Boxer: NRA Is ‘Overrated’

By Patrick Burke | December 19, 2012 | 1:35 PM EST

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

( – Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called the National Rifle Association (NRA) “overrated” and claimed they mischaracterize gun control advocates on Capitol Hill such as herself.

When asked at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday if she was concerned about opposition to gun control legislation from the NRA, Boxer responded, “I’ve had 11 straight victories. Senator [Dianne] Feinstein has many. The NRA has always gone against us big time every time, big time every time, and we manage to win fairly comfortably in most of our races.

“And I think that they’re overrated. And I think their biggest nightmare is that the people wake up as they seem to have, and now understand that no one that I know of in the United States Senate believes that people shouldn’t have a right to a firearm to defend themselves and their families. No one,” she said.

Boxer added that the NRA wrongfully claims gun control advocates such as herself and Feinstein (D-Calif.) want to take away the right of people to own firearms.

“They’re trying to paint people like me or Senator Feinstein or others as wanting to take away everybody’s’ rightful ability to carry a weapon or to keep a weapon safely in their home,” Boxer said. “So I think their biggest nightmare is the truth coming out, and I think this is bringing the truth to light.”

Known as a major gun rights lobbyist in the U.S., the NRA issued a statement Tuesday in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown,” the statement said.

“Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting,” the NRA said. “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

The NRA is scheduled to hold a news conference on Friday. Boxer hopes the group will support what she views as “common sense” gun control initiatives.

“I’m praying that they [NRA] will come up with some solutions that deal with getting the weapons of war off the streets and the high capacity clips off the streets and maybe supporting school safety and maybe supporting increased mental health for people who need it and maybe closing the gun show loophole,” Boxer said.

“I think all of those things are common sense. I don’t know what they’re going to say. I think tomorrow is a big day in terms of seeing whether or not this changed them,” she said.