NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – The National Rifle Assoication’s Wayne LaPierre spoke Thursday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland and blasted “opportunists” who “exploit tragedy for political gain” in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting.
TRANSCRIPT OF HIS SPEECH, FROM NRATV.COM:
Thank you very much. I appreciate this opportunity. We have a serious discussion ahead, and serious issues that impact every one of us.
Just a week ago, we were all horrified by another terrible tragedy at an American school. Each and every member of the National Rifle Association mourns the loss of the innocent and continues to keep their families and that community in our prayers. We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods and a safe country.
As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain. Saul Alinsky would have been proud—the breakneck speed of calls for more gun-control laws and the breathless national media eager to smear the NRA.
Think about that. In the midst of genuine grief and very understandable passion—as millions of Americans search for meaningful solutions—what do we find? Chris Murphy and Nancy Pelosi and more, cheered on by the national media, eager to blame the NRA and call for even more government control.
They hate the NRA, hate the Second Amendment, hate individual freedom. In the rush of calls for more government, they have revealed their true selves. These elites don’t care—not one wit—about America’s schoolchildren. If they truly cared, they’d protect them.
For them, it’s not a safety issue. It’s a political issue. They care about control—more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearm freedom so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.
They want more restrictions on the law-abiding. Think about that. Their solution is to make you and me less free.
They want to sweep under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI. They fantasize about more laws stopping what other laws fail to stop.
Laws succeed when people obey them. That’s what the law-abiding majority practices. But once again, so many existing laws were ignored.
Their laws don’t stop illegal criminals from crossing our borders every day. Their laws don’t stop the scourge of gang violence and drug crime that savages Baltimore and Chicago and every major urban community. Their laws haven’t stopped the plague of opioids and Chinese fentanyl from Mexico that flood American streets and kill victims every single day. No wonder law-abiding Americans revere their Second Amendment freedom to protect themselves—now more than ever.
They don’t care if their laws work or not—they just want to get more laws to get more control over the people. But the NRA does care. We are Americans who continue to mourn, care and contribute real solutions to this very real problem. Real, practical action to truly protect our children.
Think about it. It is a bizarre fact that, in this country, our jewelry stores are more important than our children. Our banks, our airports, our NBA games, our NFL games, our office buildings, our movie stars, our politicians—they are all more protected than our children at school.
Do we really love our money and our celebrities more than we love our children? Can we answer that question honestly, knowing that we surround and protect so much with armed security while we drop our kids off at schools—those so-called gun-free zones—that are wide open targets for any crazed madman bent on evil to come there first.
In every community in America, school districts and PTAs, teachers’ unions and local law enforcement, and moms and dads must come together to implement the very best strategy to harden their schools including effective, trained armed security that will absolutely protect every innocent child. And that has to happen now. Evil walks among us and God help us if we don’t harden our schools and protect our kids.
The whole idea from some of our opponents that armed security makes us less safe is ridiculous. If that’s true, remove it from everywhere—from the White House, from Capitol Hill, from all of Hollywood.
Any American school that needs immediate professional consultation and help with organizing and defining these solutions should call the NRA National School Shield Program and we will provide immediate assistance, absolutely free. That is more than anybody at the Democrat National Committee or NBC News or The Washington Post is offering.
The shameful politicizing of tragedy is a classic strategy right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement.
In my three decades of leading the NRA, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of Democrats who believed America to be the greatest country in the world because of our free-market capitalism and individual constitutional freedom. But during the last decade—the Obama decade—many of those leaders have been forced out as a tidal wave of new European-style socialists have seized control of the Democrat Party.
Obama’s promised fundamental transformation of our country began with his own national party—a party that is now infested with saboteurs who don’t believe in capitalism, don’t believe in the Constitution, don’t believe in our freedom and don’t believe in America as we know it. Obama may be gone, but their utopian dream for America marches on.
And President Trump’s election, while critical, can’t turn away the wave of these new European-style socialists bearing down upon us. I’m not just talking about Bernie Sanders—he’s near the end of his career.
Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bill DeBlasio, Andrew Cuomo, Corey Booker, Christopher Murphy and Keith Ellison. They are not Democrats in the mold of John F. Kennedy or Tip O’Neill. They hide behind labels like “Democrat,” “left-wing” and “progressive” to make their socialist agenda more palatable.
