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Wayne LaPierre on “Meet the Press,” What Ugly Looks Like

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“Well, I think he’s so extreme and so tone deaf that he actually helps the cause of us passing sensible gun legislation in the Congress. Look, he blames everything but guns: movies, the media, President Obama, gun-free school zones. You name it, and the video games, he blames them. Now, trying to prevent shootings in schools without talking about guns is like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes.” – Senator Chuck Schumer

NRA, PHONE Donny Deutsch, your reputation is taking a hit every time Wayne LaPierre shows his mug on television, and it wasn’t anything to brag about when this nightmare began.

LaPierre’s performance on Meet the Press was ugly and it couldn’t have happened to an organization that deserves it more.

But playing the victim? Poor Wayne, the big bad media and all those anti gun meanies are causing him to have to defend his soulless organization.

A bit of the transcript:

DAVID GREGORY:
This Sunday morning it’s been nine days since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. And the debate over gun control has been revived. Here with us exclusively this morning, the man at the center of that debate at the moment, the CEO and executive vice president of the N.R.A., Wayne LaPierre, who is answering questions for the first time since the shootings. I want to get right to it. Welcome back to the program.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:Thank you, David.
DAVID GREGORY:You promised in the wake of this massacre, 26 people murdered, that the N.R.A. would, quote, “Offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” If we boil down your appearance before the news media on Friday, this was your message.
(Videotape)
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
DAVID GREGORY:
You proposed armed guards in school. We’ll talk about that in some detail in a moment. You confronted the news media. You blamed Hollywood and the gaming industry. But never once did you concede that guns could actually be part of the problem. Is that a meaningful contribution, Mr. LaPierre, or a dodge?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
David, I said what I honestly thought, and what millions and hundreds of millions of people all over this country believe will actually make a difference. You know, I can’t imagine a more horrible tragedy than what happened. We all have five year olds– in our families in some way. I mean we all put ourselves in that situation, and the tears flow down our eyes.
The N.R.A., made up of all these moms and dads, parents, we have 11,000 police training instructors. We have 80,000 police families. We’re four million members. And we sat down and we said, “What we can we do will actually make a difference today to make these kids safe?
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
But conceding that guns play any role, that’s a meaningful contribution?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
You know, look. I know there’s a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens. I know there’s an anti-second amendment industry in this country. I know there are political (UNINTEL) for 20 years always try to say it’s because Americans own guns.
I’m telling you what I think will make people safe. And what every mom and dad will make them feel better when they drop their kid off at school in January, is if we have a police officer in that school, a good guy, that if some horrible monster tries to do something, they’ll be there to protect them.
DAVID GREGORY:
All right, we’ll talk about that in more specifics. But you’re talking about some of the old complaints you make against the news media and such. Nobody’s actually said that it’s only about guns, so far as I’ve heard, not the president, not anyone else. But just I’d like to get your reaction to some of the reaction to you on Friday, which a lot of people were frankly shocked by your presentation.
Here was The New York Post, a conservative publication, I don’t think part of the media conspiracy you talk about, and there’s the headline: “Gun Nut. N.R.A. Loon in Bizarre Rant over Newtown.” The Hartford Courant headline says that “The N.R.A.’s response falls flat.”
The Congressman from the district of Newtown, Chris Murphy tweeted this: “Walking out of another funeral and was handed the N.R.A. transcript, the most revolting, tone-deaf statement I’ve ever seen.” Just your reaction to that very harsh reaction to your words.

