Monday, February 4, 2013

A Really Bad Week for the NRA and Wayne LaPierre (Not that there's anything wrong with that)


After the murder of children in Newtown, Connecticut, the NRA is under-fire. And momentum from the progressive gun-control side is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, the more NRA leader Wayne LaPierre pushes his crazy apocalyptic fearmongering and hatred for President Obama, the more foolish and out-of-touch he seems. This only invigorates the Left, giving us hope that the NRA's power is waning, and LaPierre is losing the battle.

Please, proceed, Mr. LaPierre.

Last week in a Senate Hearing on gun control measures, LaPierre seemed to blame everything in society for mass shootings except guns. Then he pooh-pooh'd background checks:

My problem with background checks is you’re never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. All the law-abiding people . . . you'll create an enormous federal bureaucracy, unfunded, hitting all the little people in the country who will have to go through it, pay the fees, pay the taxes. We don’t even prosecute anybody right now that goes through the system we have. So we're going to make all those law-abiding people go through the system, and then we aren't going to prosecute any of the bad guys if they do catch one. None of it makes any sense in the real world.
~ Wayne LaPierre of the NRA

Mr. LaPierre, that's the point! Criminals won't go to purchase the guns, because there will be a background check! We'll stop them from the original purchase. You missed that point completely! And I think it's basic. (applause in the room)
~ Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois

More Quotes from the Gun Hearing Here:
Snark Amendment: Wayne LaPierre ~ Kids Need a Security Blanket of Guards and Guns

On Saturday there was the sad story of America's top military sniper, Chris Kyle, getting shot On a Gun Range in Texas. Yes, on a gun range, where everyone is probably a member of the NRA, everyone was armed and everyone is generally knowledgeable about guns. Another veteran suffering from PTSD shot Kyle and an acquaintance, and even though they were in a place built for the sole purpose of shooting at targets, the two men didn't have a chance to fire a single shot in return. There couldn't be a better example of how stupid it would be to "arm everybody," even teachers in schools. Because guess what? Plenty of armed people have died in the wars as well. Ask any soldier. Guns won't stop bullets.

Read the whole story with all the quotes here:
Snark Amendment: American Sniper Chris Kyle Shot to Death on Texas Gun Range

On ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Progressive economist Paul Krugman tore into the NRA and LaPierre:

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: But what really strikes me -- I don't know how this plays, you know, what will happen. What strikes me is we've actually gotten a glimpse into the mindset, though, of the pro-gun people and we've seen certainly Wayne LaPierre and some of these others. It's bizarre. They have this vision that we're living in a "Mad Max" movie and that nothing can be done about it, that America cannot manage unless everybody's prepared to shoot intruders, that -- the idea that we have a police forces that provides public safety is somehow totally impractical, despite the fact that, you know, that is, in fact, the way we live.
So I think that the terms of the debate have shifted. Now the craziness of the extreme pro-gun lobby has been revealed, and that has got to move the debate and got to move the legislation at least to some degree.

During the Super Bowl the snti-gun group Demand a Plan started by NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg ran an advertisement with a video clip of Wayne LaPierre from a few years back saying he favored universal background checks. It's very effective because at one time the NRA made sense and that's what society wants, so LaPierre and his minions are totally out-of-touch with mainstream America.

Demand a Plan on Twitter

And the worst thing that happened to Mr. LaPierre was when he appeared on Fox News, usually a safe haven for gun-nuts. But not this time - it became his worst nightmare. Usually pro-conservative interviewer Chris Wallace raked the NRA spokesman over hot burning coals in a sudden fit of real journalism. Because basically LaPierre was lying about Obama "taking all our guns" - just absurd fearmongering. There is no universal ban on guns and there probably won't ever be. He also tried to pin all violence on "gangs" in Chicago and Washington D.C. when obviously the hometown Newtown shooter wasn't a gang member and neither was the man who shot Chris Kyle on the gun range. Guns are the key - not the class designation of the shooter.

WALLACE: The murder today, because one of the things that concerns people, it seems every day we talk about a shooting. Oftentimes, mass shooting.


WALLACE: Day after day after day. And the frustration is you don't think that the answering -- that limiting guns has anything to do with that. And I understand there is some things you think will work and we'll talk about that.

The murder yesterday of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, this was a man who wrote "American Sniper". This is a man credited with the largest number of confirmed kills of any American soldier ever. He and another man gunned down at a Texas gun range.

