Obama Blasts NRA Conspiracy Theories, NRA Declines To Engage Him


President Obama confronted his critics both in the gun lobby and his own party last night as he made the case for stiffening gun controls in a televised town hall, Politico reports. Publicly parrying with opponents in a way he has not done since his re-election campaign three years ago, Obama took questions from gun rights supporters while calling out the gun lobby for trafficking in misinformation and conspiracy theories. “What I've said consistently throughout my presidency is, I respect the Second Amendment, I respect the right to bear arms, I respect people who want to have guns for self-protection, for hunting.” Obama said. He added, “Everybody agrees that it makes sense to keep guns out of the hands of people who want to do others harm — or do themselves harm.”

Obama criticized the National Rifle Association for declining CNN’s invitation to the event, hosted by anchor Anderson Cooper, saying they’d been invited “repeatedly” to speak to the administration. “Since this is the reason they exist, you'd think they'd be ready to have a debate with the president,” Obama said, noting that their headquarters is just a few miles away from the event site at Virginia’s George Mason University. The NRA’s Chris Cox told Fox News he has nothing to discuss with Obama. “This president can talk about background checks all day long, but that's nothing more than a distraction that he can't keep us safe, and he's supported every gun control proposal that's ever been made,” Cox said “What are we gonna talk about — basketball? I'm not really interested in going over and talking to the president who doesn't have a basic level of respect or understanding of the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners in this country.” Cox said the NRA didn't participate in the town hall because the organization was offered one pre-screened question.

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