The U.S. Senate will hold its first formal hearing on gun control since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, and there's the potential for some heated showdowns between the participants. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from five witnesses, including National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who can expect some aggressive challenges from the committee's most liberal members, like Dianne Feinstein, who has already introduced her own gun control proposals.
To get the jump on the action, the NRA already released the full text of LaPierre's prepared testimony, which doesn't show any deviations from his previous stances. His response to the question of "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?"—the official title of the hearing—is that America should "throw an immediate blanket of security around our children." He also repeats criticisms of the enforcement of current laws and rejects the call for universal background checks, saying, "let's be honest — background checks will never be 'universal' — because criminals will never submit to them."
While his opening remarks are less critical of gun control advocates than his previous statements have been, he's likely to get pushed on his attacks of President Obama and the Justice Department, and maybe even that notorious ad that called the president a hypocrite for using armed Secret Service protection for his family (which his own chief lobbyist later called "ill advised"). Those watching the hearing (we'll be covering it with live updates right here) will have to wait and see if LaPierre's more combative side emerges, or if he will keep his cool.