(CNSNews.com) – The American people, including the 5 million members of the National Rifle Administration, are grieving over the carnage in Las Vegas, said Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.
“But the truth is, there were NRA members at that concert. There were NRA members shot at that concert, and NRA members murdered at that concert. So the American people are looking for answers, and so are we.”
Cox said the gunman himself was not an NRA member: “And that’s the one thing that is consistent, is they blame the one organization whose members don’t commit the crimes.”
He spoke to Fox News's Tucker Carlson Thursday night.
After every mass shooting, the left, including Democrats on Capitol Hill, hold up the NRA’s defense of constitutionally guaranteed gun rights as the reason for the violence. They demand additional gun control, and it’s the same story this time.
But Cox on Thursday noted that the Las Vegas gunman passed a background check and bought his guns legally. In California, where semi-automatic weapons are banned, it didn’t stop the massacre in San Bernardino. In Europe, where gun ownership is generally prohibited, the terror attack in Paris was done with fully automatic weapons and hand grenades, Cox said.
“The consequence is, good, honest people are left defenseless. The National Rifle Association exists to make sure that doesn't happen in America.”
“So what is the solution?” Carlson asked him.
“Well, the solution is to make sure that we address the underlying problems. This distraction of gun control does nothing to keep people safe. Gun control is a failed policy.
“We have tried it, and it is safe to say that it doesn't keep people safe. So do we need to have a broader conversation about activities that actually will? Do we need of a broader conversation about Hollywood?” Cox asked.
“You know, the NRA spends millions of dollars every year teaching safe and responsible gun ownership, and Hollywood makes billions promoting and glorifying gun violence. And then the same hypocrites come in and suggest that we’re to blame for this. So there needs to be an honest conversation about solutions that work, and one of those solutions is to make sure the Second Amendment is supported, protected, and that law-abiding good people have the ability to use and carry a gun for self-defense.”
In a statement issued Thursday, the NRA called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review its ruling on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly and are currently legal. The Las Vegas gunman had equipped 12 of the rifles found in his hotel room with bump stocks.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” said the NRA statement. The NRA has never before endorsed gun-related “regulations.”
Cox noted that it President Obama’s ATF, in 2010, that approved the sale of bump stocks.
But he said the NRA agrees the ATF needs to take another look at technology that allows a semiautomatic rifle to function as a fully automatic rifle.
“But we didn't talk about banning anything,” Cox told Carlson. “We talked about ATF going back and reviewing whether these are in compliance with federal law, and if not, let's look at working together and figuring out a way to address this moving forward.
“At the same time, Congress needs to do their job and make sure that they’re going with meaningful solutions to these underlying problems, including respecting the Second Amendment, and we're going to be there making sure we're protecting the Second Amendment.”
Cox called for a “constructive conversation.”
“But part of that conversation has to be not only respecting the rights of law-abiding people, acknowledging that law-abiding people aren’t the ones out there causing problems, and making sure that law-abiding people have the right to defend themselves. That’s what the Second Amendment is all about and that’s what we’re here for.”
The NRA’s full statement on bump stocks reads as follows:
"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world. In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations. In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence."