NRA chief: 'Government failed' in Tucson attacks

The leader of the National Rifle Association (NRA) made a vocal defense of gunowners' rights in the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and CEO, lashed out at supporters of tighter gun control laws in the wake of the attack on Giffords in Tucson, and said that existing gun regulations had only failed.

"If Tucson told us anything, it told us this: government failed," LaPierre said in a speech Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Democrats had clamored for some stricter gun laws -- from reinstating the assault weapons ban, to new regulations on ammunition and magazine sizes -- in the wake of the attack. The White House has said that President Obama was likely to propose new regulations, though the president made no mention of those proposals in his State of the Union address.

"When they tell you that a government ban on certain guns or magazines will stop violence, don't you buy it, not for one second," LaPierre said.

The NRA chief also lashed out at the media, who he said had only publicized the alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, in the case.

"The national media wasted no time in making a celebrity out of the deranged killer," he said. "His photo was all over the place, that monster."

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