If you can stomach it, here is a point by point analysis of Wayne LaPierre’s infomercial on December 21, 2012 that took place one week after the mass killing of women and children in Newtown and while at the same time another mass shooting was taking place in Pennsylvania. The NRA said it was a press conference. However, since they took no questions and only spouted off many old and tiring talking points most of us have already heard, I think it was more of an infomercial filled with the same tact and honesty you come to expect on late night television and the hucksters who try to sell their products.
I also noted that many of Wayne’s points had elements of psychological projection and cognitive dissonance mixed in with out-and-out lies and misinformation. Below is a link to a transcript of his speech if you wish to draw your own conclusions. So here goes:
Wayne begins by citing how he and the NRA’s four million members “…join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.”
Of this I have no doubt. However, he fails to mention that the vast majority of his membership actually do agree to more effective common sense gun control regulations that Wayne and his lobbyists in the NRA leadership have fought against in Congress that has open the way for the availability of these weapons of mass destruction easily falling into the hands of those so inclined to use in the matter of the Newtown killer.
“Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent.”
The NRA has never responded immediately after such a shooting knowing full well that anything they would say would incite even more the anger from those horrified by the act. However, as a lobbying organization, the sole purpose of the NRA leadership is political gain. They give elected officials “grades” and either openly support or will work to primary any politician who offers up any version of sound and workable gun control to protect the people. They were very much politically active in trying to get anyone so inclined to regulate guns voted out of office, especially Barack Obama (who had yet until just recently offered any gun control legislation). In their efforts for 2012, they had the least bang for their membership dues buck in this endeavor.
“Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation’s children. Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?”
The anger people have been directing at the NRA is due to their continued and effective efforts to prevent anyone from proposing and enacting into laws the very steps needed to protect our children to prevent any further Columbines, Virginia Techs, and now Sandy Hook. Each time politicians try to address it, the NRA have shut them down.
“The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
Here is where Wayne misrepresents what “Gun-Free Zones” means. He’s implying that such zones can’t have any guns at all to include armed security. That is not the case. It tells people not to bring weapons at all to the site without permission under penalty of law. This prevents untrained and unqualified cherubs or nut jobs that would actually do more harm than good from endangering the people there. Armed security is not unknown in “Gun-Free Zones” otherwise how can it be enforced? Columbine was a gun-free school zone and had two armed security guards.
“How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.
We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.
Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!”
As I noted above, many schools have armed security, if they can afford it. They have police officers who make regular patrols of campus. The two most famous incidents of school shootings in recent years Columbine and Virginia Tech had armed guards on duty. LaPierre is advocating that we need armed guards in every school in the country. That is nearly 100,000 schools who currently suffer from budget cuts at the hands of the Republicans that the NRA supports. And to follow LaPierre’s logic, you would also need guard at each mall, each church, each community center, each park, and any place where children are known to gather. Who pays the price to first properly evaluate each “armed guard” of children for potentially violent tendencies or pedophilia for that matter? Then who pays the salary and benefits for these guards? Surely Wayne isn’t saying that just anyone with a gun is fine to stand there armed overlooking our children? The costs would be staggering and only consistent if we lived in a Police State. How is that American Wayne?
“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment?
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?
A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”
It’s true; we have an “unknown” number of genuine “monsters” in our midst. A problem exasperated by the fact that the Republicans refuse to properly fund mental health needs throughout our country. Refuse to establish outreach mechanisms designed to identify and properly treat these people. They won’t put out the money. This dates back to Ronald Reagan shutting down mental health facilities as governor of California and later as President. We can do better in identifying and treating these people. In the mean time, the most effective thing we as a nation can do is prevent the easy access of weapons of mass destructions from falling in their hands. Efforts that Wayne and the NRA have fought tooth and nail. What good is a database of mentally ill if the NRA won’t require gun sellers to access it and won’t allow a waiting period to access it?
“And the fact is, that wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% — to the lowest levels in a decade.
So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.”
The major reason why “federal gun prosecutions” have decreased. The NRA has changed or weakened laws that prevent the Feds, or local state and city governments to prosecute gun violence. It’s not a “declining willingness”. Further, the little secret Wayne doesn’t want you to know is that murder, robberies, rape and drug crimes have actually decreased over the past 20 years, only mass killings have increased. It has increased since the ban on Assault Rifles expired in 2004 at the pushing of the NRA.
