December 28, 2012
Fallout from the Wayne La Pierre Speech
By David E. Petzal
After a week’s silence on the shooting at Sandy Hook School, the NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre called a press conference and laid out the NRA’s position on what could be done to prevent another such tragedy. The speech was not a success. It was marred by the appearance of two sign-carrying, slogan-screaming yahoos who were seated in the front row. If you’re going to give a speech about how to achieve security, it helps to have some of your own. I trust that the person(s) responsible for letting the yahoos into the conference are now working for the State Department, where their lack of competence will pass unnoticed.
One of the things that’s become evident after Sandy Hook is not that some people detest guns and the people who own them, but how much they detest us. I’ve been reading The New York Times since 1958, and I’ve never seen it use language such as it employed to describe La Pierre. I believe that if the Almighty had come down and said the same things He would have been denounced with equal savagery. It is also quite clear that any possible solutions proposed by the NRA or any other pro-gun organization will be shouted down as the work of people with blood on their hands.
An example: La Pierre suggested putting armed guards in our schools, citing the fact that we have armed guards everywhere else and it appears to work at least passably well. This was criticized by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said that “…guns in schools don’t create a favorable learning environment.” Governor Christie should be reminded that children who are shot to death don’t learn anything regardless of the environment. He should also heed the words of his fellow New Jerseyan Tony Soprano, who said: “I think the time has come for you to think seriously about salads.”
La Pierre pointed out that there are monsters out there who are waiting to get their chance in the limelight, courtesy of a massacre. Michael Bloomberg described this as “…a paranoid, distopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no one is safe.” A few days after Mayor Bloomberg set us straight about Life in These United States, a paroled murderer in Upstate New York (he beat his grandmother to death with a hammer and served 18 years) set fire to his home and, when the fire department showed up, shot two firefighters to death and wounded two more. Thanks go to whatever parole board set him loose, and to His Honor for telling us the way things really are.
Given that La Pierre had an impossible job, I think that attention must still be paid to the fact that he’s not a very good public speaker. The last real orator to occupy the office of Executive Vice President was Harlon Carter, who was a Force. But Harlon has been gone these many years, and the absence of someone with his abilities is sorely felt.
La Pierre did much better a few days later in an interview with NBC’s David Gregory on Meet the Press, and it was during this show that a rare and wonderful moment occurred. Mr. Gregory, filled with righteous indignation, brandished a 30-round (not bullet) magazine at La Pierre. This may have been good theatre, but it’s against the law to possess a high-capacity magazine (not clip) in Washington, D.C. So now, Mr. Gregory finds himself with his ass in a crack.
As I understand it, he first asked the Metropolitan Police if he could brandish the magazine on TV, and was told no. So then he went to the BATF, and was told firmly: “We don’t know. Maybe. Talk to a supervisor.” Now, what every shooter knows is, you never, ever, ask the BATF for advice on a local gun law. Half the time they can’t interpret their own regulations.
So, to David Gregory I say, welcome to America’s morass of 25,000-plus poorly written and randomly enforced gun laws. Fun, ain’t they?