WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association on Tuesday urged members to attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, where the topic will be "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?"
In an email sent from the NRA's political arm, the nation's largest gun lobby told its 4 million-plus members, "You can bet the anti-gunners will be trying to mobilize their supporters to pack the hearing room, so we need to make sure the room is filled with supporters of the Second Amendment!"
The rallying call to attend the hearing at the U.S. Capitol came less than a day after gun rights advocates heckled the father of a boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, as the man testified before a Connecticut state General Assembly task force hearing. The hecklers, some wearing hats and shirts with NRA logos, yelled "the Second Amendment!" when Neil Heslin questioned why the state permitted certain assault-style weapons to be sold.
The subject of Tuesday's email was "URGENT: Please Attend U.S. Senate Gun Control Hearing Tomorrow! Show Your Support for The Second Amendment and NRA!"
The NRA email urges supporters to arrive at least two hours early, around 8:00 a.m., if they hope to get a seat in the hearing room, which is likely to be filled to capacity long before the hearing begins at 10:00 a.m.
The NRA also instructs members to respect the regulations governing congressional hearings. "Do not bring any signs, placards or literature, and please be sure to dress appropriately for an event being held on Capitol Hill. All attendees with go through airport-like security," the email reads.
NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to testify at the hearing, and the NRA on Tuesday released his opening statement. LaPierre's remarks are surprisingly reserved given some of his other recent commentary on gun-control proposals.
Also testifying Wednesday will be astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) suffered a near-fatal gunshot wound in Tucson in 2011. Kelly and Giffords recently launched a political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, aimed at directly challenging the NRA's political clout on Capitol Hill through campaign contributions to gun-control advocates.
See the entire appeal, below:
URGENT: Please Attend U.S. Senate Gun Control Hearing Tomorrow! Show Your Support for The Second Amendment and NRA!
Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled: “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre will be among those testifying. You can bet the anti-gunners will be trying to mobilize their supporters to pack the hearing room so we need to make sure the room is filled with supporters of the Second Amendment!
The hearing will be held in the Hart Senate Office Building in Room 216, and is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Plan to arrive by 8:00am, as we expect this hearing to be well attended.
Your help is needed! Please make plans to attend this hearing and arrive two hours early prior to the scheduled start to increase the chances that you will be able to get a seat. Do not bring any signs, placards or literature, and please be sure to dress appropriately for an event being held on Capitol Hill. All attendees with go through airport-like security.