NRA Criticizes Obama's Reference to 'Absolutism'

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A top National Rifle Association official has criticized President Barack Obama's reference to absolutism in his inauguration speech.

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre spoke Tuesday evening in Reno, Nev., telling a hunting and wildlife conservation group that the 2nd Amendment gives Americans the absolute right to own a firearm, but the president wants to redefine that freedom.

LaPierre said the NRA believes people have the right to defend themselves and their families with semi-automatic firearms. He said Americans weren't given guns by the government "and no government can take them away."

Obama said in his speech Monday that Americans shouldn't "mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."

The remark was interpreted by the NRA as a reference to the organization's steadfast opposition to any new gun regulations.