ASHINGTON — Unlike Donald Trump, top leaders of the National Rifle Association said Sunday they don’t believe patrons at a nightclub where 49 people were killed last weekend should have been armed for self-protection.
“I don’t think you should have firearms where people are drinking,” said NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Those comments seemed to conflict with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s statement Saturday suggesting that the clubgoers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando should have been armed when Omar Mateen opened fire with an assault weapon at 2 a.m.
“If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist, or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom! boom! You know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks,” Trump said in Arizona.
But the NRA’s chief lobbyist said Trump was just stating a fact — not a policy proposal. “No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms. That defies commonsense. It also defies the law,” Chris Cox said on ABC’s This Week.
“It’s not what we’re talking about here,” he said. “What Donald Trump has said is what the American people know is commonsense, that if somebody had been there to stop this faster, fewer people would have died. That’s not controversial. That’s common sense.”
The NRA did seem to part ways with Trump on the issue of prohibiting those on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. The NRA opposes the so-called “no-fly, no-buy” legislation, saying too many innocent people end up on the watch list. Trump said he’s urging the NRA to reexamine its position. The NRA has endorsed Trump for president, saying rival Hillary Clinton would nominate anti-gun justices to the Supreme Court.