Who among us could look at what happened in Orlando or Dallas and not be moved and frightened? What kind of heartless bastard would look out at a gathered press conference whose purpose is to discuss the violent, painful deaths of twenty children and not express sadness and grief? What kind of person could not only cooly defend his company’s vast profits that have come from the deaths of innocents at said press conference—but adamantly blame everyone else for the blood drenching their hands?
Wayne LaPierre makes his living doing these things. Acting as an “aw shucks”, salt of the Earth guy that just wants to protect Americans’ right to bear arms, LaPierre is instead perhaps this country’s most disingenuous corporate whore—although most whores have more honor than LaPierre, so perhaps I should extend an apology to prostitutes everywhere for throwing such a person in with them.
Among LaPierre’s favorite—and most ridiculous—go-to lines involves bemoaning the fact that those who oppose him (the president, Democrats, a mysterious group he keeps calling “the elites”, presumably all humans who value life) “politicize” the mass shootings that have now sadly become a facet of American life. What’s that Wayne? President Obama was “exploiting tragedy for political gain” when he fought back tears in his Sandy Hook news conference? Or in Oregon? Or once more after Orlando? How about—yet again, these things happen often here you see—in Dallas just last week?
How does one not politicize recurrent murder on a mass scale while in office as the president? Every act a president makes is politicized, and making such a willfully ignorant half-thought a part of any official statement should result in its speaker being chastised—or better yet, laughed at.
Yet Wayne LaPierre is an articulate man who weighs his words carefully—moronic and hurtful to the greater good though they often may be—there is simply no way he believes the tripe he spews year after year. Why then? The answers are as old as recorded human history. Profit and power. Every dollar in LaPierre and the NRA’s extensive bank account is soaked with the blood of Americans. Black, white, hispanic; killed by terrorists, racists, the mentally unwell; 49 revelers in a nightclub, 6 people gathered to hear a bright, young Congresswoman speak, 20 joyous little children. How much was each one of those souls worth? How much does a dollar truly cost? How much is enough?
“We think it is reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone. That means closing the Hinckley loophole so the records of those adjudicated mentally ill are in the system.”
What freedom-hating, Commie-loving liberal hippie who wants to wipe his ass with the Second Amendment said that?
Why it was Wayne LaPierre in 1999 after the Columbine shooting.
Around 40% of gun purchases are made without background checks, a loophole the NRA and LaPierre supported closing in 1999 in the wake of the Columbine massacre. Fast forward to LaPierre’s sickening 2012 speech after the Sandy Hook killings in which good ole Wayne used his forum to talk about things like—I shit you not—violent video games, movies and music videos, and to utter his now infamous line, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (Yep, it’s that easy. We can all go home and stop worrying now. Problem solved… Well, there was a good guy with a gun at the Orlando shooting, and there were several good guys with guns at the Dallas shooting—but Wayne LaPierre is a man unconcerned with things like facts, logic and human life.)
That sort of ludicrous, “everything is black and white” belief system is at the very core of everything LaPierre does to manipulate his one-issue-voting members into further lining his silken blood-soaked pockets. Whether it’s drug dealing gang members, terrorists or the ever-present threat of Democrats “coming for your guns”, the NRA’s lifeblood is the fear and mistrust of its constituents—something LaPierre excels at stoking.
So what changed in the 13 years between the two tragedies? If, as it should have, the Columbine shootings so moved LaPierre that even he found himself making reasonable statements (which had to be a very strange sensation for such a man), how is it possible that the murders of 20 elementary school children left him nonplussed? What possible reason could a “human” have for reacting in such a callous fashion and in a way that is so obviously detrimental to the greater good?
LaPierre didn’t have a reason, he had approximately 11.7 billion of them.
In the last decade and a half, the NRA has become little more than a viciously cold blooded lobbying mouthpiece for the gun industry, with whom they are unequivocally and unrepentantly in bed. Since President Clinton’s assault weapons ban expired in 2005, the gun industry has begun looking more and more to military-bred assault weapons like the ones used in Newtown, Roseburg, Orlando and Dallas (I could keep going). LaPierre’s board members don’t feature any of the Regular Joe gun users the NRA is proud of saying it defends, instead it’s stocked with high ranking members of the new gun industry, one that pushes military-grade weapons that are incredibly proficient at killing several targets at once. As assault weapons flood the streets, Wayne LaPierre and his cronies’ profits soar to a level beyond that of many countries.
