Wayne LaPierre is very afraid

It's amazing the NRA head ever leaves the house, considering his deluded paranoia about the world around him

Topics: Wayne LaPierre, Guns, Hurricane Sandy, Gun Control, Crime,

It must be terrifying to be Wayne LaPierre, the man who has led the NRA for the past two decades. For years he has shared his nightmares and fears of daily living with us — a worldview of paralyzing paranoia, where terrorists, bad weather and Latin American gangsters lurk behind every corner, ready to prey on unarmed citizens.

“Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world,” he explains in his latest expression of anguish, an Op-Ed published in the Daily Caller yesterday. “And though the states on the U.S./Mexico border may be the first places in the nation to suffer from cartel violence, by no means are they the last.”

“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals,” he continues. “These are perils we are sure to face — not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”

While the world has always been an impossibly forbidding place, LaPierre continues, our socialist president has made it it worse, naturally: “When the next terrorist attack comes, the Obama administration won’t accept responsibility. Instead, it will do what it does every time: blame a scapegoat and count on Obama’s ‘mainstream’ media enablers to go along.”

And finally, the solution: “No wonder Americans are buying guns in record numbers right now, while they still can and before their choice about which firearm is right for their family is taken away forever.”

(What LaPierre should really be worried about is a faulty “shift” button on his keyboard, as he inexplicably failed to capitalize the name of his organization here: “Now, an even stronger nra is the only chance gun owners have to withstand the coming siege.”)

This frightful fretting is nothing new for LaPierre.

When the NRA head appeared on Fox News Sunday earlier this month, he told host Chris Wallace, “My gosh, in the shadow of where we are sitting now, gangs are out there in Washington, D.C. You can buy drugs. You can buy guns. They are trafficking in 13-year-old girls. And our government is letting them!”

At his much-lampooned press conference after the Newtown massacre he said, “The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school, he’s already identified at this very moment?

This is bread and butter LaPierre, seeded in the paranoid high crime days of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when politicians feared the rise of a generation of crack-addicted “superpredators” and when anyone aspiring to have a voice in the national public policy debate had to be “tough on crime.”

And if it wasn’t criminals, it was government you should fear, LaPierre has repeatedly warned over the past 25 years. Three months after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when more than 160 federal employees were murdered, LaPierre went on “Meet the Press” and warned that federal law enforcement agents, in “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms,” were out to “attack law-abiding citizens.”

You Might Also Like

That prompted former President George H.W. Bush to publicly revoke his lifetime membership to the NRA in a sharply worded letter published in the New York Times.

Eventually, everyone else moved past the heady ’90s paranoia of inner-city crime and black helicopters — LaPierre did not.

Violent crime is now at a two-decade low and urban centers are seeing a revival unlike any time in the past 100 years. But LaPierre chooses to ignore that. And he chooses to ignore the fact that most gun violence is suicide, while most homicide is inflicted by people who know each other (usually scorned lovers, angry relatives and criminals in dispute) — hardened criminals preying on innocents is relatively rare.

For instance, in his Daily Caller Op-Ed, LaPierre writes hyperbolically: “After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. 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.”

In fact, crime dropped in New York City during Hurricane Sandy, with murders plummeting a whopping 86 percent over the same period in 2011 and overall crime down 27 percent. There was a single homicide on the Monday before the storm hit, then none for the next five days.

“After a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe like 9/11, we see conventional crime come down,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne explained. “A lot of people are indoors. Taverns are closed. You have less people out late at night and getting into disputes.”

While conditions after storm were hellish in places, there were also plenty of beautiful stories of cooperation and altruism and small acts of random kindness: Sandwich shop owners staying open 24 hours a day to serve people with no food, some giving it away for free; a hotel manager turning away marathoners to give shelter to victims; people running extension cords out their window so strangers could charge their cellphones for free; a doctor giving free healthcare to victims, etc.

LaPierre chooses to ignore all of this and see the world as nothing but a cold and scary place where you can’t trust anyone and only lethal force can protect you. Too bad for him.

Alex Seitz-Wald
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>