There’s a scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone turns to his adopted brother Tom Hagen and tells him that it’s time for him to step aside. Michael needs a “wartime consigliere” and Tom’s just not the right man for the coming battles. It’s a tough moment, letting someone know that, despite having done a great job in the past, you just don’t think they’re the right man for the job that needs doing. And that’s exactly the kind of conversation the guys at the NRA need to have with Wayne LaPierre . . .

At the press conference on Friday, the NRA offered a good option to deal with the problem of securing schoolchildren . . . and then promptly shot itself in the foot.

Wayne LaPierre made a brilliant case for armed guards in the nation’s schools as a logical and rational response to the Sandy Hook shooting, appealing through both logos and pathos to do the right thing to protect our kids. If it weren’t for the protesters, that part of the speech would have been almost perfect. And then he turned to video games.

I get the argument he tried to make. But protecting the Second Amendment by turning on the First isn’t the way to go. As terribly as the media performed in the days immediately following the shooting, it’s their constitutionally protected right to turn the shooter into an anti-hero whose name is known world wide. Someone whose body count is ranked on a list like the high score in a video game, and whose post-mortem fame will no doubt help to incite the next shooter. That’s just the unavoidable fallout from the First Amendment freedoms we have in this country. And the Second Amendment gives us the ability to protect ourselves from that fallout.

LaPierre’s speech turned very quickly from a full-throated defense of the Second Amendment into that of a crotchety old man talking about kids these days with their hip hop music and their damned skateboards. The NRA needs re-branding.

Long seen as a bastion of old men and fudds, the NRA still claims to represent all gun owners in the United States. But the universe of legal gun owners increasingly includes those under thirty years old who grew up with violent video games — and they’re none the worse for wear.

By proclaiming that entertainment like Grand Theft Auto and Natural Born Killers are the real culprits behind mass shootings like Aurora and Sandy Hook, the NRA has makes it nearly impossible for younger gun owners to believe the organization understands the current culture and is capable of representing their interests.

The NRA is pushing away the very population that could help make them an unstoppable force for good in the United States. Instead, it continues to appeal to the arthritic AARP crowd, a demographic that is slowly but surely shrinking. They need to change their image, appealing to the future of the gun culture instead of clinging to to the old ways.

The NRA needs a wartime consigliere. And Wayne LaPierre ain’t it.

154 Responses to Wayne LaPierre Has to Go

  1. We can’t count on the NRA, we have to rely on ourselves. I know people who own a AR-15 and sadly voted for Obama last month but are now waking up to whats happening to their rights. Ban or not, in the 2014 midterm election the Democrats will see the worst drubbing ever.

    • TangledThorns… Too many gun owners aren’t very concerned about the 2nd Amendment. They would rather get distracted by social issues and vote democrat. Or they throw a temper tantrum and don’t vote because their guy (like Ron Paul) wasn’t nominated. These gun owners are not much better than those clamoring for confiscation. Silence is viewed as approval.

      • Or they throw a temper tantrum and don’t vote because their guy (like Ron Paul) wasn’t nominated.

        Right, because NOT voting for either of the two candidates that both support gun control, both support Scary Looking Weapons bans, both say no one “needs” a semi-auto firearm, etc was “promoting gun control”.

        Jesus, did you even look at the candidates running?

        • Exactly…some people in good faith have an extremely hard time voting when both candidates suck so badly (like in this last election).

        • I looked. I didn’t like it one bit. But even a blind man could see the lesser of two evils. BTW my choices (in no particular order) would have been Palin, Newt, Allen West, Cain, Perry. But no way in hell do I think oblamer and Romney are equivalents so I voted for the American. To bad you guys didn’t. I rather bitch about Romney than have a traitor in the White House. Remember… even Reagan passed anti-gun laws but I wouldn’t mind him being president compared to what we got.

        • But even a blind man could see the lesser of two evils.

          No, you decided that because there was an R after his name that somehow all of Romney’s past anti-gun legislation and anti-gun comments were somehow void. He was an equal of two evils. Besides, voting for the “lesser” evil is still voting for evil.

          All of you preferred candidates are just as anti-liberty and pro-big government as Barack Romney / Mitt Obama, just that they like guns.

          It’s sad that so many people are so lost on the concept of “freedom”.

          Oh, and nice try with blaming Libertarians for Romney’s loss – but if you looked at the differences in votes, even if every Libertarian in the country voted for scumbag Romney, he’d STILL have lost. Quite blaming others for your party picking a lousy candidate.

        • “…even if every Libertarian third-party voter in the country voted for scumbag Romney, he’d STILL have lost.”

          Fixed it for you, mathematically.

        • “Mitt Romney didn’t really want to win, his son Tagg Romney claims in a recent interview.

          “He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life,” Tagg Romney told the Boston Globe. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside.”

          The oldest Romney son said his father is a “private person” who wanted to help put the country back on its feet, but hated the limelight that came with presidential politics.

          Tagg Romney told the newspaper that he and his mother Ann had to convince Mitt Romney to run for the presidency.”

          http://news.yahoo.com/mitt-romney-didnt-want-president-son-claims-173907500–abc-news-politics.html

          ouch, touche, yowza…

    • TangledThorns, maybe you can fill me in on something that I apparently am having a hard time grasping. Why does the right feel like Obama is taking away ALL guns? He never said that and has been more laxed on gun control then even Bush was. He wants to ban ASSAULT WEAPONS and HIGH CAPACITY CLIPS so you can’t spray a school or mall with mass destruction. Why does my neighbor need such weapons in their house? If it’s protection you’re after, a shotgun will suffice. So, please, enlighten me on the REAL issue you have with that…
      I’m just trying to have a conversation, I’m for gun rights but common sense gun rights

      • Dustin Arth: First, “common sense” is a BS phrase that means nothing.

        Second, “assault weapon” is a BS phrase that can mean anything, therefore it means nothing. Oh, you just thought it meant scary black rifles? Wrong. Under the new SAFE act in New York, my SIG SAUER Mosquito, which shoots .22LR ammunition, is an “assault weapon” because it takes a detachable standard capacity magazine of greater than 7 rounds (it holds 10) and has a super scary barrel threaded to accept a silencer. My friend’s Ruger 10/22 Carbine (one of the most ubiquitous rifles in the country), which also shoots .22LR, would under Dianne Feinstein’s proposed assault weapons ban be an “assault weapon” because it has a detachable standard capacity magazine of greater than 7 rounds (it holds 10) and the barrel is threaded to accept a silencer.

