Newtown, Conn. (CBS CONNECTICUT) — National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre issued a challenge to the national news media, saying that coverage of gun control is skewed against gun owners’ Constitutional rights.
In a Sunday interview with “Meet the Press,” LaPierre responded to Vice President Joe Biden’s comments this weekend on the failure by Congress to pass gun control legislation.
“Not one single thing being proposed infringes upon anyone’s Second Amendment Constitutional right. This is not about anybody’s Constitutional right to own a weapon,” Biden said at a weekend press conference. “Tell me how it violates anyone’s Constitutional right to be limited to a clip that holds 10 rounds instead of 30?”
LaPierre briefly responded to Biden’s comments, saying, the proposed federal legislation “is an abridgement of the Second Amendment,” but he quickly fired back at Gregory about the state of national media coverage on gun control.
“Let me hold up a mirror right now to the whole national news media and the White House,” said LaPierre — citing new 2012 data from Syracuse University, and adding that out of 90 jurisdictions, Chicago ranks “dead last.”
“Why doesn’t NBC News start with ‘shocking news on Chicago, of all the jurisdictions in the country, Chicago is dead last in the enforcement of federal gun laws’?” asked LaPierre. “Why don’t the national press corps, when they’re sitting down there with Jay Carney and the president and the vice president, why don’t they say, ‘Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drugs dealers with guns?’”
LaPierre also added that criminal firearm use should be prosecuted.
“I’m talking about drug dealers, gangs and felons that are walking around with guns on the street, and you don’t do anything?” asked LaPierre. “You bear some responsibility.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that legislation would likely be debated in his chamber next month that will include expanded federal background checks, tougher laws and stiffer sentences for gun trafficking and increased school safety grants. A ban on assault-style weapons was dropped from the bill, fearing it would sink the broader bill. But Reid has said that he would allow the ban to be voted on separately as an amendment.
President Barack Obama called for a vote on the assault weapons ban in his radio and Internet address Saturday.
Proposed federal legislation for gun control took center stage in American politics and media in the months since Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn.