NRA leader: 'Government policies are getting us killed'
February 10th, 2011
05:19 PM ET
12 years ago

NRA leader: 'Government policies are getting us killed'

Washington (CNN)– "Government policies are getting us killed" and the shootings in Tucson revealed the failure of government, said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, Thursday.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre said government has failed with "laws, lies, and lack of enforcement." CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists and this year is particularly notable as it has become a cattle-call of potential GOP presidential candidates.

"If Tucson taught us anything it taught us this: Government failed," LaPierre said. "And when they tell you that a ban on assault weapons can make you safer, don't you buy it, not one second, because it's a lie. Their laws don't work, their lies aren't true. By its laws and lies and lack of enforcement, government policies are getting us killed."

LaPierre's description of government failure was a focus as he addressed violence in society from the tragedy in Tucson to the number of bad guys in Washington, DC "walking the streets" (30,000, according to his speech).

Speaking on criticism of his organization following the Tucson shootings, LaPierre said the NRA refused to comment in the event's aftermath because it was "not the first time we've found ourselves on this side." He cued a video of former NRA leader Charlton Heston addressing criticism of the pro-gun rights group following school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado: "Simply being silent is so often the right thing to do," Heston said at the time.

The NRA's outspoken leader did not stay silent on the right to bear arms Thursday, however. LaPierre railed against government laws that restrict gun ownership, criticized the media for its attention to "deranged killers," saying that it "ought to be ashamed," and lashed out at "political elites that want us to believe that if we just pass another law or two we can stop a mad man bent on a streak of violence."

LaPierre gave a warning to the CPAC crowd: "As soon as we leave this hall your life will be in jeopardy," he said. Citing "25,000 violent crimes" committed every week "according to the FBI" he asked "How safe do you feel? How safe do you really feel?"

And his response to anti-gun laws was equally tough: "These clowns want to ban magazines? Are you kidding me? That's their response to the blizzard of mayhem. One more gun law... that's going to disarm...and make all of us less safe and the deranged and the violent more safe."

LaPierre has a remedy for the mayhem that he spoke about. "Throughout history the presence of a gun in the hands of a good person makes us all safer," he said, because "The whole flock is safer when the wolves can't tell the difference between the lions and the lambs."

The NRA leader issued a rallying call to arms at CPAC as he called on conservatives to act.

"No more laws and lies and government failure. At the scene of the crime, there's always the offender and the victim. It's time the victims in this country got a fighting chance," LaPierre said.

Filed under: CPAC 2011 • NRA
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. lforlegend

    It's the guns they are manufacturing that's killing folk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Dave

    LaPierre is really going to use the case of a person legally purchasing an assault weapon and then using it to kill five people and wound others, as an example of how legalized assault weapons purchases makes us safer? Really?

    February 10, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. they call me "tater salad"

    Lobbying should be against the law........It totally undermines the concept of democracy. Oh if I only had a magic lamp and 3 wishes.......There's a lot of people that wouldn't be here anymore!

    February 10, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. PacificView

    The gun mystic. What is it? Why do so many people have thier identity wrapped up in gun ownership? I don't get it. Peace.

    February 10, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Clwyd

    This makes me ashamed to be an American to have these kinds of lies put out by the horrible NRA. I haven't read one article of how guns in our hands have saved a life the past month , but there have been hundreds of family killings, mall killings and suicides.

    February 10, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Indy

    "Government policies are getting us killed" says Lapierre. What policy is killing people / Outside of Healthcare repeal I can't figure out what he is talking about unless he is using fear,and threats to intimindate against political rivals which would of course be defined as TERRORISM. It is 100% clear to normal people that gun control is not taking away anyones rights but giving the people the right feel as safe as they can about people that have guns. Typical "Pee your Pants" Republican scare tactics over nothing that is true and fits the definition of terrorism.

    February 10, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. mike

    so, Tucson was the government's fault? this nut is in the pocket of arms manufactorors and you all know it!

    February 10, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. lgny

    The NRA notion that an armed civilian could have prevented or stopped the Phoenix shooting is pure myth derived from watching too many cowboy movies. It takes only a few seconds for the shooter to empty his clip, faster than a civilian can recognize the danger, unholster the gun, determine who to shoot, and get a clean shot that does not take down bystanders.