        Third, “high capacity clips” is a phrase that is not only numerically incorrect, it’s the wrong terminology. It’s a magazine, not a clip. My Springfield Armory XD(M) in .40 is a full-size handgun that shoots relatively large rounds, and takes a standard capacity magazine of 16 rounds. That is the size magazine it was designed for, ergo standard. My SIG P238, being a much smaller gun, takes magazines with a standard capacity of 6 or 7 rounds. An FN Five-seveN is a full-size handgun that shoots tiny little rounds, and therefore its magazine has a standard capacity of 20 rounds.

        I don’t mind having a conversation with you, in fact, I enjoy educating people, but if it’s going to happen, it needs to start with you not regurgitating the standard Civilian Disarmament Movement scary language.

      • Who are you to say what will suffice? Ya’ jackwad…it’s not up to you to determine what we need to defend ourselves. I personally prefer an AR. I don’t need your approval for only shotgun defense. Get a clue!!!! If we left it up to people like you, we’d soon be defending ourselves against AK wielding criminals, with single shot .22’s!!!

  2. A lot of my friends my ago (early to mid 20s) worship the NRA. But after watching ham fisted grandstanding they do in my state legislature while Georgia Carry does real work, and watching them endorse a presidential candidate who signed an AWB in his state, I find the organization toxic. I’d rather support state orgs like GCO, and nationally I see SAF and GOA doing much better work. Unfortunately the NRA is the big dog in gun politics.

    • I took my money to the SAF. If all NRA members did the same thing, then the SAF would be the leading organization speaking out on our behalf. I’d like to see that happen.

      • I love the SAF, but they do their work in the courts, not in the legislature. If you want firepower in elections and legislative lobbying, the NRA is the big dog.

        Doesn’t mean I like it, but that’s the way it is. Choosing to fund the SAF exclusively isn’t a bad thing, but by doing so you are effectively voting to fight these issues in court and not in legislation.

        • That’s what’s wrong with politics – our elected officials have too much power and influence to sell to the highest bidder. I see your point that the NRA is there on our side to oppose all the anti-gun lobbying, but that’s just two sides of the same corrupt coin, unfortunately. Vote for people who support term limits, make politics non-lucrative and this whole mess will go away.

        • See my comment above, about just that. How come our politicians have soooo much influence to dole out? That should not be.

        • Except that, with funding, it could be a lobbying organization. And with more members, comes more funding…… see where this is going?

          I also think Guns Save Life needs to go national.

    • Nick I hear your concerns, and I agree that perception matters.
      But at the risk of sounding alike an NRA fan-boy, (I’m not- I just pay to get into my favorite outdoor range)…
      I keep coming back to the “circular firing squad” concept here.

      Emotion is still raw for everyone- the last thing TTAG needs to do here is
      “Fire, Aim, Ready” because you all are rapidly becoming the go-to site for what I would call thoughtful and responsible gun-owners, with a lot of good long-time pro’s and articles that appeal to newbs, like me, who do their careful homework.

      To be fair to your point- I thought Mr LaPierre could have done a much better job, and if others agree, then here’s my point-

      The time to talk about that is in a couple weeks when everyone has cooled down a bit. And that especially includes gun-owners who naturally are upset they are being branded as nuts by some.

      I would appreciate more facts- from what little I know, the data on violent video games is NOT conclusive, but I have seen some scientific stuff from my kids pediatrician, on the effects of too much blue screen on sleep, and some more serious stuff on damage to the executive functions, especially for kids with the kinds of brains that tend toward ADHD, autism, and so on, that give me pause.

      Col Dave Grossman is adamant about same in his “Bullet-proof Mind” seminars, although I have not seen the cites in his book, and it would add a lot to the site here, if you could dig some of that out, or get a guest article, or simply post a link with deep info thats relevant, as I am not seeing that elsewhere in the MSM.

      That way serve as an example of open-mindedness about the range of solutions, rather than get caught up in simplistic finger-pointing, or defensiveness.

      I’ve read many gunners vow they will exit the NRA if they dont come out swinging, and other sites praise NRA, so I see a range of opinion thats valide and worthy of discussion.

      My point to you would be, if Mr LaPierre is guilty of same, then the best way to change the system in a big org like the NRA, is from inside. Money talks- get involved and write, call, and keep citing facts in these articles, and most important SOLUTIONS.

      Sorry for the long post- I thought a couple comments I sent earlier under another screen name made it thru the filters, but did not- so heres the bottomline, with respect for all the hard work you guys do at TTAG:

      Its Christmas. Time to enjoy your family and friends, and the newest maps from BattleField and COD, amigo.

  3. Yeah I grew up with violent movies and video games. I maintain my sanity and responsible gun ownership just fine.

    Even Dr. Phil, who I don’t like, supported the fact that you have to have a deep psychological problem if a game like Call of Duty inspires you to go on a shooting spree.

    I was flabbergasted when LaPierre mentioned ‘Natural Born Killers’. Wasn’t that movie Oliver Stone’s satire about how the media glorify violence and mass murderers? Maybe I missed the point of the movie, but that is what I took away.

    • “I was flabbergasted when LaPierre mentioned ‘Natural Born Killers’. Wasn’t that movie Oliver Stone’s satire about how the media glorify violence and mass murderers?”

      No, you are completely accurate in your understanding.

    • I remember when the original Mortal Kombat game came out and everybody and their grandmother wanted to ban it. I played it a lot back then, somehow I’ve never developed any urges to hurt anyone. It was just an entertaining time-waster, nothing more.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. The worst thing that the NRA currently has going for it is Wayne LaPierre. He’s done (mostly) good work, but “I am the NRA” and I really don’t like him. His speech at CPAC when he said, loudly and boldly, that it’s all part of a vast Obama-led conspiracy to go nutso on gun control in his second term was kinda the breaking point for me. Do they want our guns? Sure. Are they opportunistic as hell about trying to push their goals? Absolutely. But “massive conspiracy?” Not so much.