WAYNE LAPIERRE:
If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. I’ll tell you what the American people– I think the American people think it’s crazy not to do it. It’s the one thing that would keep people safe.
And the N.R.A. is going to try to do that. We’re going to support an immediate appropriation before Congress to put police officers in every school. And we’re going to work with Asa Hutchinson, who has agreed to work with us to put together a voluntary program, drawing on retired military, drawing on retired police, drawing on former Secret Service, and all these people that can actually go in and make our kids safe. That’s the one thing, the one thing that we can do–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
The one and only thing?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
It’s a–
DAVID GREGORY:
You don’t think guns should be part of the conversation?WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I think that is the one thing that we can do immediately that will immediately make our children safe.
DAVID GREGORY:
Is it the only thing?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
Gun control, you could ban all Dianne Feinstein’s, you could do whatever she wants to do with magazines, it’s not going to make any kid safer. We’ve got to get to the real problems, the real causes. And that’s what the N.R.A. is trying to do.
And I think, I’ll tell you this, I have people all over the country calling me saying, “Wayne, I went to bed safer last night because I have a firearm. Don’t let the media try to make this a gun issue.”
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
But that’s argument, that’s not fact. So let’s–
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
No, it is fact.
DAVID GREGORY:
Well, a feeling is not fact. A feeling is a sense of reassurance. That’s not evidence. And I know that’s not what you’re presenting. But let’s talk more specifically about what you’re talking about, armed guards in schools. Because I know there are successful examples.Fairfax County, Virginia, has student resource officers. I’m sure you know a lot about that program. But you know, there’s examples where it hasn’t worked. The Columbine tragedy, Virginia Tech, there were armed guards there, weren’t there? It didn’t stop the carnage.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
And let’s talk about what happened at Columbine, okay? There were armed guards there, and they didn’t go in. They were under orders that if something happened, they would have called the police for backup.
DAVID GREGORY:
They exchanged fire with the shooters.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
And they waited for the SWAT team to show up, and the SWAT team set outside and tried to figure out what to do. Every procedure has been changed since Columbine as a result of that– the way–
DAVID GREGORY:
They exchanged fire with the shooters. So your principle of having armed guards was true in Columbine, was it not?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
Look at the facts at Columbine. They’ve changed every police procedure since Columbine. I mean I don’t understand why you can’t, just for a minute, imagine that when that horrible monster tried to shoot his way into Sandy Hook School, that if a good guy with a gun had been there, he might have been able to stop–
DAVID GREGORY:
I’m just trying to test your views here, Mr. LaPierre, about how it would actually work. So how many do you think you have to have on campus, and where? Is it sufficient to have them at the front of the school?WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I think– you know, that’s up to our police. Our police do this every day. They protect the president, The Secret Service does. They protect The Capitol. They protect office buildings. Most of the media, I know you don’t have armed guards here, but most of the media, when I go around this country, they’re protected by armed guards.
Why can’t we protect our most precious resource? Look, there was a Secret Service study that was done, okay? You know what it showed? It showed that the police, trying to get there in time, only stopped 25% of the shooters. The rest of them are either stopped by somebody in the system or they turn the gun on themselves. That’s a pretty darned good argument for putting a good guy in the system somewhere with a gun to help our kids.
DAVID GREGORY:
And again, it may be the case. Do you allow volunteers, or do they have to be police officers? Would you have volunteer forces there?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I think that what you need, you need police immediately, because that’s something that we can get done. And then I think that Congressman Asa Hutchinson’s going to look to do. And he got there long before we ever called him. Former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Deputy Director of Homeland Security.
He’s going to put together a program like they have in Israel. Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing. They said, “We’re going to stop it,” and they put armed security in every school, and they have not had a problem since then. Let’s make our kids safe. Let’s not argue about this endless argument about gun control.
DAVID GREGORY:
But you would concede that, as good as an idea as you think this is, it may not work. Because there have been cases where armed guards have not prevented this kind of massacre, this kind of carnage. I want you would concede that point, wouldn’t you?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I’m saying that if I’m a mom or a dad and–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
You say you want to try it.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
–and I’m dropping my child off at school, I’d feel a whole lot safer with these great men and women on police forces–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
But look, you have to concede it may not work. It may be part of the solution.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
Nothing’s perfect, David.
DAVID GREGORY:
Right.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
But gosh, it’s going to be better than–
(OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:
And who pays? Because we know that a third of the schools that already have armed policemen or some kind of armed guards there. Will the N.R.A. be prepared to help financially? Is it really– is a budgetary matter feasible? Would federal grants be necessary to provide this kind of– firepower?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
Well, as I said, I mean we have all kinds of federal foreign aid we do. My gosh, we’re doing two billion to train the police in Iraq right now. With all the money in the federal budget, if we can’t come up with to do this, or something long it’s country, the N.R.A. will. I’ll tell you, we fund the (UNINTEL PHRASE) child safety program right now as a model, the schools, for kids too young to be around guns.
You know what it teaches them? If you see a gun, stop, don’t touch it, leave the area, all an adult. Written by the best child psychologist and elementary school curriculum experts in the country. And we have child actions down to the lowest level every–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
So here’s something you said on Friday that struck me. Because I think this is really the nub of the argument about armed security.
(Videotape)
WAYNE LAPIERRE: 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?

