Wayne LaPierre\’s Testimony To Senate Judiciary Committee Gun Violence Hearing

by Categorized: Newtown Date:

The NRA has posted Wayne LaPierre\’s prepared testimony, which he will give to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning.

LaPierre opens his testimony by saying the way to address gun violence is teaching \”safe and responsible gun ownership,\” and mentions that his organization knows how to do so:

The title of today’s hearing is \”What should America do about gun violence?\” We believe the answer to that question is to be honest about what works – and what doesn’t work. Teaching safe and responsible gun ownership works – and the NRA has a long and proud history of teaching it.

He mentions Newtown in a push for school security:

\”We joined the nation in sorrow over the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.  There is nothing more precious than our children. We have no more sacred duty than to protect our children and keep them safe.  That’s why we asked former Congressman and Undersecretary of Homeland Security, Asa Hutchison, to bring in every expert available to develop a model School Shield Program – one that can be individually tailored to make our schools as safe as possible. \”

LaPierre says that the mental health system is broken and needs to be fixed, but that mental heath records should not be included in the NICS background system. He also says universal background checks \”will never be universal–because criminals will never submit to them.\”

Read the full testimony here.


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10 thoughts on “Wayne LaPierre\’s Testimony To Senate Judiciary Committee Gun Violence Hearing

  1. Jacques Bailhje

    Is Mr. La Pierre of the numerous court decisions that hold there is no Constitutional prohibition to restrict firearms that are, in the words of Justice Scalia, “dangerous” or “uncommon” (District of Ciolumbia v Heller (2008)?


    District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
    “Miller stands only for the proposition that the Second Amendment right, whatever its nature, extends only to certain types of weapons. It is particularly wrongheaded to read Miller for more than what it said, because the case did not even purport to be a thorough examination of the Second Amendment.”

    Printz v. United States (1997) (concurring opinion of Thomas)
    Our most recent treatment of the Second Amendment occurred in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), in which we reversed the District Court’s invalidation of the National Firearms Act, enacted in 1934. In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen’s right to possess a sawed off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be “ordinary military equipment” that could “contribute to the common defense.” Id., at 178. The Court did not, however, attempt to define, or otherwise construe, the substantive right protected by the Second Amendment.

    Lewis v. United States (1980); Footnote 8
    (the Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”); United States v. Three Winchester 30-30 Caliber Lever Action Carbines, 504 F.2d 1288, 1290, n. 5 (CA7 1974); United States v. Johnson, 497 F.2d 548 (CA4 1974); Cody v. United States, 460 F.2d 34 (CA8), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1010 (1972) (the latter three cases holding, respectively, that 1202 (a) (1), 922 (g), and 922 (a) (6) do not violate the Second Amendment).

    Adams v. Williams (1972); (dissenting opinion of Douglas, joined by Marshall)
    The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

    “The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179. Critics say that proposals like this water down the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment, as noted, was designed to keep alive the militia.

    Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964); (concurring opinion of Black; Footnote 11)
    … cases in which the commerce power has been used to advance other ends not entirely commercial: e. g., …United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (National Firearms Act);

    Konigsberg v. State Bar (1961); Footnote 10
    That view, which of course cannot be reconciled with the law relating to libel, slander, misrepresentation, obscenity, perjury, false advertising, solicitation of crime, complicity by encouragement, conspiracy, and the like, is said to be compelled by the fact that the commands of the First Amendment are stated in unqualified terms: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble . . . .” But as Mr. Justice Holmes once said: “[T]he provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic living institutions transplanted from English soil. Their significance is vital not formal; it is to be gathered not simply by taking the words and a dictionary, but by considering their origin and the line of their growth.” Gompers v. United States, 233 U.S. 604, 610. In this connection also compare the equally unqualified command of the Second Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” And see United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174.

    1. johngaltwhereru

      Interesting that you would skip the part where Scalia writes:

      It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

      Further, you are really stretching the “dangerous and uncommon” statement if you are applying it to AR-15’s and similar weapons. All guns are dangerous when shot at a human. Based on the text of his entire opinion, he was clearly speaking about tanks and bombs, and not small arms.

      Additionally, there is nothing uncommon about AR-15’s. There are currently about 2.5 million AR-15’s owned by civilians in the US. You would have to redefine “uncommon” if you were to apply this term to this type of weapon.

      But thank you for bringing facts and citing sources. That is a rarity for the liberals who pen columns for this paper and the liberals who comment on those columns.

    1. Connecticut is Dying Too

      But you’re interested enough to comment anyway, right? Such is the dilemma of the party of tolerance.

  2. Kim

    Here are parts of LaPierre’s speech NOT included in this article:

    “Our “Eddie Eagle” children’s safety program has taught over 25 million young children that if they see a gun, they should do four things: “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” As a result of this and other private sector programs, fatal firearm accidents are at the lowest levels in more than 100 years”

    “Semi-automatic firearms have been around for over 100 years. They are among the most popular guns made for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. Despite this fact, Congress banned the manufacture and sale of hundreds of semi-automatic firearms and magazines from 1994 to 2004. Independent studies, including a study from the Clinton Justice Department, proved that ban had no impact on lowering crime.”

    “But there are things that can be done and we ask you to join with us. The NRA is made up of millions of Americans who support what works … the immediate protection for all – not just some – of our school children; swift, certain prosecution of criminals with guns; and fixing our broken mental health system.

    We love our families and our country. We believe in our freedom. We’re the millions of Americans from all walks of life who take responsibility for our own safety and protection as a God-given, fundamental right.”

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