    At this point he is pretty much universally associated with crazy, and that’s something we could stand to lose.

    • I may be alone in my opinion here, but the more that came out about “Fast and Furious”, the more I, and others, came to believe if it hadn’t of blown up in their faces, especially with the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, F & F would have been the first step on your so called “Obama-led conspiracy to go nutso on gun control in his second term”.

      jmo

      • Maybe a little of subject but it makes me a little weary when I see this Fiscal Cliff stuff, I get this bad feeling that they will let it happen then the dems will push it on the GOP and the midterms will be dominated by the Dems. Or they will only pass a bill to stop the fiscal cliff from happening if they also get to pass an AWB.

        I probably don’t even know what I’m talking about and it probably won’t happen but hey you never know.

    • I also agree. I think the speech was concocted “in house” by folks inflated by their hubris and deluded by their culture. An outside consultant, a spin doctor or a good PR firm would have been a wise investment. I don’t think Wayne has to go, but he needs some better advisors.

    • I agree and have thought this for awhile. We need a sharper more dynamic spokesperson, and we need them now! I have watched Wayne miss “The Point” several times, and at this crucial time we can’t afford any thing like this.

  5. Having met Mr Lapierre I consider him a full fledged politician/lobbyist/DC insider. He flies in Lear jets and rides in limos. He is as out of touch with the grassroots as Obama.

    Sadly the firm stand of Harlon Carter “not one inch, never” has been softened by professional lobbyists like Mr Lapierre.

  6. I have said for nearly twenty years he has to go. Wayne is the sole reason I dropped my membership, and I betcha I’m far from alone.

  7. Yes, he is a great insider lobbyist, not a spokesperson or an ad man. The NRA needs a better spokesperson and external marketing plan. Keep Wayne as the “capital hill” guy.

    • Agree. Wayne comes across like he can hang with the politicians. I like that part. The NRA does need a better public facing evangelist. Hopefully they have a few in the wings. Just a thought.

      I also plan on spending some money with GOA, and the 2nd Amendment Foundation. Spread the love (and risk). I also wrote a nice letter to my politicians.

  8. La Pierre stepped all over the First, Fourth, and Tenth to defend the Second. No, that’s not the type of person we need speaking for us. Not at all.

    He was hugely hypocritical as well – w/o all the gaming and Hollywood magic bullet lore a ton of his base wouldn’t even exist. It’s as if Feinstein and La Pierre got together to troll us. -Pk

  9. As much as I agree that LaPierre’s departure would be healthy for the NRA long term, I think to do so right now would look like an admission of guilt.

  10. The NRA is a dinosaur anyway – it served a purpose before the internet – but now when you have the head of the NRA coming out and blaming video games and movies that haven’t been relevant for 15 years – well it’s time for something else.

  11. First of all, LaPierre didn’t “turn on” the First Amendment. He criticized violent video games and pointed out the glorification of violence in our society. So how do video games deserve a free pass? Since when have games been above criticism and beyond reproach? And how in god’s name does that amount to turning on the First? If I criticize some jack@ss columnist, does that mean I’m against the First Amendment?

    Second, its really so delightful to see us turn on our own — at least it is if your name is Diane Feinstein. The wingnuts have been losing for years, but they never turned on their own people. We take a hit and suddenly LaPierre has to go?

    Let’s face it, with an attitude like this, we’re all done. Finished. And when history is written, it won’t be murder in Connecticut that killed us; it will be suicide.

    • It’s fair game to criticize the messenger and say “we can do better” when you believe in the cause. I haven’t seen anyone saying “f*ck the NRA, that LaPierre guy is the devil” — to the contrary, my read is that there are plenty of people, myself among them, who want the NRA to do a better job of representing them.

      As another commenter noted, let’s agree that we were not well-served by the clueless-grandpa “get off my goddamn lawn” ranting about video games and movies from 20 years ago that were actually satires. His ill-advised diversion into criticizing the media was a very significant strategic mistake, IMHO, and would not have been committed by anyone under ~40 who grew up with video games.

    • Violent video games are NOT the problem. There are probably 50,000,000 americans who play violent video games on a daily basis, 100,000,000 americans who watch a violent film on a daily basis, and yet 1 of those people goes crazy and we blame the rest? You are just as bad as the gun grabbers, blaming 1 person for the rest of our hobbies and seeking to regulate it.

      • Maybe you have a point. But something is influencing these phvkstains to go on a spree long before they touch a gun. It is not unreasonable to say an unstable mind is influenced by violence in the media. People who that process the world within defined normal parameters (whatever the hell those are) are not affected by the violence. We watch, enjoy and move on. Someone with a true mental issue may not be able to move on. They may be affected much differently than the rest of us.

        Watching other human beings commit some act of violence, whether it be games or film, must have a larger effect than an inanimate object. A gun is only a tool. It cannot be personified.

        • So what do you propose we do? If you believe that we should regulate video games more, please go. Guns empower the shooter, and if video games motivate them, then they motivate them. But this is such a rare occurrence, to me, nothing should be done to either item as far as regulation goes.

    • Anybody who says we don’t have enough cops is just wrong. For me the discussion stops right there. More cops for the US is like more cigarettes for a terminal lung cancer patient.

  12. I never thought LaPierre has ever been a particularly eloquent speaker on behalf of gun owners. He fails to strike a chord with open-minded non-gun owners, whom we need to win over. I agree with him (on most things) and even I don’t feel he makes very compelling arguments. They guy from the GOA is no better.

  13. Don’t fall for the Progessive’s Alinsky tactic of isolating and demonizing the enemy, in this case LaPierre. If he is taking incoming, he is doing the right thing for gun owners. The NRA is the only reason we aren’t reading the Truth About Bows and Arrows at this blog.

  14. Yes yes,what we need right now is MORE dissention in our already thin ranks.Weve got so few problems right now that calling for an ally of the 2nd Amenment to step down is a great idea.

    /sarcasm.

    • Dissent is saying “screw the NRA, I’m going to send all of my money to the CA Rifle/Pistol Ass’n” which weakens our support at the federal level.

      It’s NOT dissent to express the opinion that your spokesman sucks and that you need an upgrade ASAP. Winners recognize when they have a weakness and move decisively to address it.

