I watched as Wayne LaPierre of the NRA rushed to the microphone to once again, try to defend the rights of the Sandy Hook shooter, the rights of the Colorado movie theater shooter, the rights of shooter who used his semi-automatic gun to put a bullet in the head of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords. And I couldn’t help but feeling sorry for Mr. LaPierre – a man who, with this new speech, confirmed that the NRA’s back is up against the wall, and LaPierre was feeling the pressure from his bosses – the gun manufactures.
LaPierre felt the need to focus on one sentence from the President’s inaugural speech. As he stood at the podium, his eyes darting all around the room filled with his supporters, LaPierre repeated this line from the President;
We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name calling as reasoned debate. We must act! We must act knowing that out work will be imperfect. We must act knowing that today’s victories will be only impartial. And that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence, to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
LaPierre focused on the first part of that statement, we cannot mistake absolutism for principle. He explained his interpretation of what he thought the President meant. “Barack Obama is saying, that the only principal way to make children safe is to make lawful citizens less safe and violent criminals more safe. That’s what it amounts to,” he said. He got a giggle and scattered applauds from his supporters with the line that “criminals couldn’t care less about Barack Obama’s so-called principles. That’s why they’re called criminals.”
LaPierre then attacked some of the common sense Executive Actions taken by the President last Tuesday. Executive Actions that a majority of NRA members agree with. He continued;
Forcing law-abiding people to fork over excessive fees to exercise their rights. Forcing parents to fill out forms to leave a family heirloom to a loved one. Standing in line filling out a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork, just so a grandfather could give a grandson a Christmas gift.
LaPierre then went back to his same old scare tactic, that “there’s only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners, to tax them, or to take them.” To this line, LaPierre got more scattered applauds from his supporters.
The rest of his speech centered on his assertion and the NRA’s favorite method to keep NRA members in check, that the President was coming to take the guns. He warned the President against “attacking clearly defined absolutes, in favor of his principles.”
The NRA waited a little over 24 hours before tossing LaPierre out in front of the cameras to double down on their scare campaign. They looked at the President’s second inauguration and felt what a majority of Americans felt, that times are changing and changing for the better. Wayne LaPierre and the gun manufacturers felt their grip on the American people slipping, their scare hold on the Second Amendment slowly evaporating. And whipping up another hysteria that the government was coming for your guns has always been a marvelous way to boost their membership and sell more guns.