DAVID GREGORY:
Because that’s your standard is that fewer people should be killed. That’s the goal here. And the standard is, if it’s possible, your words, if it’s possible that lives could be spared, shouldn’t we try that? That’s your standard, isn’t it?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I tell you, my standard is this. You can’t legislate morality. Legislation works on the sane. Legislation works on the law abiding.
DAVID GREGORY:
Fairness–
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
It doesn’t work on criminals. It doesn’t work on the–
DAVID GREGORY:
If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life–
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
There are–
DAVID GREGORY:
–you’re up for trying it.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
There are monsters out there every day, and we need to do something to stop them. And they’re not–
DAVID GREGORY:
If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life, you’re worth trying it, correct?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
If it’s possible to reduce the loss of life–
DAVID GREGORY:
That’s what you say.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
Yeah, I want it. That’s what I’m proposing.
DAVID GREGORY:
Okay. So let me widen the argument. Let’s stipulate that you’re right. Let’s say armed guards might work. Let’s widen the argument out a little bit. So here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now isn’t it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them in said, “Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,” isn’t it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I don’t believe that’s going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that, even if you had that. You had that for ten years when Dianne Feinstein passed that ban in ’94. It was on the books. Columbine occurred right in the middle of it. It didn’t make any difference. I know everybody– that this town wants to argue about gun control. I don’t think it’s what will work. What will work is this. I’ll tell you this.

DAVID GREGORY:
But (INAUDIBLE PHRASE) this a matter of logic, Mr. LaPierre. Because anybody watching this is going to say, “Hey, wait a minute. I just heard Mr. LaPierre say that the standard is we should try anything that might reduce the violence.” Are you telling me it’s not a matter of common sense that, if you don’t have an ability to shoot off 30 rounds without reloading that just possibly you could reduce the loss of life?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
David–
DAVID GREGORY:
That Adam Lanza may not have been able to shoot as many kids–
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I– I–
DAVID GREGORY:
–if he didn’t have as much ammunition?

WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I don’t buy your argument for a minute. There are so many–
DAVID GREGORY:
It’s not possible?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
There are so many different ways he could have done it. And there’s an endless amount of ways a monster–
(OVERTALK)DAVID GREGORY:
But here’s some– don’t take it from me. Here’s Larry Alan Burns, federal district judge of San Diego, he sentenced Jared Loughner, appointed by President Bush, a gun owner, and supports the N.R.A.. Here’s what he wrote in The Los Angeles Times: “Bystanders got to Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner and subdued him only after he emptied one 30 round magazine and was trying to load another. Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, chose his primary weapon as a semi-automatic rifle with 30-round magazines. And we don’t even bother to call the 100-rounder that James Holmes is accused of emptying in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater a magazine, it’s a drum. How is this not an argument for regulating the number of rounds a gun can fire? I get it. Someone bent on mass murder, who has only a ten-round magazine or a revolver at his disposal probably is not going to abandon his plan and instead try to talk his problems out. But we might be able to take the “mass” out of “mass shooting,” or at least make the perpetrator’s job a bit harder.”
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
I don’t think it will. I keep saying it, and you just won’t accept it. It’s not going to work. It hasn’t worked. Dianne Feinstein had her ban, and Columbine occurred. It’s not going to work. I’ll tell you what would work. We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics.
23 states, my (UNINTEL) however long ago was Virginia Tech? 23 states are still putting only a small number of records into the system. And a lot of states are putting none. So, when they go through the national instant check system, and they go to try to screen out one of those lunatics, the records are not even in the system.
I talked to a police officer the other day. He said, “Wayne,” he said, “let me tell you this. Every police officer walking the street knows s lunatic that’s out there, some mentally disturbed person that ought to be in an institution, is out walking the street because they dealt with the institutional side. They didn’t want mentally ill in institutions. So they put them all back on the streets. And then nobody thought what happens when you put all these mentally ill people back on the streets, and what happens when they start taking their medicine.”
We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that’s got these monsters walking the streets. And we’ve got to deal with the underlying causes and connections if we’re ever going to get to the truth in this country and stop this–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
Again, a lot of people would agree with that. There are a lot of difficulties with regard to getting that kind of mental health information, because there’s privacy laws, there are states not contributing to a national registry. Isn’t part of the issue background checks? I mean you have 40% of sales that go on without any background checks. Are you prepared to back broader background checks, if you don’t think that the ammunition road is the way to go?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
We have backed the National Instant Check System. We have backed putting anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent into the system. Now, I know where you’re going with this. They come with this whole, “Ah, the gun show loophole.” There’s not a gun show loophole. It’s illegal for felons to do anything like that, to buy guns.
What the anti-second amendment movement wants to do is put every gun sale in he country under the thumb of the federal government. Congress debated this at length. They said if you’re a hobbyist or collector, if someone in West Virginia, a hunter, wants to sell a gun to another hunter, he ought to be able to do it without being under the thumb of the federal government.
DAVID GREGORY:
But if you want to check and screen more thoroughly for the mentally ill, why not screen more thoroughly for everybody and eliminate the fact that 40% can buy a weapon without any background check?
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
We– we don’t prosecute anybody under the federal gun laws right now. That’s one of the–
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
But that’s not a response to my question, Mr. LaPierre. What I hear you saying is, “Well, you can’t do anything about the high capacity ammunition magazines because it simply won’t work, yet you’re proposing things that you don’t know will completely work. But you’re into the art of the possible, because your standard is anything that has a chance of work we ought to try, except when it has to do with guns or ammunition. Don’t you see that people see that as a complete dodge?

WAYNE LAPIERRE:
You know what N.R.A. supports, David? N.R.A. supports what works, and we always have. We funded the (UNINTEL) Child Safety Program. We have accidents down to one tenth of what they used to be. We have supported prison building. We have supported programs like Project Exile where, every time you catch a criminal with a gun, a drug dealer with a gun, a violent felon with a gun, you prosecute him 100% of the time.
If you want to control violent criminals, take them off the street. That’s what every police officer out there knows works. We’ve supported the Instant Check System. We supported getting these records into the Instant Check List.
(OVERTALK)
DAVID GREGORY:
But you don’t deny that there are– that even the Instant Check System has huge holes, just like the mental health registry has huge holes.
WAYNE LAPIERRE:
And you know the biggest hole? I’ll tell you the biggest single hole in it right now. If you’re a felon and you walk into a gun store and you try to buy a gun, and they go, “Oh, you’re a felon, and we’re going to turn you down,” they let you walk out, and they don’t prosecute you. It’s like Bonnie and Clyde. It’s like Clyde goes in and tries to buy a gun, he goes bask to Bonnie and says, “Well, I got some bad news, they didn’t sell me the gun. The good news is they let me go. They didn’t do anything to me.” So they go about, and they commit their crime.

continued here…

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6 Responses to Wayne LaPierre on “Meet the Press,” What Ugly Looks Like

  1. fangio December 24, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    It is sad that some of the things he said are true. The mental health system is a disaster in this country. I wonder if he would admit that Ronald Reagan is responsible for that. I do believe that perpetual violence throughout media has had an effect on how young people see society. He is also right about gun laws, for the most part they do not work. We are a country that was founded through violence, expanded through violence and we have used violence to gain our place in the world. We are also a nation with a long history of distrust for government and what it can do. ( The United States is the largest gun dealer in the world. ) That distrust has created the Lapierre’s of the country. The United States has grown up on sex and violence and guns are just one piece of the puzzle. Society is the problem. As for the people who told Lapierre that they went to bed feeling safer because they had a firearm; surveys have shown that most people who have guns end up getting shot themselves by the intruder.