  15. He is losing this battle for us. He gives the media that much more fodder to present us all as paranoid, out of touch and unhinged.

    I also don’t get why you think his “a cop in every school” crap is a good idea. More government is the solution? It didn’t help at Columbine.

    It was a blatant pander to the groups he lobbies for. It was such a transparent DC insider handjob it made me Ill.

    • The idea isn’t great and is cost prohibitive but the stroke of genesis is the media mouthing off against it makes it painfully apparent they don’t give a crap about protecting children. Parents in America want assurance their kids will be safe when they return to school and the NRA offered the only “right now” solution. Now Obama looks like a johnny come lately with his AWB within a month and the media all look like fools by arguing against putting police officers in schools.

  16. i think people should consider supporting Gun Owners of America instead. They are much more hardcore, not wiling to deal with the pit of snakes.

  17. LaPierre is weak, and having him out front isn’t helping to educate the public. When our reps and senators test the winds before an AWB vote, it needs to signal the electorate is more pro-gun than not.

    If the NRA (and its figurehead) can’t outmaneuver the gun control advocates or news media, they could inadvertently be helping pass an AWB.

  18. Agreed. I’m quite impressed to see a (the?) Gun Blog address the obvious in that despite somewhat good intentions, the NRA (particularly W.P.) comes off as extremist caricatures; representing only cousin-kissing, no-teeth-having, trailer-living, suspender-wearing, alligator-hunting folks South of the Mason Dixon line. No insult inetended, and I don’t believe so at all (I’m a member). But that’s what the cooler talk, my FB feed, twitter feed, emails, family and friend speak the last week, and endless sensationalist headlines in almost every publication that targets my hometown of NYC purport.

    Like RF, I’ve “given up” arguing with most of them in shear frustration and realization that I can’t “win” the argument because the overwhelming majority of them are PMS’ing as opposed to holding an intelligent, fact-based conversation.

    Anyway, I’m an NRA member simply because (obviously) I’m pro-2A primarily to balance out the extremists on the other end of the spectrum (e.g., Brady Bunch, CSGV, Feinstein, Sharpton, Jackson, etc.) who wish nothing more than to whittle down our 2nd Amendment until it’s fully repealed. However, until the NRA gets some – umm – younger and more “in-touch” leadership, they probably won’t recognize that WP looks, gestures, and speaks like a total idiot. Were he the VP of Marketing of a major retail corporation, it would be Research in Motion (Blackberry) – the epitome of a great product gone bad and on the road to bankruptcy.

    Adding insult to injury, and this may sound superficial, but the terrible comb-over, never-grown-out-of-the-seventies wire-rim gold glasses, ill-fitting suits, and bad posture only add to the “assclown image.” The delivery of the message, and just as importantly – complete lack of addressing the Pitchfork crowd’s AWB and High-Cap ban calls, do indeed portray an “angry old man’ish” get-off-my-god-damned-lawn image. This is not a person an educated, well-to-do person (read: liberal extremists in power) can take seriously regardless of the message.

    My two cents…

  19. I say we need to reform the NRA. Not only replace Mr. LaPierre but find ways in order to change the image of the NRA. As well find a way to reach out to the public. This grumpy old man image is not what we need especially now when it’s our possible end of days in the gun world.

      • I watched the conference the day that it happened. What set me to grumpy old man image is him saying video games and entertainment media was responsible. Of course that reveals my age. After he said that I couldn’t shake the image. Yes the media is in control. Maybe there’s no clear way of making our voices heard.

  20. Nick, great insights and observations. Thanks. Your post has given me more food for thought as I try to figure out the mess we are in and the best way for the pro-gun community and myself to move forward.

    Agreed that the public-relations delivery went way overboard in attacking video games and the mass media even though I do somewhat agree that those can trigger an unstable person. In other words, I believe that violent video games and the lousy mass media do not motivate @99%+ of viewers into committing violence yet I think they are a contributing factor and might be the final trigger when it comes to a really unbalanced person deciding to commit murder. I don’t believe that WLP attacked the first amendment so much as he was bashing the mass media and criticizing the video game industry. You’re right about WLP alienating huge numbers of gamers (especially younger ones and yet too game fans can go way beyond the under thirty crowd).

  21. Oh please. Criticizing La Pierre is holding “our own” to better standards – the NRA needs to do better. That’s all anyone is saying. La Pierre set himself ~against~ the other big power brokers in this conversation – intentionally. That wasn’t at all necessary to ~defend~ the Second Amendment.

    On top of that Progressives have not made, at least not yet, the argument that he is talking out of two sides of his mouth. They will – the fact “we” point that out is to our benefit and La Pierre should have known better.

    La Pierre can do like any number of other organizations in a time of crisis – take advisors and otherwise a more professional versed public face handle the bombardment. This isn’t new – many orgs don’t comingle their DC powerhouse with their PR efforts. For good reason – it’s two different tactical angles on the same strategic goal. -Pk

  22. I just renewed my NRA membership for 3 years. However, LaPierre is a mediocre public speaker, and comes at a hefty price tag. Personally, I believe that I could do better, but I’d like to see

    -Brad Pitt & Angelina (lots of Angelina!!!) – and since they are already action movies stars, why not?

    -Clint Eastwood

    -The eloquent black man on the You Tube videos (Colin?) who wears that hat and makes good, simple points

    It’s not that LaPierre needs to step down, I just want a better public speaker. Obama is one of the best public speakers I know of – and I generally agree with very little of what he says.

    I’ll still support the NRA – but LaPierre is a not a good public speaker.

    • I love Clint Eastwood as much as the next gunny, but the dude is OLD, and irreversibly contaminated after his “talking to an empty chair” incident.

      Colion Noir would make an excellent NRA spokesman. But I’m still holding out for Samuel L. Jackson, and I’m going to keep repeating that until everyone is chanting his name. 🙂

      Did you hear that Pitt built a full shooting range as a surprise present for Angelina on their French estate? Sometimes it’s good to be super rich. I wasn’t really jealous of him before I realized that he was Brad Pitt, married to Angelina Jolie, and owned a French estate with a private shooting range…

      • Mr Colion Noir. Excellent. Samuel L. Jackson would also kick some ass – he’d be tough for a anti – 2A douchebag to interview.