“And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”
But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”
Wayne is only now aware that there’s violence in the movies and on video games? Where has he been? He’s also citing movies that came out over ten years ago. The fact of the matter is that there has been ongoing research trying to link these movies and video games to violence and guess what? There really isn’t any. Those inclined to violence will watch these movies and may act out violently. Those who aren’t will or won’t watch these movies or play these games and they will have zero impact in their lives. What does have an impact of increased violence in the real world as backed up by meta-analysis? Income disparity. As that increases, so does the acts of violence. And when you couple that with easier access to more guns, you get mass shootings Wayne.
“In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.”
This is the classic chicken or the egg argument. Is media creating a more violent culture is a more violent culture being reflected in media? It doesn’t matter; if our culture is getting more violent as Wayne appears to think, then let’s not give the violence better tools to use like assault weapons with high capacity magazines and drums.
“A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.”
Would love to know where Wayne got that little statistic. I couldn’t find it on any validated crime statistic or sociological study anywhere. Sounds like something from Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” group who are infamous for coming up with completely unsubstantiated and non-peered review studies to back up their propagandist narrative. In short, just about everything that comes from Focus on the Family, as well as the NRA leadership is crap. None of it backed up by facts.
“The media call semi-automatic firearms “machine guns” — they claim these civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers … when all of these claims are factually untrue. They don’t know what they’re talking about!
Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!
As brave, heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt, professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable — through no fault of their own — to stop it.”
So Wayne goes into nomenclature here as well as semantics. The point is a military style assault weapon as far as anyone who cares is concerned about is a powerful weapon that in the wrong hands will kill anything that gets in its way. During the previous assault weapon ban, mass shooting went down. After it expired, they’ve grown three fold. In Australia, since 1996 when a much more severe and inclusive assault weapon ban has gone into effect, there hasn’t been a single mass shooting. The fact of the matter is bans work and not having them makes matters worse. Even if those teachers were armed, unless they had similar weaponry and a similar lack of respect for human life as Lanza had, they would still be dead.
“As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school.
The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away?
Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: “More guns,” you’ll claim, “are the NRA’s answer to everything!” Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. But since when did the word “gun” automatically become a bad word?
A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the President isn’t a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn’t a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won’t be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.
So why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in their schools?
They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them — it’s our right to protect them.”
This is sickening hyperbole on Wayne’s part. Of course we all are concerned for our children’s safety the difference is what is the best way to accomplish this? Wayne makes the paranoid and incorrect belief that people think that “guns are evil”. Sane and rational people understand that guns are tools. Now this particular tool is designed primarily to kill whatever it is used against. It’s not the tool, it’s the character and/or competency of the user we are concerned about. It is interesting that he brings the Secret Service here. Most likely due to his Obama Derangement Syndrome, but no matter. The Secret Service quite simply the best qualified trained and armed security force in the history of the world. Guess what, they failed to protect the life of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan was shot. Tools are only as good as those who use them. A person with little value for the lives of others or their own has no problem using a weapon of mass destruction like a military style assault weapon. Most people who have weapons have never been psychological assessed and certainly not trained in combat shooting scenarios against such people. There is quite simply no true effective means to stop people so inclined to use such a weapon to murder than to keep them from these weapons. It’s that simple. Our responsibility is to keep these guns out of the hands of those not qualified or fit to have them. Quite frankly, that’s about the majority of our country.
“You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?
Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?”
As I noted before, we have nearly 100,000 schools in this country. Further, Virginia Tech had armed guards as did Columbine. Further Wayne, as I noted above and as verified by professional law enforcement personnel would attest, if there was an “average” armed security guard at Sandy Hook with a standard issued Glock or whatever, they would have been the second victim, following Lanza’s mother in this shooting and then the killer would have his or hers Glock to do more killing. No Wayne, it’s not remotely possible that 26 lives would have been spared. Only twice in our history have armed civilians attempted to stop a mass shooting. Both of these occurred in 2005, a year after the assault weapon ban ended. Both were shot and one, a fully trained and qualified arms instructor, was killed.
“Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America’s gun owners that you’re willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield the children in her care? No one — regardless of personal political prejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.”
Again, pure hyperbole Wayne. We don’t hate gun owners, only irresponsible gun lobbyists like you who don’t grasp the problem of simply making easy for everyone to have a powerful weapon for easy killing. Monsters will always be monsters; we don’t need to make it easier for them to do monstrous things.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year’s budget, and scrapped “Secure Our Schools” policing grants in next year’s budget.”
Anyone who knows civics knows that all budgets originate in the House of Representatives, this one controlled by Republicans. They are cutting anything and everything they can. They are the ones who want to defund just about everything that funds schools in this country, not the President. Here Wayne, you simply lie.
“With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget, we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.”
Assuming an average salary (not including benefits package) of $50,000.00 per guard, and placing a minimum of two in each school would cost $10,000,000,000.00 a year. This figure does not include assessment, on-going training, and arming. $10 billion a year Wayne. This Republican Congress will not release that kind of money. As noted above, this is only for the schools. The Republicans have been cutting community policing funding started under Bill Clinton continuously since he left office. You know this isn’t going to happen do to GOP politics, backed by the NRA.
“Now, the National Rifle Association knows that there are millions of qualified active and retired police; active, reserve and retired military; security professionals; certified firefighters and rescue personnel; and an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now. We can immediately make America’s schools safer — relying on the brave men and women of America’s police force.
The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.”
As noted above Wayne, Columbine and Virginia Tech had just such armed security as you described here. How well did that work out for them? All the former training and bravery won’t stop a round fired from a semi-automatic assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine/drum.
“I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.”
Point of order Wayne. You are a lobbyist, not an elected official. We all know you’re sole purpose in your position in the NRA is to sell more guns to as many people as possible. You’ve been very successful at this by threatening Congressional representatives for years to do what you want or they would be out of a job. Don’t give us this crap. Congress has already done exactly what you have been forcing them to do for years, sit on gun control regulations.
“Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security.
Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.
Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.
Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation’s defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we’ll do it for our schools today.”
Since Wayne LaPierre took office with the NRA, their focus ceased to be one of responsible gun ownership and has instead been a lobbying arm for gun and ammunition manufacturers. This is a fact. There is no training they offer that is “preeminent” in the world of law enforcement in this country. Most law enforcement has their own in-house training and qualifying curriculums. At best, the NRA only offers membership cards, nothing of substance. Their training is little more than comic books and 1980 style videos that are laughable. The old NRA ceases to exist; the one today has little to do about proper and effective training for the proper use, care and maintenance of weapons. It’s a fact.
“The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up and running from the first day forward.
If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained — armed — good guy.
Under Asa’s leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge.
That’s a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children — starting right now.”
And here is the point of this infomercial. Although the NRA may not have initially created the problem with mass killings in this nation, they have through the lobbying efforts to create lax and ineffective or non-existence gun control laws, made the task of “monsters” killing innocent people easier. By doing so, they have profited via the skyrocketing sales of military assault weapons and other guns as well as ammunition. They have perpetuated a climate of paranoia and fear to get people to buy more and more guns. Now, they want to play the other side of the argument so they can profit there to. They made the matter worse while getting rich from it, now for another fee from the government via the tax payers, they’ll get even more money to correct the problem they created. This is a con job.
“There’ll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive action.
We can’t wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. We can’t lose precious time debating legislation that won’t work. We mustn’t allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. We must act now.
For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that’s tested and proven to work.”
This was his closing. As I noted at the beginning, this wasn’t a press conference, he took no questions. He couldn’t. Infomercials are designed to con the weak minded into getting out their credit cards and call toll free now. Be one of the first 50 callers and get a special bonus offer…
This was a farce from a very farcical man who has almost single handedly made our country less safe by introducing as many weapons into the hands of the least qualified people our nation has. Our country has 5 percent of the world’s population yet owns 50% of the world’s guns. 80 million Americans own 300 million weapons. Highest in the world. By LaPierre’s logic, we should be the safest nation on the planet with that many guns in American hands. But we’re not. We have 19 times the gun violence rate of the rest of the industrialized world combined. Evil is everywhere, no doubt about it. But evil can’t do much unless you give it the tools to do evil, that’s your current NRA. Providing tools for evil doers since Wayne LaPierre came to work there.