forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset –- our children.”
The tone is also similar to Obama’s, placing the emphasis on protecting children. But behind the scenes of the organization’s letters and press releases, the NRA is gearing up to fight the president’s proposals.
LaPierre even went to far as to accuse the administration on Tuesday of telling “a dirty lie” when it invited representatives of the organization to participate in talks last month. LaPierre wrote in the letter, “Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms.”