    • MrColionNoir and Kenn Blanchard are both persuasive and smart. They are great speakers, but they’re speaking for themselves. Speaking for an organization is much tougher, especially when the org’s membership is as fractious as the NRA’s.

      Hunters are out for hunters. Target shooters are out for target shooters. Self defense advocates are out for self defense. Meanwhile, the gungrabbers are out for our guns.

      Do you see the nature of the problem?

      • We just need a younger more photogenic spokesman. We also need the NRA to diversify better than they have. I’m an OFWG and I see the truth of this. Surely the NRA can also?

        • That leaves me out. Watching myself on video when I do interviews makes me cringe, and my sardonic smile looks far too much like a sneer if the camera guy gets me at the wrong angle…

        • ^^^^^^^ Don’t know who this is, but it ain’t the real jwm. I agree with the statement, but I didn’t make it. All except the photogenic part. As an ugly guy myself I tend not to judge men on their looks.

          Just noticed the date and time stamp on the entry. WTF.

  23. I think the NRA should’ve framed their response around avoiding a second tragedy. The second tragedy being that instead of any productive analysis being performed to determine what, if anything, can be done to minimize the statistically low, occurrence of future Newtown CT type massacres from happening, those resources will be spent on pushing through a hoplophobic agenda that will result in “good feelings” that the right thing was done and a false sense of security, irrespective of whether or not any additional gun control legislation is enacted.

    Lastly, the NRA should’ve consulted TTAG for assistance, seriously!

  24. Sorry guys and gals, I know we need the NRA on our side but until they give me a reason to give them a dime, I wont. Flame on if you must. Im mot sitting back with my feet up, I am doing my part by writing letters and trying to get some fence sitters on our side.

    I wont completley write off the NRA in fact I am going to write them with my feelings as to why I am not a member. Let them know that I would like to be but they wont have my money unless they show me that they are here for us.

    • If my liberal ass can suppress the aversion to their flaws, recognize that the NRA is the 800-lb gorilla of national 2A politics, and sign up for a 1-year membership, so can you.

      For the price of two boxes of ammo, you can back the single most effective 2A lobbying organization on the planet during the coming year. As an added bonus, you can then criticize the NRA from INSIDE the tent, which has a hell of a lot more impact than some protester on the sidewalk shouting “your policies are bad and you should feel bad!”

      • Spoken like a well-informed liberal in the classical sense.
        Like Jefferson, not Alinsky.

        Something else occurs to me here, that clicks on the “new generation” of gun-owners-

        I put myself in the OFWG category, who was by the way stunned that Romney lost. Reason MUST prevail, right?

        The older generation at NRA may take a cue from the deep self-inquiry at the GOP about who and how well that Lee Atwater insider old-school lobbyist way of doing things is working, and if they might be missing the new generation of the Armed Intelligentsia arising from the gamers, and 3-gunners, many of whom have equally valid points of view, who havent had the experience of the traditional gun guys, who started out in hunting and/or military service.

        • And at least as important as LISTENING to the new generation of gun-owners, and what works to reach them, like new media (TTAG!!!) and social media,

          You cant be preaching to the choir- the “customer” in this sale is the NOT YET GUN OWNERS…

          that middle moderate liberal/libertarian who is actually OPEN to information, and will consider it, when laid out in front of them.

          I think I have seen some valid criticism of NRA for poor performance in getting the word out in new channels. They could take a few lessons from the geeks who ran Obamas info-campaign, and they have the money to pay for advice, right?

      • Good point Alpha.

        Ive said it before that Im a bit if the knee jerk type and often want quick action. Thoes are things Im trying to fix.

        I by no means dislike the NRA and am coming to understand the importance of their thus far passive approach (based on everyones responses in previous threads). I guess I just want something to see rather than just faith that they will do whats right, to get behind.

        I know membership is pretty cheap too. Just saying Ill be pi&&ed to join and see little action.

        BUT as many of you have said (majorly paraphrasing here) there needs to be something toact against first. Cant fight an AWB that isnt in existence yet.

        Ill join, I just want reassurance I guess

    • Ice on gun control
      “it’s legal in the United States. The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny, not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”
      — add in to protect you from everyone else also and this will do fine.

      “… if someone wants to kill people, they wouldn’t need a gun to do it … You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”
      — also more effective to use a bomb… 1 truck = no more school and many more victims.

    • Ice-T would get my vote over Sam L. J. Better an intelligent conversation about the true meaning of the 2A, than just being a bad mo****fu**er with a gun.

  25. It’s time for a change. He looked pretty bad in the press conference, looked old and crotchety to me. The messenger, in PR, is more important than the message.

  26. The spree killer and the terrorist do both make use of the media to maximize their impact on our society. The best strategy is not to shut down this “weapon”, but use it against them (and their legacies, as the killers are usually long gone while the media war rages).

    We need to play up the “heroes” over the villains: The DGUs (I’m not seeing much of anything in the headline press about the man who stopped the Clackamas shooter, or the coffee house in WA).

    We also need to aggressively fight the “popular” image of the gun owner as villain (stupid toothless dangerous redneck reactionary FUD OFWG potential spree killer insert-additonal-stereotypes-here). (How many of you think Mr. Colion Noir would be a great model? Or?)

    Other strategies on the table range from impractical to disastrous (another thing we’ve learned from the terror war): Hardening every conceivable soft target would be insanely expensive and would be welcomed about as much as what we now have to go through to get on a plane. (And then your enemy just hits you where you didn’t harden.) The level of invasiveness required to accurately profile every potential spree-killer would cause massive civil rights violations (yet we do have the Patriot Act–just goes to show what folks will do when they’re scared). (I write about stuff like this. It’s called dystopian science fiction. Or at least it was.) And restricting access to weapons just makes the bad guys creative (Al Qaeda basically killed 3000 Americans with some box cutters and plane tickets) while disarming their victims (leaving them dependent on a pretty ineffective bureaucratic “protection” system that the bad guy can easily out-maneuver).

    Look at the Israelis: they don’t just go armed and build bunkers, they have a pervasive culture that every citizen vigilantly stands up to the darkness. And they don’t cower and apologize and rush to disarm themselves for peace when something hits them. (And they’re certainly not a bunch of toothless redneck OFWGs–just check out some of RF’s favorite links.)

