NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is not cowed by the criticism he and his organization have received in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn. In a fiery speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference — met with cries from the audience of “Right! Right!” and “Amen!” — LaPierre dismissed Democrats’ calls for expanding background checks and called once again for putting armed guards in schools across the country.
“There’s not a mom or a dad anywhere who wouldn’t feel safer seeing a police car in parking lot when they drop their kids off to school,” he said.
Acknowledging the ire that has been directed his way since December’s shooting, LaPierre announced, “I didn’t come here to be popular; I came here to stand for what I believe is true.” As for the elitists in the mainstream media and the nation’s capital: “Let them be damned,” he said.
LaPierre reserved his harshest criticism for Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, which suggested in a recent Web video that citizens protect themselves from gunmen with scissors.
“Scissors? That’s their answer?” LaPierre asked. “Let’s get this straight: To protect our children at school, we recommend a trained professional with a gun, and they recommend scissors? And they say we’re crazy? It’s sheer madness.”
He went on to mock the advice offered by Vice President Joe Biden in a recent town hall, in which he counseled a young woman to protect herself with a double-barreled shotgun, arguing that such a weapon is preferable to a semi-automatic rifle. “The vice president of the United States actually told women facing an attack to just empty their shotguns into the air. Honestly, have they lost their minds over at the White House?” The question was rhetorical, and the crowd whistled and cheered in approval.
“Keep your advice, we’ll keep our guns,” LaPierre concluded, to sustained applause.