The narrative LaPierre and company use has been altered once again in the wake of recent shootings (of which there are so many I had to pause and remember their order multiple times while writing this piece) to focus on the supposed “fact” that terrorists are coming—right now—for each and everyone of us, and we’d all better have big fucking AR15 Bushmaster assault rifles because the government damn sure won’t be of any use. This “the government is the enemy and you should be prepared to kill them… but also we are really, really patriotic” narrative is possibly the NRA’s favorite and most absurd strategy. Sometimes I wonder if these folks aren’t sitting in a shadowy smoke-filled room, slapping each other on the back, chuckling and saying things like, “I can’t believe they keep falling for this!” while lighting cigars with $1,000 dollar bills and drinking bottled water distilled from the tears of orphans.
Is there a very real danger of terrorists? Absolutely. In fact, as LaPierre correctly (no really) put it, ““They’re trying to kill us. They’re not going to attack hard targets… They’re going to go for shopping malls, they’re going to go for churches…” That’s a frightening and astute observation; and one that’s made all the more harrowing by how insanely easily it is for almost anyone can get their hands on a high-powered assault rifle.
“Let’s take America as an example. America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
What patriotic champion of Second Amendment rights said that?
American-born al-Qaeda spokesman and recruiter Adam Gadahn, who spent his last decade on the FBI’s most wanted list before his very timely death in 2015 (a death after which he was rewarded with zero virgins, or any other “reward” for that matter).
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been trying to pass the No Guns For Terrorists Bill for years now, a bill that is so insidiously liberal that it not only seeks to keep guns and terrorists separate, but the basis for this most offensive of bills was first proposed in 2007 by that world-renown institution of hippie liberalism and progressive thought that is the Bush Administration. Why couldn’t even Dubya and The Penguin get the bill passed? Good ole Wayne and the National Rifle Association.
I’m sure President Bush was upset, but he probably saw this coming. Back in 1995 LaPierre made the utterly LaPierre-ish choice to use the tragic Waco standoff in which 86 people lost their lives, and the subsequent Oklahoma City bombings which killed 168 and were inspired by what happened Waco to promote his beliefs (money) and those of his company (money) and called federal agents “jack-booted thugs” who were “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms”, aligning him with “people” like Timothy McVeigh. George H.W. Bush took some umbrage to these statements (as many members did) and promptly resigned his lifetime membership to the NRA. It bears reiterating that this was said after the Oklahoma City bombing, which took place at a federal building filled with federal agents. Classy.
You have to wonder if these Republicans (and the occasional Democrat) who show more allegiance to their gun-and-blood-money-obsessed overlords than to their constituents ever stop and think to themselves, “I just voted against a bill making it harder for suspected terrorists to gain access to guns. Huh. Well what’s a soul for anyway? I did offer my thoughts and prayers after all—and we’re certainly due for saying ‘thoughts and prayers’ to actually help someone in someway one of these days. Plus I’m wearing this shiny American flag lapel pin so we’re probably good.”
Will bills like those recently proposed by Democrats like Feinstein and the president (and usually backed by one or two of the few Republicans courageous enough to stand up to the NRA) completely end the violence? Of course not; that’s a childish and preposterous thought that no reasonable adult would entertain. Could it help save lives? It just might—and doesn’t that make it worthwhile?
As Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) recently said, “The failure to have a piece of legislation that will solve all the problems is not a license to do nothing about it.”
“We need to be clear about who did this,” Paul Ryan told reporters after the Orlando shooting while following LaPierre’s narrative like a good puppy and not acknowledging the type of gun used, “this was another act of war against America by radical Islam.”
Very true. However, if we allow ourselves as a country to continue to follow the path advised by “people” like Wayne LaPierre—whose bloodstained avarice knows no bounds—and politicians like Ryan—whose NRA-funded cowardice seemingly knows no bounds—and the gun industry continues to profit wildly from this war, how is LaPierre not a war profiteer?
The public would be utterly riotous if a politician so obviously shepherded the populace towards the murder of so many innocents for the profits of so few—so why aren’t more people calling for the head (job) of the man who treats so many of our elected officials like his marionettes? No horror of mass execution will ever restore someone like Wayne LaPierre’s conscience; it is up to we the people to demand something better of not just the NRA—but of ourselves—and to the politicians whose ears are filled with the insidious whispers of Wayne LaPierre’s forked tongue, and whose coffers are filled with his bloodsoaked money.