5:31 pm Dec. 21, 2012
WASHINGTON—Sen. Chuck Schumer had hoped to hear something more constructive from Wayne LaPierre, when the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association broke the organization's silence this morning with a combative address, one week after the tragic school shooting in Newton, Connecticut.
"I was very unpleasantly surprised by the NRA proposal," Schumer said this afternoon, after a press conference celebrating a key vote on the bill to provide disaster relief money in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Schumer helped steer the last big package of gun control measures through the House 20 years ago, making him a perpetual target for gun rights advocates. But he's called for a compromise in the week since the Newtown killings, asking liberals to acknowledge the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and conservatives to acknowledge that it's not without its limits.
"I've made an effort," Schumer said. "You made have seen an article i wrote in the Washington Post yesterday that each side can come to the middle.
"And unfortunately Wayne LaPierre did not seem to represent—I know lots of gun owners in New York, and they understand that there can be some reasonable limits on guns, but they also believe strongly there's a right to bear arms," he said.
"And when the left says there's no right to bear arms, they're wrong. When the right says there are no limitations on that right to bear arms, they're wrong. WE should come together in the middle."
Schumer is scheduled to appear on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, after an exclusive interview with LaPierre.