(CNN) — As the country descends into yet another gun debate, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre slammed Democrats for their reaction to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and warned of government overreach extending far beyond the limiting of firearms.

“What they want is more restrictions on the law-abiding,” LaPierre said on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. “They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security.”

Despite the fact that Republicans control both chambers in Congress and the White House and President Donald Trump suggested Thursday morning he’s open to gun reforms the NRA opposes, LaPierre spent a significant portion of his remarks warning of expanding socialist political ideas and he called out rising-star Democratic lawmakers — many of them potential 2020 candidates — by name. He criticized independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and other high-profile Democrats, whom he accused of backing European style socialism as well creating new victimized groups and hurling insults at conservatives.

“Socialism is a movement that loves a smear,” he said.

s090114440 NRAs CEO Slams Democrats, Warns Against Pushing Socialism

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre slammed congressional Democrats and the media for its reaction to mass shooting and the calls for gun control. (CNN)

Staring out into the audience, LaPierre told onlookers “you should be anxious and you should be frightened” about the potential of another Democratic takeover of the House, Senate and White House.

“If they seize power … our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever,” he said. “The first to go will be the Second Amendment.”

In the aftermath of a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, the country has found itself once again balancing the scope of the Second Amendment with its desire to protect kids in schools. LaPierre has been a deeply polarizing figure as an outspoken and consistent advocate for gun rights, who has previously been among the public figures to voice the NRA’s position in the wake of mass shootings.

Once again LaPierre repeated his calls for schools to increase security, even arming schoolteachers, a controversial proposal that even some Republicans have rejected.

LaPierre said the NRA will provide support and guidance on how schools can protect themselves free of charge. He argued that was “more” than the Democratic Party or news organizations were doing.

“We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods and a safe country,” LaPierre said, and warned that “evil walks among us.”

He also returned to an oft-used NRA slogan, one LaPierre invoked following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 students and six adults dead,”To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”

LaPierre’s speech comes just a day after Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who has an A+ rating from the NRA, announced he was opposed to arming teachers and was in favor of raising the age limit from 18 to 21 on individuals purchasing semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15. Rubio also told the audience he was reconsidering his past opposition to limiting the size of large gun magazines.

“I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle, and I will support a law that takes that right away,” Rubio said, making the comments during a CNN town hall in Florida.

Limiting the size of gun magazines and raising the age limit on buying rifles, including guns like AR-15 style rifles, are both positions that the NRA opposes.

The NRA was represented at the town hall Wednesday night by the organization’s national spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, who faced sharply critical comments from Parkland shooting survivors and family members of shooting victims.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump hosted students and parents at the White House for a raw, televised listening session. By Thursday morning, Trump tweeted he was committed to pushing for comprehensive background checks and limiting the age of those buying assault-style weapons.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!”

A cornerstone of LaPierre’s speech centered around the fact that the NRA says they’ve worked to try and fix the country’s background check system by encouraging lawmakers to fight to incentivize states to enter records into the National Criminal Background Checks system.

“When you hear politicians who won’t fix the broken system talk about expanding it, don’t buy it,” LaPierre said in a pre-recorded video.

The comment came after Trump suggested on Twitter he wanted to overhaul the background checks system.

LaPierre didn’t directly address Trump’s tweets or positions in his speech.

Just minutes before LaPierre was scheduled to speak, however, Trump defended the NRA.

“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.

(The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)

Comments (2)
  1. “We’re not going to hold our breath, and we’re not going to risk our children’s lives” waiting for the U.S. Congress to tighten gun laws. That’s right, the Supreme Court is now looking the other way so that states can enact their own gun laws.

  2. gkaplanmd says:

    Compare Mortality rate of USA with nations who have strict gun control per 100,000:
    USA 10.2, France 2.8, Canada 1.9, England 0.23, Japan 0.01
    They have success, we have the dead instead.

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