US gun lobby endorses Mitt Romney

2012-10-05 07:35

Fishersville, Virginia - The National Rifle Association, the biggest gun rights lobby in the United States, announced on Thursday its endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney for president.

"I am proud to have their support for my candidacy, and when I am president, I will do all in my power to defend and protect the right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms," Romney said in a statement.

NRA Political Victory Fund chair Chris Cox said it was important to have "a friend of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage in the White House," referring to the part of the US Constitution which enshrines the right to bear arms.

"Today we live in an America... led by a president who mocks our values, belittles our faith, and is threatened by our freedom," said Cox in Fishersville, Virginia, where Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, a congressman and avid hunter, attended a rally.

"So on behalf of the four million men and women of the National Rifle Association, representing tens of millions of NRA supporters, it is my honor to announce the NRA's endorsement of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan," Cox said in a statement.

‘Where the race could be won or lost’

Obama incurred the wrath of conservatives and gun owners in April 2008 when, as a Democratic presidential candidate, he told donors in liberal California that amid economic decline, some people "get bitter (and) cling to guns or religion".

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre spoke of the tight Obama-Romney race playing out in Virginia, "the front line of this election."

"This is where the race could be won or lost," he said. "This is where gun owners must make that difference."

Gun control has not emerged as a campaign issue this year despite tragedies including the 2011 shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a political event in Arizona in which six people died, and the shooting at a Colorado cinema during a screening of a Batman movie in July that left 12 people dead.

A survivor of the Colorado shooting made an advertisement this week calling for the candidates to finally address gun violence, as has New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but the issue has received scant attention on the campaign trail.

Previous statement

The NRA's support of Romney is somewhat controversial in that Romney once favoured a toughening of some gun laws. In 2004, while governor of Massachusetts, he signed off on a permanent assault weapons ban for the state.

"These guns are not made for recreation or self-defence," Romney said at a July 1 2004 signing ceremony, according to non-profit group Media Matters, which posted a copy of a state press release on its website.

"They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people," Romney said.

Romney's 2012 political platform, however, states that "Mitt does not believe that the United States needs additional laws that restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms".

  • elewies - 2012-10-05 08:37

    Surprise surprise

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-05 09:55

      Actually no. The NRA has always been a Republican dominated organisation. They were instrumental in keeping the two Bushes in power.

  • classwar.trotsky - 2012-10-05 08:40

    Surprise surprise. Redneck gun owners backing a fascist capitalist gun freak.

  • Johannes - 2012-10-05 08:57

    Well there it is, the first clear sign that Mr. Romney has won the election. The American economy is also busy spinning out of control. We often say how dumb Americans are but we are sitting in an economical position much worse than theirs (besides having as much debt as them). We do nothing...

  • dean.strong.395 - 2012-10-05 09:14

    Gun ownership was relevant when people lived in isolated areas and needed to protect themselves against the Brits, Civil wars, outlaws, at a time when the govt couldn't. It is no longer applicable

      dean.strong.395 - 2012-10-05 09:40

      though in SA some can claim more justfication for gun ownership especially on farms, but it shouldnt be the case in America

      whatda.fuqbro - 2012-10-05 10:25

      Criminals couldn't care less about whether owning firearms is legal or not. With that said, gun controls only take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens and empowers criminals.

      craig.lott.589 - 2012-10-05 11:10

      and for hunting? ... trouble is that if you ban guns only the baddies end up carrying them (look at SA) and then the rest of us are sitting ducks ,,,, now how is that for stupid

      dean.strong.395 - 2012-10-05 12:48

      Ultimately a free gun society is the aim. First aim is to get the law enforcement in order, and since that is not up to scratch, people want to arm themselves. However arming ones self should not be an emotive thing but with reason, with the main aim of wanting a progressive society. So when the time comes to give up the guns, we do so freely.

  • Shaun Daly - 2012-10-05 09:23

    As long as violent crime exists, people have a right to own firearms for their self-defense. My right to defend myself > your false sense of security.

  • nom.deplume.3557 - 2012-10-05 12:04

    How many people would it take to eat the same number of cupcakes as there are bullets produced by the American Military Industrial Complex? This passive acceptance of war in society is just intolerable. People are starving in America, and Romney wants to spend another 1 Trillion dollars on military to 'protect them'. Wars in Afganistan, Iraq, and Pakistan cost at least $ 3.7 Trillion. The cost to End World Hunger is $30 Billion a year

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