LaPierre says gun owners are ready to 'stand and fight'
February 14th, 2013
09:35 AM ET
5 years ago

LaPierre says gun owners are ready to 'stand and fight'

(CNN) - Continuing his charge against the Obama administration on gun control proposals, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association is scheduled to respond to the president's State of the Union while speaking Thursday at the annual convention for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Nashville.

The speech comes one day after LaPierre issued a rally-cry for gun owners, writing in an op-ed that "good Americans are prudently getting ready to protect themselves" against what he described as an onslaught of doom.

"Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face-not just maybe. It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival," the NRA's executive vice president wrote in the op-ed published Wednesday by the conservative news website, The Daily Caller.

"It's responsible behavior," he continued. "And it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that."

LaPierre has been a leading yet controversial voice against gun control proposals as Washington grapples with a flood of firearm legislation in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting. President Obama also renewed his plea for Congress to vote on tougher gun laws during his State of the Union address earlier this week.

"Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote," Obama said. "Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun."

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LaPierre wrote that defenders of gun rights are more fired up than ever to purchase firearms-not because they fear conflict with the government, as some have argued, but because they "anticipate confrontations where the government isn't there."

As examples, he cited stories of looting after Superstorm Sandy, claimed terrorists would infiltrate through the U.S. southern border and warned of a lack of funds to pay for police protection should Obama's fiscal policies result in economic disaster.

"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," he wrote.

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White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe responded to the op-ed, writing on Twitter Wednesday that it's "hard to believe this is real. Every GOPer should read and decide if this delusional person will call the shots."

LaPierre further laid out a four-year plan for a "resistance movement" that entails fighting legal battles against gun law legislation, boosting NRA membership, and strengthening the organization financially. Deep into his op-ed, he called for donations-"$20, $50, $250, or $1,000 at a time-and dedicated several paragraphs to reasons why the group needed more members.

"An even stronger NRA is the only chance gun owners have to withstand the coming siege," he wrote, saying the group is launching a "full-court initiative" to recruit more "lover(s) of freedom." The group already one of the largest advocacy organizations, with four million members.

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"This begins with remembering to keep your own membership active, or reactivate it if it has lapsed," he continued. "It means reminding yourself, 'I have a son and daughter who aren't members and should be'."

LaPierre also blamed the media, certain lawmakers and high-profile figures, such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for making Americans "feel guilty about buying a gun."
"The enemies of freedom demonize gun buyers and portray us as social lepers," he added.

Concluding his op-ed, LaPierre vowed that NRA members "will not surrender."

"We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever. We will use them for sport and lawful self-defense more than ever. We will grow the NRA more than ever. And we will be prouder than ever to be freedom-loving NRA patriots," he wrote. "We will Stand and Fight."

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • NRA
soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. dark poet

    With shooting an unarmed victims involved casualties are 14-20.... with armed victims the numbers drop by 50-75%. The facts don't lie!

    February 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. LivinginVA

    Dude: First of all, I'd like your source for your stat, but let's say that 4x as many people were saved because of guns as died due to accidents involving guns. If I tried to market a product that improved the lives of 80% of the users, but killed another 20% outright, I don't think I'd get too far.

    February 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. JeffersonLives

    @Blah Blah, I am not taking on any branch of the military, nor did I say anything to that effect, I simply said that government itself is the number one reason to own guns. Governments have killed more people in the last century than anything else.....however, you never refuted that, and you can't, because it is a fact. The point of owning guns is to act as a deterent to government from running roughshot over our rights. and it works. And calling me a name destroys your credibility seeing how you have to stoop to name calling cause you cant have an adult debate.

    February 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Bob

    The NRA might be the face of gun ownership to the media, but there are millions of us writing letters, calling our elected reps, ect..... We don't need Wayne to take marching orders from. In many respects we are WAY ahead of him.

    February 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Rudy NYC


    You can tell how many Progressives are on this site with all the comments hating on the NRA. All of them fear guns and believe in a world of peace and rainbows. So the plan to wrap the minds of the next generations into sissy little girls is working. What better way to take away guns than to raise people up thinking that guns are just for hunting and sports, once you do that the ones that don't do either will have no problem having them taken away.
    How many guns has the government ever taken away due to the now expired assault weapons ban?
    Do you have any other solution for stopping nut jobs with guns besides arming yourself with bigger guns?

