The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 3, 2013

NRA official: 'Culture war' more than gun rights

(Continued)

Rob Heagy, a former parole officer from San Francisco, agreed with Porter's description of a culture war.

"It is a cultural fight on those ten guarantees," referencing the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. "Mr. Obama said he wasn't going after our guns. As soon as the Connecticut thing happened, he came after our guns."

NRA Executive Director Chris Cox bragged about the organization's efforts to defeat the gun control bill.

"It was great to see the president throw a temper tantrum in the Rose Garden," Cox said.

Gun control advocates were determined to have a presence outside the convention hall. Across the street Friday, the No More Names vigil read the names of gun violence victims since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Gun control advocates also planned a petition drive to support expanded background checks and a Saturday demonstration outside the convention hall.

Erica Lafferty, whose mother, Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung, was killed by the gunman, was outside the building and said she hoped to talk to as many NRA members as she could.

"I am not against people owning guns. I am asking for safe and responsible gun ownership and gun laws. I don't understand where the problem is with background checks," Lafferty said.

Inside the convention hall, visitors strolled past acres of displays of rifles, pistols, swords and hunting gear. Under Texas law, attendees could conceal and carry weapons with a permit.

Debbie and Daniel Ferris of Gun Barrel City, Texas, also agreed with Porter's assessment of a culture war.

"It's about fighting tyranny," said Debbie Ferris, who has been an NRA member for five years.

"We don't like to be pushed around," said Daniel Ferris, 35 and a lifetime member. "We are free Americans."

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