    Of course, the Israelis also have something to hit back at (though this usually causes controvery), which is where the fight against terrorists vs. spree killers varies: Who do you punish for a spree killer? (Too-popular answer right now: anybody who has a gun.) That’s the worst part: There’s no justice to be had, so we lash out stupidly, scapegoat.

    Bottom line: we need to change perceptions. We need to show the good that comes with gun ownership; that most all gun owners are good, reasonable people. We need to fight back against the random atrocity (whether it be spree killing, crime or fatal ND) with a storm of counterprop. (We also need to start fixing some of the more global variables: Economics, mental health, the way we glorify violence–but those are all long-term challenges.)

    (And if you want to do something about violent media and games, create something that effectively competes–get folks to want something else.)

      • No its not. Look at the success of Andrew Breitbart, and public radio. We are just getting started…and we need the tough old buzzards with brains, like you Ralph.

        • Actually, I mis-spoke- I agree, the MSM is rigged. But thats our advantage, and their weakness, in their hubris and belief that immoral lying will work long-term.

          As Admiral Yamamoto said- “I fear we have awakened the sleeping giant”…

          There is much to be done, sensei. We need you.

      • Old Fat White Guy,
        which is meant as self-deprecating humor,

        but now that you mention it, is old slang.
        The Armed Intelligentsia is NOT homogeneous, as anyone can see from pics of all sorts of people at range training, sport shooting women, and the NRAs reports of big numbers of women taking first time classes to learn to shoot.

        So I am NOT going to give any more ammo, even in humor, to those who would split us- any more than I am buying into the divide and conquer tactic on rich vs poor, white vs black, that seems to be preferred tactic of the “progressives”.

      • And FUD is a more widely-used term (i.e. not exclusive to firearms enthusiasts) that means Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

    • That’s not a bad idea. Anyways, Wayne LaPierre is a figure head. The real muscle behind the NRA are their various arms including the NRA-ILA. While the NRA should consider a better spokes person; public speaking is just one qualification of a good leader. Anyways, we need to keep supporting the NRA so they can do the things they do best: working “behind the scenes” to ensure our continued right to defend ourselves. They’ve been doing this effectively since 1871 and will continue to do so, as long as we stay united.

      Don’t let the liberal agent provocateurs split our ranks. If you don’t think that’s what this is about or is a real risk, just ask the Republicans and Tea Party how that last election went for them. Any idiot should have been able to beat Obama, yet there he stands…

  27. Now is not the time to divide ourselves over a less then outstanding spokesman
    I submit to you that the statement would have been totally altered to make it look bad by the press, even if it had been the most stirring defense of the 2nd amendment ever!

    We are outnumbered by political city dwellers who might accept the concept of defensive handguns, but will not accept long arms not used and looking like hunting weapons. The concept of having to use arms in defense of their homes is alien, even though we can look and Syria and Mexico, but they say “never here”

    They are as irrational as they claim we are. Do not expect logic to work on them.

  28. At a time when we needed a strong public figure to set a strong defensive stance, La Piere came out of the news conference looking weak and crazy. He had a great speech working, and then he tanked it. He had a solid plan, and an easily manageable rhetorical argument, then he sent the talk into a tail spin. The worst thing that could of happened, manifested because the public face of gun rights is out of touch, and has a hard time focusing on the issue at hand.

  29. Im on board with Brad Pit. I honestley dont know a lot about him as a person other than hes pro gun and has a ton of kids.

    Clint Eastwood would be great, probably better than Pitt but I just dont know if he would swing the younger peoole like Pitt would.

  30. I dont know about anyone else here…but I think the Rep Jas Chaffetz would make a great substitute. He speaks clearly…talks about the facts and the numbers and doesnt come across as so long winded about things that can be wrapped up rather quickly by looking at, again, the “numbers”.

  31. I seriously doubt Clint Eastwood or Brad Pitt is as pro gun as people seem to think. They might pay lip service to self defense, but I don’t see any of them holding up an AR15 and saying “from my cold dead hands.” I am certain Model 29s and 870s are where they draw the line.

    • Rumor is that Pitt/Jolie own NFA-class items, both in the US and abroad.

      Then again, they also understand OPSEC, so it’s likely we’ll never know for sure. Which is as it should be.

      • Celeb advocates would be good (I second the vote for Sam Jackson), but ultimately, many celebs have the money and the connections to live above the law. I wonder if the NRA might do better PR getting video testimonials from various gun owners to show how wide and varied we are. Something similar to the “…and I’m a Mormon” ad blitz. d

  32. Its sad to say that Wayne, who is very intellegent and informed about the gun issue, is no longer PR friendly. I guess we need someone who can get out our side of the issue without seeming like a paranoid wacko.

  33. LaPierre is a clown and has always been one. Now he’s just an old clown. He has never spoken for me. The NRA will not get the support of my demographic (gen x) until it changes leadership and tactics from the top down. But it’s far more likely to ride the Baby Boomers’ sidecar into oblivion.

  34. LaPierre is a clown and has always been one. Now he’s just an old clown. He has never spoken for me. The NRA will not get the support of my demographic(gen x) until it changes leadership and tactics from the top down. But it’s far more likely to ride the Baby Boomers’ sidecar into oblivion.

  35. La Pierre is a clown and has always been one. Now he’s just an old clown. He has never spoken for me. The NRA will not get support of my demographic (Gen X) until it changes leadership and tactics, from the top down. But if their response to this shooting is any indication, they’re far more likely to ride the Baby Boomers’ sidecar into oblivion.

  36. Okay, now I am a new member of the NRA and not very knowledgeable of their inner workings. With that said, almost every organization has elections. If every person here and on other sites decided that they wanted someone else to represent them and we agree on who, we can get them elected. Let’s not just hate on the NRA and do something productive to protect our rights. So, we could nominate RF or Nick Leghorn or heck, I’d do it if you want. All it would do is cost you at most $35 to have someone you trust trying to protect your rights. So, someone nominate someone here, see if they want to do this and let’s put the NRA in the right direction.