    You see, I am a genuine Christian. The Bible teaches me that weapons of war, death and killing are evil. "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword." So in my pursuit of happiness, I need a better solution than someone else's personal arms race against their paranoid delusions. Background checks used to make sense to the NRA, but not anymore.

    February 14, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. LivinginVA

    AbleWitness said: The "peaceable citizens" phrase speaks to an instant background check system, but keeping a federal registry speaks to inevitable confiscation.

    To me it speaks to the ability of the federal government to call those people and their weapons into service as part of a "well-regulated" militia in times of need.

    February 14, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. ccofcharltte

    Assault weapon ban fails, clip probably fails, universal background check and registry of all sales passes, increased dollars for mental illness, improved sharing of information, research funded without the NRA approval. Now let's move on.

    February 14, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. NickAnast


    "The odds are that you will never need a gun. On the other hand, when you need a gun, you need it desperately. Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings, a Georgia woman backed through her entire home with her two young children, trying to avoid a crowbar wielding monster. She and her children backed into an attic as her last hiding place. When the monster burst in, she filed all 6 shots from her revolver, hitting the monster 5 times and causing him to flee, only to be caught by police later (who did not arrive in time to help her). The monster was taken to the hospital due to the many deserved wounds. Then he went to jail, and eventually he will go to prison. Too bad she did not have a 30 round magazine in a semi-automatic pistol. She and her children really, really needed that gun. Stories such as this occur every day, but they are not reported."
    And once again, a gun nut tries to make the argument in favor of assault weapons and high-capacity clips, but only succeeds in proving that such weapons are unnecessary. Once again, the example provided shows that a conventional weapon, in this case an ordinary 6-shot revolver, was all that was needed for someone to protect herself from a would-be assailant. And - surprise! - conventional weapons are NOT affected by any of the proposed bills being introduced/debated in Congress.

    February 14, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Seth

    I'm sick of all the NRA bashing. If you choose not to be a member great but there are plenty of gun nuts that are not members. The NRA does not enact laws or endorse violence. Growing up we took hunter safety and education classes from the NRA and to me that was the main focus. Personally I let my membership lapse as I was a member of other hunting conservation and sporting groups. I find it funny that it is so polarizing. I am signing up for 5 year membership. In my teens I worked summers on a ranch for a man that has given over $1M to the NRA. He is one the best men I have ever known.

    February 14, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Kevin

    Mass shootings, and one-off gun crimes, are simply symptoms of a broken society. This from "the greatest country in the world". I'm happy to say that I don't live in the US

    February 14, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Ulysses-AZ

    Extending backgound checks to all purchases, for private sales or gun shows, is reasonable as long as the method and fees are both reasonable and accessible. Should Feds (or individual states) want to turn this fee into a controlled revenue generator or parcel the function out to licensed, "for-profit" verification companies, it runs the risk of making the purchase of a firearm prohibitive... and therefore, an infringement on our right to bear arms.

    February 14, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Rudy NYC


    @Blah Blah, I am not taking on any branch of the military, nor did I say anything to that effect, I simply said that government itself is the number one reason to own guns. Governments have killed more people in the last century than anything else.....however, you never refuted that, and you can't, because it is a fact
    Of course, no one is going to refute your claim that goverments kill more people. Most have militaries that number in the tens or hundreds of thousands. On any given day, there are a dozen or more minor to major wars and armed conflicts in progress. Why don't you buy a meteor shield while you're at it. Thousands and thousands enter the atmosphere every day, and every once in a while a big one comes alonog.

    February 14, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. ShawnDH

    Will_NOT_Give_My_Right_Away cried: "This country was founded to give all the freedom to choose and I for one own guns and choose to keep them and is someone chooses to try and take them away they better come ready for a fight...."

    Well good thing not a single aspect of any proposed gun laws would in any way take away your right to legally buy and own a gun. What are you talking about?

    Why can't you guys stay in the real world in this discussion? It's amazing. Stop threatening violence based on nothing but your own paranoia.

    February 14, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. askdavey

    i just can't stop thinking about all the nut jobs that own guns and are commenting here, there will be no civil war.....unless its being held in your head, if thats the case the gov. will get you annd hopfully lock you up and take your guns away, i wonder if the nra ever says this is a civelized world ?