That is terrifying. And that should terrify every citizen who values the American ideal of individual liberty.
They have politicized the Department of Justice, weaponized the Internal Revenue Service and the EPA, perhaps crippled the FBI and the intelligence community, and seized the embedded leadership of them all to advance their agenda. Absolute control of every corner of our government is their ultimate dream.
These intellectual elites think they’re smarter than the rest of us, better than we are. The privileged and powerful think they deserve to be in charge of every lever of power.
The U.S. Constitution makes absolutely clear that they are not in charge—We the People are in charge! But Washington likes to ignore that.
Our intelligence community shrouds everything in secrecy, driving into darkness every dirty memo and every dirty institutional memory in the name of national security. But when the leaks come, as so often occurs, the light of day reveals nothing about the security of our country and everything about the corruption of those in power. That’s because in a captive society the loss of transparency results in the loss of truth. They also eliminate internal resistance of wrongdoing in these great institutions.
There is no stronger supporter of our law enforcement community than the NRA. There are tens of thousands of incredible men and women at the FBI. These are honorable, decent, hard-working people dedicated to keeping our country safe. But, as we’ve learned in recent months, even the FBI is not free of its own corruption, its own unethical agents.
I can understand a few bad apples in an organization as large as the FBI. But what is hard to understand is why no one at the FBI stood up and called BS on its rogue leadership.
Where was the systemic resistance and repulsion that should protect every powerful institution that serves us? The lowest ranking Marine knows to resist an unlawful order. The rank and file in every powerful institution must police its own leadership.
But in still too much of today’s Washington, no one speaks out. No one challenges authority. Everyone keeps their mouths closed and their heads down and that is exactly how socialist societies function.
When leaders do whatever they want, when resistance and repercussion disappears, when the fundamental concept of moral behavior is expunged, the state rules the day and anyone who attempts to resist is smeared into submission.
Ah yes, we do live in the age of the socialist smear. The art of the smear. It doesn’t have to be true, it just has to stick somewhere, anywhere. It’s designed to degrade and destroy all over the national media to serve their agenda.
And socialism is a movement that loves the smear. Racist, misogynist, sexist, xenophobe and more. These are the weapons of vitriol these character assassins scream to permanently hang on their targets and create a growing segment of victims, because socialism feeds off manipulated victims. You name the group and they will find a way to turn them into victims.
They keep their movement growing by finding something to be offended by every minute of every day. From the Occupy Movement to Black Lives Matter to Antifa. They agitate the offended, promote uncivil discourse and ignore any sense of due process and fairness to destroy their enemies.
The elimination of due process is the gold standard of the socialist state. Imagine telling an elderly couple, because they sought help to do their taxes, that they could no longer exercise their fundamental Second Amendment right. That’s what Obama did.
His administration proposed that some social security recipients who granted financial authority to a family member or friend or financial professional was banned from purchasing a firearm. No questions asked, just like that. Good, law-abiding people were automatically and unjustly declared mentally incompetent and put on a new government list.
Oh, how socialists love to make lists—especially lists that can be used to deny citizens their basic freedoms. And now, some people are calling for a new list of anyone who has sought mental health care, to deny them their Second Amendment rights.
Look, the NRA originated the National Instant Check System. It was our bill. No one on the prohibited persons list should ever have access to a firearm—no killer, no felon, no drug dealer. And anyone adjudicated as mentally incompetent or a danger to society should be added to the check system and prevented from getting their hands on a gun.
Watch what I released three years ago and the media machine so callously ignored.
That’s not a new video. I’ve said that for years, and for years I’ve been ignored by the same opportunists who don’t give a damn.
Here’s what I said on CBS way back in 1993, 25 years ago.
Now here’s the real tragedy. Charles Schumer shook my hand to get all the mental health records into the system, and then went back to Capitol Hill and did absolutely nothing. How many lives might have been saved if he had just kept his promise?
They are liars to their core and I’ll make this prediction right now: A year from today, those records may still not be in the system—not if some of these whining-for-television politicians have their way. Instead, they’ll keep coming after the NRA when another monster slips through the very cracks they’ve enabled in the system as the records of prohibited persons remain out of the database.
