The National Rifle Association on Tuesday fired back at President Barack Obama, calling his series of executive actions on gun control a distraction from his inability to keep the American people safe from terrorist attacks.
"Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation's pressing problems," said executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox.
Cox also slammed Obama for "emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts," and argued that Obama's proposals would have done nothing to stop the recent acts of terrorism in San Bernardino, Calif., or the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 first-graders lost their lives.
In the statement, Cox said law-abiding gun owners were being used as "scapegoats" and argued that the proposed executive actions "are ripe for abuse by the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of its contempt for the Second Amendment."
Obama, who at one point wiped tears from his cheeks during a Tuesday morning press conference announcing his plans for tighter gun control, accused the gun lobby of taking Congress hostage. He insisted it was possible to uphold the Second Amendment while doing something to tackle the frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. that he said had become "the new normal."
"This is not a plot to take away everybody's guns," Obama said in a ceremony in the East Room. "You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm. The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules."
Cox vowed that the "NRA will continue to fight to protect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under our Constitution."