The national spotlight regarding gun control is once again shining on Tennessee, as the National Rifle Association's top official prepares to speak in Nashville.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to go before members of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center Thursday afternoon. The gathering is part of the 37th Annual Convention and Sport Show for the NWTF.
LaPierre's remarks will be in response to Tuesday's State of the Union by President Barack Obama.
In the address, the president spoke of gun control as “common sense reform.”
The access to and use of firearms has garnered the attention of federal, state and local leaders, as well as voters, following the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Nearly 30 people were killed, including 20 children.
Since then, gun sales have skyrocketed, while anti-gun supporters have launched campaigns for tighter gun laws.
President Obama is calling for new legislation that would include mandatory background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and a limit on ammunition magazines, among other changes.
“If you want to vote no, that's your choice,” Mr. Obama said to lawmakers. “But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than one thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.”
Neither the NRA nor LaPierre have issued any statements in direct response to the address. However, on Wednesday, LaPierre posted an editorial on the news Web site The Daily Caller.
In the posting, he claimed gun supporters will “Stand And Fight” to protect themselves in the wake of hurricanes, tornadoes, riots, terrorists, gangs, and lone criminals.
“It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival. It's responsible behavior, and it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that,” LaPierre wrote.
He criticized President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the media, and other alleged gun-ban lobbies for demonizing guns and gun owners.
The editorial also laid out the NRA's “four-year communications and resistance movement,” which encourages gun supporters to fight anti-gun legislation and support the NRA through funding, memberships, and active, responsible use of firearms.
Reporter Heather Jensen is following this story and will have a live report on News 2 at 4 and 5 p.m.