In a move that some sources categorized as “unhinged fearmongering,” the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre not only adamantly stated that the organization would not change its opinion on gun control, but urged American citizens to buy more guns, because terrorists are “on the verge of overwhelming us.”
In an interview Sunday morning with host John Dickerson on CBS’ Face the Nation, LaPierre asserted that the real issue with last week’s shooting at the gay club Pulse, which left 49 dead and 53 wounded, wasn’t the fact that it was a targeted hate crime against the LGBT community, or that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was able to purchase an assault rival despite being investigated by the FBI for terrorist connections. Instead, the de facto NRA spokesperson typified it as an excuse for the Obama administration to further their own gun control ban, and take away from the “real” matter at hand: terrorism.
“What happened this past week is the President, the whole gun ban movement, said ‘hey, don’t look at terrorists, look over here, divert your attention, take your eyes off the problem,’” LaPierre told Dickerson, “because they don’t want to face the embarrassment of their failure in this terrorist area, and they want to cover their butts and not talk about it.”
(As The Daily Dot pointed out, there have been no proposals to ban guns in their entirety, though there have been moves to put forward an assault weapons ban.)
But when Dickerson brought up the subject of a government watch-list designed to bar suspected terrorists from purchasing weapons—a bill which was blocked this past December—LaPierre suddenly balked, stating that the bill was riddled with “misinformation and poorly researched stories.”
What happens on the watch-list? People forget, law enforcement set it up, just the way they wanted it, federal law enforcement. NRA didn’t take the guy’s name off the list, the federal government did, FBI did, largely because of some of these politically correct policies that I think I’ve been talking about earlier.
LaPierre added that blocking would-be terrorists from purchasing guns would be “tipping off the bad guy.”
When Dickerson countered LaPierre’s stance by pointing out that he “also didn’t want terrorists with guns in their hands,” the NRA executive VP compared gun control legislation to “trying to stop a freight train with a piece of Kleenex,” while once again insisting that the shootings in Orlando were about terrorism, not accessibility to firearms.
LaPierre concluded his argument with an old American pastime: McCarthyist paranoia.
“The fact is, we need to face what’s coming,” he cautioned. “They’re trying to kill us. They’re not going to attack hard targets…They’re going to go for shopping malls, they’re going to go for churches. The fact is, we need vigilance, we need preparedness. We need a full court press on personal protection.”
“They’re coming,” he added. “And they’re going to try to kill us, and we need to be prepared.”
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