But we must be careful it doesn’t become a runaway train. What if your medical records, perhaps your conversations with your doctor, your prescription information—do we really want all that on a government list?
Here’s another one. A military veteran goes to his or her local VA and tells the doctor they’re having trouble sleeping at night. Or anyone who shares their nightmares with a medical professional. They all become potential triggers that somebody somewhere could define as a mental health barrier to owning a firearm.
I even heard a talking head on television suggest that people seeking to buy a firearm be interviewed first. Interviewed first? Who will conduct that interview? And what will they ask?
That’s the challenge we as a free society face. How do we create a step along the way called “due process” that protects the innocent, law-abiding people of this country from being falsely accused, politically abused and permanently stigmatized unjustly?
Come on, socialists oppose all of our most fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights. They don’t like free speech. Only limited speech, controlled speech. Controlled by them through Safe Speech Zones, where they can shame the outspoken or riot to shut them up. If you still think we have full First Amendment freedom in this country, try going to Berkeley and speaking out in favor of conservative issues or even the Second Amendment.
This growing socialist state dreams of manipulating schoolchildren to squeeze and seize information about their parents. They’ll be asking your kids if Mommy and Daddy spank them, or what Mommy and Daddy feeds them for dinner. They’ll want to know what TV shows you watch, what magazines and newspapers you read and, oh yes, if Mommy and Daddy own a gun.
All that private information will be entered into that ultimate list—that cloud of data storage—that couldn’t care less about due process and constitutional protection of your privacy. And then, it’s just a short hop to the systematic destruction of our most basic values—family, faith, individual responsibility and self-destiny, a free-market economy, patriotism, respect for our national flag and anthem, personal liberty and justice for all.
Going back a decade or more, these essential values have been increasingly ridiculed, disrespected and diminished. It won’t take long to erase them completely. That’s the real consequence of this new socialist wave in America.
I hear the quiet in this room. I sense your anxiety. You should be anxious. You should be frightened. If they seize power—if the socialists take over the House and Senate and if, God forbid they get the White House again—our American freedoms could be lost and our country changed forever. And the first to go will be Second Amendment freedom.
History proves it. Every time, in every nation in which this political disease rises to power, its citizens are repressed, their freedom destroyed and their firearms banned and confiscated. It’s all backed by the social engineering billions of George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and more, and gleefully promoted by those who have risen to power in the national news media and seized control of social media to spread their propaganda.
They don’t tell us the news. They tell us what to think.
On our college campuses, The Communist Manifesto is one of the most frequently assigned texts. Karl Marx is the most assigned economist. There are now over 100 chapters of the Young Democratic Socialists of America and, at many universities, students earn academic credit for promoting socialist causes. In too many classrooms, the U.S. Constitution is ignored, U.S. history perverted, the Second Amendment despised.
You know, some people think the NRA should just stick to its Second Amendment agenda and not talk about all of our freedoms. But real freedom requires the protection of all of our rights. And a Second Amendment isn’t worth its own words in a country where all individual freedoms are destroyed.
So the NRA will not only speak out, we will speak out louder and stronger than ever before. Through NRATV, our media operations will expand to reach a growing audience of Americans looking for truth. Strong voices like Dana Loesch and Dan Bongino and others are engaging in new programming to make our message just as accessible as NBC, The New York Times and the rest of the national news media.
Let’s be clear. WE ARE NEVER talking about an armed resistance against the socialist corruption of our government. WE ARE ALWAYS talking about a resistance armed with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The genius of those documents, the brilliance of America itself, is that all of our freedoms are for every single citizen. And there is no greater personal, individual freedom than the right to keep and bear arms—the right to survive. Not bestowed by man, but granted by God as our American birthright.
I call on every citizen who loves this country and treasures its freedom to stand and unflinchingly defend the Second Amendment, the one freedom that protects us all.
I refuse to leave this stage until I say, one more time, that we must immediately harden our schools. Every day, young children are being dropped off at schools that are virtually wide open, soft targets for anyone bent on mass murder. It should not be easier for a madman to shoot up a school than a bank or a jewelry store.
Schools must be the most hardened targets in the country. Evil must be confronted immediately with all force necessary to protect our kids.
I said that five years ago, after the tragedy in Newtown. I wish, oh God, I wish more had heeded my words.
So, lean in. Listen to me now and never forget these words. To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.