  37. I know that it was Shakespeare’s violent plays that started WWI, but which video game was it that caused Hitler to invade Poland? I forget…

  38. So in the not too distant past we didn’t have the number of these spree killings we have today. In fact the term spree killing is rather new. So if it is not the guns and it is not the violent media, what is it then that has increased this sort of violence?

    I can think of only two other reasons. Number one would be the change in the law that makes it extremely difficult to confine or forcibly treat someone with mental illness. I don’t think anyone wants to go back to the era of forced confinement for minor behavioral oddities but there should be some middle ground. It seems all of these recent spree killers were known by family and friends to be unstable yet they were not treated or confined.

    Another cause could be the reporting of the events, the making of these people famous or infamous. There is no doubt there are copycat crimes and right now there may be some mentally unstable person plotting such a thing because of all the publicity. What can be done about that? Nothing really. Well except voluntary restraint by the media but that is unlikely to happen.

    Oh, and Bobby Boy, calling older hunters Fudds does nothing but divide the gun community. On one hand you say we should all stick together yet you continue to use derogatory terms for those that do not share your exact views. Yes, people that have had guns longer than you probably have been alive and have fought for the right to keep them. That is why you have them now.

  39. B.S to this author. LaPierre has done a great job, and defends our rights excellently. Personally, i think you should shut the hell up!

  40. I have to agree with Nick’s suggestion. I joined the NRA despite the fact that I have no respect for the man and find him an embarassment. I accept that he has his strengths and has helped the NRA’s mission, but having him speak for the organization hurts us. I believe that his approach during the last election drove supporters away when we needed them most.

  41. There is a lot of criticism out there among gun owners of the NRA. I personally criticized WL for calling on Congress to fund a cop in every school, however the NRA is the biggest, most visible pro 2A organization in the nation. When politicians see membership in the NRA growing, they take notice. Pro 2A politicians become bolder. Anti 2A politicians quiet down. We need more gun owners to join. An estimated 90 million gun owners but only 4 million NRA members? We can and should do better than this. Join the NRA now if you are not already a member and convince a friend to join also.

  42. “Arthritic AARP crowd ”

    Nick time to turn off the testosterone drip dude. If you had the scence to think about how your dissing men who bled on Tarawa or the freakin jungles of Viet Nam I hope you ‘d hang your head in shame. Its guys like me with white hair and a bit stooped that were fighting for your rights when you were crapping your diapers. Its my thousands of dollars that helped get us to Heller. The divisive BS of someone who is just starting the journey aint gonna help anyone. Whether Wayne stays or not is a valid question. Don ‘t think that you call the shots all by your lonesome.

  43. Its been said before that blaming the NRA for gun violence is like blaming the ACLU for child pornography.
    I agree with you, Nick, that the NRA could use some real leadership. The phrase “get with the times” comes to mind.

  44. Someone said Samuel L Jackson, that makes perfect sense.

    He’s Hollywood, he’s black, he’s a bad mofo when he’s bad.

    Now would he do it?

  45. Thank you thank you thank you Nick for saying what I’ve been thinkng sce watching the nra press cnference on Friday. What a poor response the nra has offered to what is THE most significant threat to gun rights since 1994. Lapierre sounds out of touch, dated, and insignificant in his response and no one is taking his words seriously, including nra mmbers such as myself. There needs to be a stronger, sharper, and dare i say younger voice speaking on behalf of the gun owners of today, owners of modern sporting rifles. Time to move on from the Elmer Fudd generation.

  46. I think you’re so wrong with this point…he was damn right on the money talking about the culture glorfying violence and immorality through music, video games, etc being the bigger issue here. He had every right and a duty IMO to mention this as a huge problem.

    It’s not the guns, it’s the growing tolerance and desensitivity to violence and immorality that is the bigger problem. These liberal media outlets padding their pockets by selling their filth, are now scream about taking our guns away. It’s a hypocritical disgusting mess. HE SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. GLAD HE DID.

    These anti-gunners in general think that guns are the cause of violence and crime. Like Frodo’s ring in “The Lord of The Rings,” they believe that guns are agencies of corruption and corrupt the souls of whoever touches them.

    We know however that guns don’t do this. What corrupts the minds and souls of people then? I venture to say it’s exactly the kinds of content fed to our youth that Wayne pointed out via video games, music, tv, etc.

    He wasn’t trouncing on the 1st ammendment. He was making a point that our culture needs to take a hard look at what we’re doing to our society with all of that crap, long before anyone should come after our guns.

    Very relevant IMO.

    Now, I agree that Wayne should go…but for different reasons. He just isn’t the right persona or personality that I think should be in the most important seat in the house helping our cause.

  47. I know some gun owners have been anti-NRA for one reason or another… but we all need to unite now and follow them on this. If you are not a member, pay the $35 and become a member. Not because your money will make a difference financially, but because it gives them a better bargaining position if they can say they have 10 million members instead of 4 million members.

    You all can still support other Pro-Gun organizations too, as I do too. Obama, has “called out” the NRA on this and they will be the ones fighting the fight. The NRA has indicated that they will not be making any compromises. Let help them, help us.

    You can ignore future mailing for more money, just get the basic membership to boot up membership numbers to maximum strength.

    Also remember that the 1994 AWB was initiated in 1988. It took the Gun-Grabbers 6 relentless years to get it passed. These people will not be giving up.

    Since I am in the Business of training people in firearm use… for every person how posts here in this thread that they will support the NRA I will send an extra $10 donation to the NRA at the end of each month.

    • Agreed…like the NRA or not, it’s one of the most important protectors of our right to bear arms. I am guilty of not supporting the NRA before. No longer. I made a donation as soon as I saw Obama/Biden’s move.

  48. Christ, it’s a wonder we have anyone representing gun owners as much as you guys bitch about every little freaking thing.

    It’s like you just look for a reason why you won’t support the primary group standing between gun bans and you.

    As Jesus said: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    • Self-criticism is a good thing. I support the NRA, the GOA, and SAF but call bullshit what it is no matter where it’s coming from.

      I think LaPierre is a buffoon but this doesn’t stop me from donating to the cause.

  49. We need people to draw a line in the sand, that said I’m NRA all the way on this one.if we give an inch we will lose a mile.