    Look, for example, at the Reagan shooting. Here you have the most highly trained police guards, yet Hinkley was still able to kill and injure several people. Somehow LaPierre and the NRA radicals think they can out-shoot the Secret Service.

    February 10, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. Hud

    I own guns an i love to hunt but i don't agree with what this man say.

    February 10, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Tony in Maine

    There is a particularly hot corner of Hell waiting for LaPierre. He will do and say anything for money. The proper definition of that would upset conservatives.

    February 10, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Kent Bowen

    Ask Ms. Giffords what she thinks about these comments. I own several guns and I haven't shot any of them for 20 years. I would give them all up if the government would make a real effort to control sale and ownership. Guns for hunting, fine. Guns for any other purpose, unneeded. How many people ever really use a gun to protect their property? One in a million?

    February 10, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. Latrisha Trentinella

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    February 10, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    If that would only be true the world would be a much better place. I wonder how he would feel if someone in his family would be on the receiving end of some maniac who could fire 31 bullets without reloading.
    I wonder if that rifle heston took to the grave with him has rusted yet.

    February 10, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Alex Santana

    Talk about dangerous this guy and all of the NRA are crazy. No one needs to have guns unless they are going to kill someone. The NRA spokespersons are always like a bunch of little boys who are afraid of having their toys taken away from them. It might have been necessary in the 1700's to have guns to keep bears from the door, but that is gone...and now the NRA wonks cling to this ridiculous Second Amendment mantra...enough already. Ever pull up next to a truck with NRA stickers? Take a look at the is like looking at escapees from the movie set of Deliverance! More fingers than teeth...scary...and this is the face of the NRA!

    February 10, 2011 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Joe E.

    There's never a straight jacket around when you need one. Porky Pig should have followed him at the podium with his signature way of saying "That's All Folks", because LaPierre is Looney Tunes for sure!

    February 10, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. Rob Johnson

    Anybody who thinks that somebody who got rejected by the military and kicked out of college for being mentally unstable should be able to buy automatic weapons with extended magazines is as crazy as Jared Loughner.

    This isn't even a Second Amendment issue. This is a common sense issue of not letting crazy people have the ability to kill large numbers of people.

    February 10, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Joe

    NRA Sucks!!!! Violent group of wolves!

    February 10, 2011 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  18. Tom

    This guys creepy!!!! NRA's way promotes violence and hatred. Wrong way to go!!!!

    February 10, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  19. Daniel

    I don't need Wayne la Pierre's help to keep my guns. He is just another blood-sucking lobbyist and I would never pay a dime to his organization. He is also a fanatic.

    February 10, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This convention was loaded with head cases!

    February 10, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  21. Natalya

    For once I agree with everyone who has posted in the comment section...

    February 10, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. Freddy

    Not surprising that he is a darling of the right wing...guns are big business in the US – and who supports big business, regardless of what they sell? Next thing you'll hear is that gun laws kill jobs!!! Toronto is starting to look very attractive....

    February 11, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  23. seriously???

    If only it was mandatory that everyone had handguns and we spent every single waking minute with them in our hands loaded and ready to fire! That way we'd all be safe! What a wonderful world the NRA could give us!!

    February 11, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  24. Norm Richert

    One of the more interesting items in this discussion is the picture that heads it. Clearly, the picture of LaPierre is not a neutral one. An aging male with receding hairline dressed up in a suit, his pupils invisible, mouth open and clenched fist. It is neither the image of someone presenting a well reasoned point-of-view, nor the image of someone in full charge of all his faculties. If anything, it tells us that the network does not approve of LaPierre, or of his message. Interesting choice of picture.

    February 11, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  25. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, the answer to all violence is more guns. Rermove government background checks, heck, remove government law enforcement. No more regulations! The best way to stop mentally insane people who aren't afraid to die is to make sure everyone gets a gun and is allowed to use it however they like. If in the process even more mentally insane people who aren't afraid to die get guns, and hence more people get killed in shootouts... It must still be government's fault for not handing out even MORE gund to even MORE people! And how dare that police officer call me dangerous for waving my gun? I am a good person! How can he mistake me for a criminal just because I wave my gun?

    February 11, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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