Senator Accuses Anti-Gun Group of Exploiting Fort Hood Massacre

An anti-gun group is using the shooting rampage Thursday at Fort Hood as an example in its campaign against pending gun rights legislation, drawing accusations of exploitation from a Republican senator.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is lashing out against the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, accusing the group of exploiting the deadly rampage to oppose his gun lobby backed bill -- which seeks to protect veterans' rights to gun ownership.

In a statement issued Thursday, the group's president, Paul Helmke, said in light of what happened yesterday - a violent attack by an emotionally unstable soldier - it is even clearer that the proposal being pushed by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina should be rejected."

"America has seen an epidemic of horrific gun violence at churches and synagogues, workplaces, health clubs, high schools, universities, police stations and now Army bases. This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places. Enough is enough," said Helmke.

Burr was quick to blast Helmke's remarks, saying, "In this time of personal and national tragedy when most people’s prayers and thoughts are rightfully with the families and friends affected by the tragedy at Fort Hood, one can only be amazed that Mr. Helmke would use such an event to try to advance his personal agenda.

"It is a shame that this process has gotten to a point where some feel that they can exploit the senseless murder of American soldiers in the quest to secure personal triumph," Burr said.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was founded by former White House press secretary James Brady, who was shot and permanently paralyzed during a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Burr, the ranking Republican on the veterans committee, has been a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights.