CPAC 2011: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, started his speech by explaining why the NRA refused comment in the wake of the Tucson shooting. LaPierre showed a clip of Charlton Heston, saying how the NRA shouldn’t exploit tragedies or be exploited by them. Heston said the NRA is often cast as the villain by the media, though that’s not the NRA’s role, and that the NRA shouldn’t play that role for the media.

LaPierre read off the names of various murder victims, all killed in places with tough anti-gun laws. Those laws only punished the victims by preventing them from legally arming themselves, while aiding the armed law-breaking murderer.

LaPierre complained that the media glorifies the murderers, showing off their faces too much, while ignoring their victims. He wants the victims better recognized and honored.

LaPierre then showed video clips of pundits condemning the NRA for the Tucson tragedy. LaPierre called their pronouncements “lies” and said we can’t legislate evil from peoples’ hearts. LaPierre asserts Government has failed to enforce existing gun laws and to punish violent criminals severely enough. He cited a convicted rapist sentenced to only 5 years probation. He cited the numerous felons still walking the streets because the police haven’t detained them yet on their outstanding warrants.

He said over 25,000 violent crimes happen every week, per FBI statistics. America may be the Land of the Free, but what about freedom from fear and peril? LaPierre condemned those municipalities who have laid off police officers even as local crime rates rise. He also condemned those municipalities who have released criminals early due to jail overcrowding. He noted the situation in unsafe Mexico, where citizens cannot own guns, but drug lords and their armies of gunmen remain well armed.

LaPierre said Government has failed, but that the solution isn’t more Government but more freedom. Freedom to bear arms for self-protection, that is. He cited Israel, that has had only one school shooting in the past 37 years. He cited the Fort Hood shootings, where our own military was banned from being armed while on base.

LaPierre then defended the Second Amendment, saying it’s not outdated as some liberals claim. He discussed how the anarchy and breakdown of law & order in Egypt has forced citizens to form impromptu militias to protect their homes and neighborhoods. He said “good guys carrying guns makes us all safer”, and that it’s the best way to protect ourselves from bad guys carrying guns.

LaPierre concluded his talk by explaining how seven millions Americans legally have concealed carry permits now, and that concealed carry laws have been proven successful in reducing violent crime. He warned that the police cannot be everywhere, and they cannot respond instantaneously to every crime.

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