LAPIERRE: If you want to stop violence in this country, here's what you do, OK? First, if you want to protect or kids, you put armed security in schools. I'm not talking about arming teachers, I'm talking about police officers, and I'm talking about certified professional security people. There is not a parent that sends off their kid to school that wants those kids to be unprotected. Just in Atlanta this past week, armed security stopped a shooting in an Atlanta school. Stopped it, right? Stopped it.

Second --

WALLACE: Here's the problem -- but here's the problem, respectfully, sir. If you -- if you arm people at schools, a lot of these people aren't just motivated to kill people in schools, they want to kill people.

And, forgive me, and, if it's -- school is too tough, they'll go to a movie theater. Like James Holmes. They'll go to a shopping center. They'll go to a gun range and kill Chris Kyle.


Complete Transcript from Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace

WALLACE: All right. You oppose gun control as a form of government tyranny. But in the Senate hearings, this week, you offered a different reason for it. Let's take a look.



LAPIERRE: What people all over the country fear today, is being abandoned by their government. If a tornado hits, if a hurricane hits, if a riot occurs, that they're going to be out there alone, and the only way they will protect themselves, in the cold, in the dark, when they are vulnerable, is with a firearm.


WALLACE: Do you really think that that is a more serious threat, marauding bands of Americans during a hurricane or a tornado, do you think that's a more serious threat to the average American than the steady drum beat of gun violence and sometimes mass gun violence?


WALLACE: A couple of weeks ago, the NRA started running an ad that created a great deal of controversy. Here's a clip.


NARRATOR: Are the president's kids more important than yours? Why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?


WALLACE: Mr. LaPierre, do you regret putting up that ad?

LAPIERRE: The point of ad was this -- it wasn't picking on the president's kids. The president not --

WALLACE: It mentions them.

LAPIERRE: The president's kids are safe and we are thankful for it. The point of that ad --

WALLACE: They also face a threat that most children do not face.

LAPIERRE: Tell that to people in Newtown. Tell that to people --

WALLACE: Do you really think the president's children are the same kind of target as every school child in America? That's ridiculous and you know it, sir.

LAPIERRE: You know, unfortunately, I think there are parents all over the school that think -- all over the country that think their kids are entitled to the same amount of protection when they go to school, and they want --

WALLACE: So, they should have Secret Service?

LAPIERRE: No, but what they should have is police officers or certified armed security in those schools to keep people safe. If something happens, the police -- despite all the good intentions, is 15 to 20 minutes. It's too long. It's not going to help those kids.

Certified armed security in schools, just like --

WALLACE: But that's not going to protect them in the shopping mall, in the movie theater, on the streets.

LAPIERRE: Which is why we need to do everything else I'm talking about. Let's enforce the federal gun laws which we did not do now against gangs with guns, felons with guns -- my gosh, in the shadow of where we are sitting now, gangs are out there in Washington, D.C. You can buy drugs. You can buy guns. They are trafficking in 13-year-old girls --


WALLACE: I understand there are lots of problems out there and this isn't going to solve all of them.

But you can't say, that -- first of all, the gangs don't commit the mass murders, Adam Lanza wasn't a member of a gang. James Holmes was not a member of the gang.

You talk -- one of the points of the ads that I want to ask you about, is you made it a class argument, the rich and elites.


WALLACE: They have bodyguards. They have security.

LAPIERRE: Sure. And Mayor Bloomberg has it. Mayor Bloomberg has bodyguards.

WALLACE: I'll tell you who else has security. You do.

LAPIERRE: Sometimes. Yes.

WALLACE: And, you have security. Today you have security.

LAPIERRE: Yes, and you talk about hypocrisy right out in the open, we have had all kinds of threats on me, OK?

WALLACE: Does that make you an elite -- an out of touch elite because you have security?

LAPIERRE: I don't deny anybody the right to security when they need it. What I'm saying, it is ridiculous, Chris, for all the elites and all the powerful and privilege, the titans of industry, to send their kids to school where there's arm security. They have access to semi-automatic technology. They have access --

WALLACE: First of all, I don't know anybody who has -- I don't know anybody elites who sends their kids -- my children went to the same school that the Obama children went to, many years ago, and there were no armed security there.

LAPIERRE: A third of the schools in the country already have armed security.

WALLACE: I understand that, but the idea of an elite class, it's just nonsense, sir.


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