    February 14, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Truth

    The NRA doesn't care about your rights. They are a gun manufacturing lobby at their core and will fight so that they can keep selling guns. the common people's rights have 0 meaning to them.

    February 14, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Ralph

    How many of you have served your country in the armed forces? Willing to surrender your life if need be for the survival of our country and its legally established institutions?
    Very few no dought have given thought to your rights that were estabished for you and your posterity by those who bore the unltimate cost so you now could whine, protest, and be cared for by our nanny state. Those of us who hold all of our rights as dear shall not surrender them to your sensibilities.
    Are you liberal minded citizens going to be protesting the "Patriot Act."? Now that President Obama supports this is now okay with you when not long ago he and you were against it !!!!

    February 14, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Steve

    Using inflamatory language like the above will make the NRA directly responsible for any violence that follows.

    February 14, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Mike

    Today's NRA represents gun manufacturers and not gun owners as it used to be.
    I was a member and will cancel my membership today as I don't see any use for NRA as a gun owner. Get all your donations from gun manufacturers, not me.

    February 14, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. felix Odigie

    Some of the gun owners are already fighting...and this is the reason for all these!

    February 14, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Larry L

    @critical thinking
    "...the Court found that the phrase “well regulated Militia” referred not to formally organized state or federal militias, but to the pool of “able-bodied men” who were available for conscription."
    Logically, since we now "conscript" individuals with a military draft only those eligible for that draft could be considered a part of a well-regulated militia. Additionally, nowhere written in the 2nd is some universal right to "use firearms too overthrow our government when you decide it's oppressive". I haven't seen anybody, including the President, questioning the right to own a weapon. Nowhere in the 2nd is the type of weapon described. Like the other Amendments, we've discovered it has logical limitations – that's why we don't give citizens to right to own certain military weapons. The N.R.A. is encouraging their members to fight against imaginary challenges to the 2nd because their gullible crowd fantasizes about some modern-day revolution by well-armed, white, red-state, bubbas. It's not about the 2nd – it's about hate and fear.

    February 14, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. ShawnDH

    Hank whined: "Firearms will never be banned here and if they are people should die and those doing the killing will be defending the Constitution. It's that simple, folks."

    You're right. Firearms will never be banned and nobody is proposing that. Of course the Constitution specifically says guns will be WELL REGULATED but don't let the facts get in the way of your hysteria.

    February 14, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. James C Edgar

    Despite a chorus from the ignorant minority, this is clearly a case of the Association leading the membership around by the nose. Rebel. Dump La Pierre!

    February 14, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. JeffersonLives

    @Rudy NYC, as a genuine christian myself I would contend that to Live by the sword, Die by the sword is referring to more appropriately something like governments who go around slaughtering people in foreign lands in aggressive wars of choice. But dont confuse that with the right to self defense which is not evil. The sword itself is not evil, but the intentions and reasons for using it are what shall be judged. And sure background checks sound reasonable to someone who is emotionally charged over an emotional incident, but all in all its part of an old scheme to eventually lead to registration and eventual confiscation...its not a conspiracy theory...many of the highest ranking gun grabbers are on record laying the long term goals all out on paper.

    February 14, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Wrathbrow

    I see in the article a lot of chest beating from the NRA, but no statements here about what the would do to reduce the flow of guns in to the hands of criminals. Some of the proposals for gun control are based on emotion and based on numbers would not make much difference. At the same time some 92% or slightly less depending on the poll used of Americans favor universal background checks, and many people also want to see more action on existing background checks, that includes gun owners.

    February 14, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Matthew

    All you have to do is look at the NRA's efforts, successful in most cases, to rearm felons, who by Federal law cannot possess firearms. Some states look the other way, and there are cases when these criminals use their firearms to kill after their convictions. Also, the use of suppressors or "silencers" is illegal, but the NRA is fighting to have them legalized because, so the NRA claim, they reduce 'hearing loss' for their members. As we saw with Christopher Dorner, the use of suppressors is used to reduce the visibility and location of the shooter, making him harder to target for police and military members, as well as to cover the sound of targeted killings by criminal assassins.

    February 14, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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