After calling President Obama a "liar," NRA's Wayne La Pierre challenges him to a debate on gun control: "Let America decide who to trust"

"No gasbag answers," the head of the gun lobby demands after he rejected an invite to the president's CNN gun forum

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published January 14, 2016 4:22PM (EST)

  (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Charging that a "narcissistic" President Obama "has laid waste to the America we remember," National Rifle Association (NRA) head Wayne LaPierre challenged the president to "a one-on-one, one hour debate" on gun control.

"The American people know a liar when they see one," LaPierre said in an over eight-minute long video released on Wednesday. "He has proven time and time again to be unworthy of our trust," the gun lobby leader said of Obama.

"Mr. President," LaPierre continued over an ominous background soundtrack, "pre-screened questions that lead to your long winded answers are anything but an honest dialogue. But I'll tell you what, I'll meet you for a one-on-one, one hour debate with a mutually agreed upon moderator on any network that will take it."

"No pre-screened questions and no gas bag answers," LaPierre demanded, taking a swipe at the president's recent town hall forum on guns that aired on CNN -- a forum the NRA refused to participate in, choosing instead to tweet its disapproval:

"The National Rifle Association sees no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN last week. But in an apparent change of heart, the NRA would now like the opportunity to debate the issue of gun control directly with the president.

“Americans will judge for themselves who they believe and trust on this issue – you or the NRA. Let’s see if you’re game for a fair debate,” LaPierre continued. “It’s your chance to show the American people you’re not afraid to meet the NRA on neutral ground,” he said, addressing the president directly.

And employing a favorite right-wing mechanism of deflection, LaPierre invoked crime rates in Chicago to minimize the need for gun control reforms nationally. “If the President really wanted to make Americans safer, he’d pick up the phone and tell his Justice Department to flip Chicago upside down until every criminal with a gun, criminal gangbanger with a gun, and drug dealer with a gun is arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned to the fullest extent of the law,” LaPierre said.

"As the political class proves more and more dishonest," LaPierre wrapped up the longwinded ad, "the NRA only grows stronger."

"We know that the president would ban every gun and bullet in America," he confidently asserted before revealing the president's sinister gun grabbing plot: "Destory the NRA before the election, so Hillary [Clinton] can destroy the Second Amendment after it."

Watch LaPierre's paranoid challenge to President Obama below:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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