  50. Get rid of Wayne and you might as well turn your AR-15 and Ak-47 in for destruction.

    The NRA is acting like a giant dam holding back a waves upon waves of anti-gun legislature. Each one of them would successively erode the Second Amendment until it is nothing.

    We must all unite behind the NRA.

    Support other groups too… but the NRA is the one who is going to have to lead this fight. This is regardless if we like it… or even the NRA likes it… because Obama has “called them out” by name.

  51. Many of the above comments show a lack of cohesion among American gun owners. I’m not saying we should all be clones on every social issue but geez guys look at us. Some won’t vote because the choices suck. (The choices ALWAYS SUCK… they’re politicians!!!) Some won’t join the NRA because they aren’t doing exactly what we think they should do. The fact is the NRA is a lot like the GOP. Not ideal but big and well organized. No reason not to support the NRA and SAF, GOA and even the JPFO. They each have their good aspects. As for the GOP, we have to force a changing of the guard… from within. Pushing for pro-gun candidates at each level and voting for them. If the liberals put up a guy rated F and the GOP has a guy rated D …which is better? One of them is gonna win no matter what. Not voting at all is like not buying a car because you can’t afford a Rolls Royce or Lamborghini. Soon we’ll all be riding the bus. At least I tried.
    NRA Life Member and Certified Instructor

  52. I disagree strongly with Nick Leghorn. Let’s see Nick Leghorn use his freedom of speech to do better than Wayne LaPierre. Mr. LaPierre is doing a good job. I was very glad to here him state the NRA will not support anymore gun or magazine bans or restrictions. I’m sure there are many anti-gun people who would like to see Mr. LaPierre cease using his/NRA freedom of speech too. I will continue to support the NRA and ISRA.

  53. The other problem with Nick’s post is it is destructive without a constructive replacement.

    This tactic is similar to so-called no-compromise, which usually is an excuse for, well we won’t get 100% of what we want, so we won’t do anything, and the anti’s get an increment infringement.

    There was a so-called concealed carry organization in Lake County IL, but mostly its leader bad mouthed ISRA and its members. Literally called members stupid, yet offered nothing better than ISRA. Made me suspect it was an anti-gun organization. I remained a member of ISRA.

  54. Ok, ok. I’ll do it.

    I’m a 42 year old gun owner, a stern Constitutionalist. I also work in the video game industry. I have long hair, listen to metal, and I’m an atheist.

    I’m perfect for the job. 😉

    Seriously, I don’t support the NRA because I have at no time in my life felt like I was in their demographic. I have always felt that their defense of the 2nd A. was coincidental to the needs of the hunting/sporting and firearms industries, and not the central purpose of their efforts. Instead I support the SFA and GOA, because I firmly believe they are our real supporters in Washington and the State Capitols.

  55. The obvious reasons for the replacement of LaPierre were provided by himself at that press conference. As a fine co-worker remarked, he can have my video games when he pries them from my cold, dead hands. As I stated years ago when I quit the NRA, I will not rejoin that organization until LaPierre is gone.

  56. Wayne has got to go? I respectfully disagree. No one is perfect but Wayne does a pretty good job of hammering home the point that the various gun control proposals are idiotic. They do need to be grooming the next wave of leaders in the organization.

  57. I wouldnt overlook the role that video games like Call of Duty play in some situations. The games have RUINED gun culture in the younger generations (of which i am on the older edge of), they dont know the first thing about the firearms they are purchasing usually,other than the fact that they look cool and have certain “damage levels” .

    That being said, what consideration has been given to the concept that the games are increasing the “reactive” shooting skills of autistic or mentally disturbed kids on psychotropic drugs? These kids MAY have been less effective if their parents did THEIR jobs and sent the little twits outside to be constructive or taught them about real shooting sports and being safe/responsible. If SandyHook wasnt a setup, this kid got ahold of his unquestionably irresponsible mothers firearms which in the end is her fault…..If we are to believe the mainstream news’ ever changing stories.

    NOW AWAY FROM THE RANT.

    I feel as though im not represented as an NRA member at all by Lapierre. He shouldnt have gone down the “kids these days” route and should have stuck to the fact that these shooters were all involved in psychiatric care and on a cocktail of SSRI or unkown mind altering drugs; colorado shooter was in computer-brain interface experiments. Thats the real concern in my mind. Why not mention Fast and Furious and the vast irresponsibility of the ATF while youve got EVERYBODY watching.

    The NRA has as little obligation to comment on the tragic events as AAA does for a drunk driver killing a busload of kids.

    This country is looking like the movie IDIOCRACY.

    Anyhow, just a different opinion.

  58. I don’t know if the NRA can be de-demonized in the American liberal psyche. But if it can, the only way it will happen will be for the NRA to have a spokesperson who is not identified with the Charleston Heston cold dead hands picture. It can be someone already on staff, like Chris Cox, John Frazer, even a board member like Alan Cors. Then the spokesperson and the NRA need to adopt a new approach. Stop saying you oppose all new legislation, that the existing laws are enough, that
    guns don’t kill people, that we need guns to keep government honest. These arguments will not move a single person over to our side. They sound good to the rights advocates and they sound like same old hackneyed platitudes to the control advocates. The answer that Wayne missed on what laws the NRA would support
    is “the NRA will support any laws that we can determine ahead of time by careful study and historical research will be effective in reducing gun crime. We don’t believe such laws can be fashioned to do anything but make people feel good and we do not support feel good legislation.” The NRA should finance a separate think tank with well credentailed people to act as a shadow government for VP Biden’s study group. It must have people who are not already identified as hopelessly progun, or anti gun. People who are Democrats and Republicans and Independents but who are noted for their independence, logic, lack of bias and
    intellectual strength. A panel of seven people. Then they can invite Wayne LaPierre, Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Bloomberg, the FBI Director, the head of the ACLU, the Presidents of the American Association of Psychologists, the National Education Association, Nationally recognized statisticians, etc. And then we need to try the results.

  59. If we replace LaPierre, it ought to be someone with a Latino name instead of a French name. In fact, it ought to be a real honest-to-goodness Latino, preferably a Mexican-American. They are the fastest growing segment of our population, and unless many more Latinos learn to value the Second Amendment, it will not be around in a few generations. We must understand that Latinos come from–or their parents came from–countries where the right to keep and bear arms simply did not exist (in reality at least).

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