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Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks during a news conference in Washington December 21, 2012. NRA, the powerful U.S. gun rights lobby, went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have ar
Official NRA crazy person Wayne LaPierre gave a speech intended as "response" this afternoon to President Obama's State of the Union address, apparently because every single conservative sub-group needs to announce a separate response. For LaPierre, who yesterday had quite the little unhinged screed about how all Americans need to arm themselves for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, this outing qualified as almost banal. The overall theme: Only the NRA cares about protecting our children. While President Obama and all of those nasty people in Congress are planning to take good, upstanding guns away from their rightful owners, only the NRA cares enough to put one metric poopload of guns in or around every American school, so those children will be safe from all the guns that are out there now. (Oh, and pay no attention to all the shootings we already have, because that's just a natural part of the process. We're just gonna ignore all that.)

As far as specific responses from LaPierre, there weren't many. The scandalousness of Obama's current plot was repeatedly alluded to, with LaPierre saying Obama, in his address, "displayed a level of public deception that simply cannot be ignored"—oh, and there was a reminder from LaPierre that LaPierre was at the forefront of warning all y'all that this would happen, and that if Obama was reelected he would look for some pretense to "set about dismantling" the Second Amendment.

Supporting armed guards in every school was a big talking point. It seems what what really sets the NRA off, however, is the thought of universal background checks. LaPierre was most outraged at the thought of Obama "registering every gun owner"—even as he repeated his demand for a federal database of mentally ill people, because apparently you can have a federal registry of every American's mental health status and that's just fine, and you can register every driver in the country and that's also fine, but registering gun owners is right-the-hell-out, put-up-the-barricades talk, thank you very much.

No, while LaPierre did devote some words to warning of possible weapons bans, the government coming for the semi-automatic weapons and "the magazines we need to defend ourselves and our families," the condemnation of background checks for "sane, decent, law abiding citizens" ranked much higher. That may be an intriguing clue as to where the NRA sees Congress as vulnerable to passing actual law—on the background check front. They may feel that the assault weapons ban is less imminent, or easier to water down, or that it requires a more nuanced, planned fight. Or Wayne LaPierre might be working entirely off his own visions of Obama rounding up gun owners and putting them into FEMA camps so that the Latin American zombie drug cartels can have the run of the country; it's never quite clear, with that guy.

Tightening background checks, however, remains a popular idea among most members of the non-conspiracy-theory-addled public. The NRA may not get their way on this one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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