  2. secularhumanizinevoluter December 24, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    1.”It is sad that some of the things he said are true.”

    Having just re-read the article several times to be sure all I can say regarding the above numbered statement is bullshit…complete and utter bullshit.

    2.”The mental health system is a disaster in this country.”

    Because he and those with similarly Gordon Gecko like self interest and greed motivated personalities have for decades decried having to spend on nickel on it.

    3.” I wonder if he would admit that Ronald Reagan is responsible for that.”

    Just the point man.

    4.” I do believe that perpetual violence throughout media has had an effect on how young people see society. ”

    Funny how Japan has violent games, movies and comic books that would never see the light of day in America yet a fraction of the societal violence and a fraction of a fraction of the deaths from guns isn’t it?

    5.”He is also right about gun laws, for the most part they do not work.”

    For the first thing…balls. The can and do work when implemented and enforced.

    6.”We are a country that was founded through violence, expanded through violence and we have used violence to gain our place in the world.”

    So you’re saying we are the same as every other nation on earth that has ever atained prominence ?

    7.” We are also a nation with a long history of distrust for government and what it can do.”

    Again…balls. This “government IS the problem is straight out of Ronnies fetid fever dreams and been pushed by the 1% to keep the masses stupid and distrustful so they can keep raping us all in peace.

    8. ( The United States is the largest gun dealer in the world. )

    What this has to do with distrust for government by the citizens elludes me?

    9.” That distrust has created the Lapierre’s of the country. ”

    180 degrees from reality…the Lapierre’s create the distrust so they can stoke the fear so they can keep the money rolling in.

    10.”The United States has grown up on sex and violence and guns are just one piece of the puzzle.”

    So far you’re 1 for 10

    11.” Society is the problem.”

    1/2 credit…SOME elements of society are the problem…here’s a hint…they control the House at the moment.

    12.” As for the people who told Lapierre that they went to bed feeling safer because they had a firearm; surveys have shown that most people who have guns end up getting shot themselves by the intruder.”

    2 for 12.

  3. fangio December 24, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    2. By saying it was Reagan I was saying it was people like Lapierre.

    4. Comparing Japan to the U.S. is a waste of time. Japan has no culture of gun violence. They do have a culture of organized crime and violence; I’ll give you that.

    5. Gun laws do work when done right; in Europe.

    6. I’ll give you that one.

    7. Your reply makes no sense. The idea that the governments policies have driven people to distrust it does not change the reality that their is a culture of distrust.

    9. Your reply makes no sense. Lapierre is a type. He is a true believer. He and others like him believe that the government wants all the power and that once they have it they will use it against people like him.

    10. Violence was a part of the culture long before the present government.

    The United States being the biggest gun dealer in the world does mean something. It means we promote violence, we offer weapons to countries that murder, starve and torture their own people. That sends a message to the young of this country that violence is a means to an end, it is justified even when not used for defense.

    * You have yourself a merry little Christmas.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Merry, merry, Happy, happy and Al Dante Noodlyness to you and yours…be sure to burn the Yule Log!!

  4. DaGoat December 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Although I don’t own a gun I am generally sympathetic to the rights on gun owners. I must say it sure is tough trying to have a sane discussion on guns with kooks like LaPierre theoretically on my side. Like the far-right Tea Partiers, LaPierre’s extreme views tend to taint everyone associated with them.

    • spincitysd December 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      And why do you not own a small arm? Because, you have an understanding of the risk-benefit ratio that gun ownership presents to you. Unfortunately many gun owners, especially those who identify as Republican, are not making that calculation. I make this simple assertion, even if you have a right to own that weapon it is very likely you have no business exercising that right. I stand firm on the assertion that most people (around 75%) just do not have the discipline and the maturity that gun ownership requires. To put if plainly, most people are just too damn careless to own a weapon. I know I would never own one, It is just too much of a responsibility; the training, the securing of the weapon, the constant watchfulness, I don’t need that kind of hassle in my life.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong