On this weekend’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union,” National Rifle Association President David Keene said President Barack Obama and Democrats won’t be able to pass a new assault weapons ban, and urged them to focus instead on improving mental health care and other domestic security efforts.
“If you are going to solve the problem, there are two things that you have to do. You have to get to the root of the problem, and in virtually all of these cases, that’s a mental health problem. We have a mental health system that has collapsed.” (RELATED VIDEO: Biden to recommend universal background checks, federal database on gun-related deaths)
“And secondly, you have to provide security, because you can’t always find somebody who is about to do something,” he continued. “Now, we are not experts on mental health. And we are really not experts on security — though we have set up independently somebody who is to look into that — but we do know a little bit about guns and firearms. And we know what works and what doesn’t work. And we are not willing to compromise on people’s rights when there is no evidence that doing so is going to accomplish the purpose.”
Alternative solutions, such as a new assault weapons ban, are not politically viable, Keene said. (RELATED: Missouri Lt. Gov. Kinder says ‘assault weapons’ is term misused by ‘suburban soccer moms‘)
“I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress,” he said.
He also rejected the possibility of clip or magazine restrictions.
“I don’t think ultimately they are going to get that either, because I don’t think you can make a case that you can really regulate it, because these things cost virtually nothing,” Keene added.
Keene told Crowley that lawmakers and policymakers — not the NRA or conservative gun-rights advocates — are driving up gun purchases.
“The two people who were selling so-called assault rifles are Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein and President Obama, not us,” Keene said. “They are the ones that are scaring American gun owners. It isn’t the NRA.”