National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre is again under fire after penning an op-ed that claimed Americans need guns to fight off rampant gangs, terrorists and psychotics.
LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, claimed the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy showed what the future would hold, and why every law-abiding citizen needs to arm themselves.
“We saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia,” he wrote in the Daily Caller
. “Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.”
Immediately LaPierre was attacked. Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough said, “He has lost his mind,” on his MSNBC show Morning Joe, while President Barack Obama’s strategist David Plouffe called the NRA head “delusional.”
In his argument against new gun control laws, LaPierre described a world where Americans would be defenseless without guns and fall prey to everything from terrorists and Latin American drug gangs to civil unrest and looters in the wake of natural disasters. He said Americans would, in effect, be crazy not to arm themselves against the coming calamity and to rise up in protection of their Second Amendment rights.
"Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face, not just maybe," LaPierre wrote in the piece, headlined "Stand and Fight."
"It's not paranoia to buy a gun," he said. "It's survival. It's responsible behavior, and it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.”
At another point in his three-page article, LaPierre wrote, "Tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to stand and fight to protect their families and homes," adding that the threats to gun owners will only increase during Obama's second term.
He warned, “A heinous act of mass murder—either by terrorists or by some psychotic who should have been locked up long ago—will be the pretext to unleash a tsunami of Gun Control.”
LaPierre said Americans can "clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster.
"Gun owners are not buying firearms because they anticipate a confrontation with the government," he continued. "Rather, we anticipate confrontations where the government isn't there, or simply doesn't show up in time."
LaPierre was sharply criticized for his comments in the days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. He called for armed guards in every U.S. school and vowed to fight any move to restrict access to guns and ammunition.
His editorial came just a day after the NRA appeared to be moving more toward adopting a gentler tone with an ad campaign fronted by its chief lobbyist Chris Cox.
Now LaPierre has reversed that approach.
Scarborough called on his fellow Republicans, and Democrats as well, to denounce him and distance themselves from the NRA. He said the fact that LaPierre is against "any reasonable gun control legislation" in the wake of school shootings and other recent gun violence would only end up hurting politicians who continue to stand with him.
He also described LaPierre's references in his commentary to Hispanic drug gangs that "have invaded every city of any significant size in the United States" and looters in Brooklyn as nothing short of "racist."
"This so laced with racial overtones," he said, adding that LaPierre's "post-apocalyptic" vision of America was "straight out of 'The Book of Eli.’”
Scarborough said everything Republicans are trying to do now to make up for their poor showing among Hispanic and black voters in the 2012 election is being undermined by LaPierre's anti-gun control "extremism."
"I'm telling you, it's coming, it's coming. Republicans are going to pay a price for this," he said, adding that Democrats who continue to stand with LaPierre and the NRA would be hurt in next year's elections as well.
"The Republican Party, if they were smart, their leaders today would condemn it. But they're not smart," Scarborough added later. "They're scared. And you know, [as long as they] keep running scared, they're going to lose more votes. They're going to get hammered in future elections if they allow this clown to continue to lead them around by their nose. They're shameful."
In his response Plouffe tweeted, “Hard to believe this is real.
“Every GOPer should read and decide if this delusional person will call the shots.”
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