NRA chief says he's received hundreds of death threats

NRA President David Keene says he has become a common target for people who are demanding stricter gun-control laws.

The president of the National Rifle Association says he’s received hundreds of death threats since the beginning of the year as public debate intensifies over ways to curb gun violence in the wake of last month's Newtown, Conn., school shootings.

Speaking Thursday on the conservative talk-radio show "Istook Live," David Keene accused President Barack Obama and the left of trying to "demonize and blame those who disagree with him."

Asked about his reaction to a recently released online video game called "Bullet to the Head of the NRA," in which players are encouraged to shoot NRA officials, Keene said it was "illustrative" of how he has become a favorite target of proponents of stricter gun-control laws.

"I’ve gotten hundreds of death threats. My son, who has the same name as I do, had somebody post a death threat on his Facebook page. And when he and my daughter came back — I don’t know how you do all this stuff, I’m not a computer geek — and said, 'You know this isn’t to him, he is our dad, and we think he’s a pretty good guy,' they said: 'Well now that we know you’re his children, we wish you’d been killed, because then he’d feel bad about it."

Asked by host Ernest Istook, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, how recent the threats were, Keene replied: "Since the first of the year."

The NRA president also criticized the new anti-gun violence proposals introduced by Obama on Wednesday.

Among other things, Obama called on Congress to require background checks on all prospective gun buyers and to ban sales of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"These are just pieces of legislation that are designed to get at legitimate gun owners, sportsmen, competitive shooters and the like. They have little to do with stopping violent crimes," Keene said.

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Earlier this week, the NRA released a hard-hitting ad calling Obama an "elitist hypocrite" because his children are protected by armed guards, while he opposes an NRA proposal to station armed guards in every school in America.

The nation’s largest gun-rights group this week also released a new shooting game for mobile devices called "NRA: Practice Range." Critics immediately derided it as tasteless and said it promoted gun violence. The NRA on Tuesday changed the game’s age recommendation from 4 years old and up to at least 12 years and added a warning that it depicts "intense" and "realistic" violence, according to The Associated Press.
 

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