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I met National Rifle Association Veep Wayne LaPierre at SHOT Show. We had a brief moment of togetherness between booths; just me Wayne, his bodyguard and his Executive Assistant. What’s he like? Let’s just say any similarity between Mr. LaPierre and a Disney Audio-Animatronic is strictly coincidental. Mr. LaPierre launched into a spiel that included something not unlike a fist pump accompanied by “We gotta win in 2014!” OK, then. To be fair, busy! Also, Wayne’s world is so big it makes aircraft carriers look like hydrofoil racers. So it’s no surprise, really, that it’s taken the NRA five days to respond to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s threat to “make them wish they weren’t alive.” Over at, the NRA-ILA [finally] counter-attacked by highlighting Harvey’s personal security arrangements . . .

In 2012, following an extortion attempt against Weinstein, a source shared with the New York Post, “[t]he Weinsteins have always had intense security and been on high alert because of the movies they make.” The paper also noted that while producing The Master, a film that received opposition from some in the Scientology community, Weinstein “beef[ed] up his own security.” And a New York Times account of Weinstein’s 2013 Golden Globes after party described a scene where, “Harvey Weinstein appeared… amid a retinue of security.”

An entire retinue of bodyguards is outside the purchasing power of most Americans, but contrary to what Weinstein might think, their personal safety is no less important than his. Unfortunately, this penchant to utilize private security personnel while working to limit access to the tools of effective self-defense for those of lesser economic stature is pervasive amongst the most wealthy gun control supporters.

I’m not sure this approach is the right one. Oh how the libs laughed when the NRA’s post-Newtown attack ad pointed out that the President’s children are protected by guns while the CIC and his anti-gun allies seek to disarm average Americans, leaving their kids defenseless in “gun-free zones.” “You can’t compare the President of the United States’ security needs to the average American’s!” No really.

Of course, it’s not the libs to which the NRA speaks. They preach to the converted and, one assumes, fence straddlers. Who seem immune to the NRA’s “us vs. them” rhetoric. Thanks to mainstream media vilification, the NRA “brand” is not the best proponent of pro-gun populism. Just sayin’. Anyway, the NRA-ILA’s editorial is a one-two-punch. The second blow: pointing out Harvey’s hypocrisy.

In July of 2012, following the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., the producer told The Huffington Post, “I think, as filmmakers, we should sit down–the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos, and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies–and discuss our role in that.”  Nevertheless, it’s not clear whether such “discussions” (if indeed they occurred) suggest any remorse, or merely led to further deals to produce more of the same violent content.  Besides the planned NRA film, Kill Bill Vol. 3 and Halloween III are now in production.

And . . . that’s it. As someone who writes more than a million words per year, I gotta say: meh. And I’ve said this before: the NRA needs to be a LOT lighter on its feet. The news cycle is 24 hours. (It’s actually 24 minutes but you gotta run before you sprint.) The gun rights group also needs to re-think the way it sells itself to people who’d no more buy an NRA-branded .50-caliber bottle opener than vote their guns. Which they don’t have. Yet.

But what these non-NRA folk do have is a sense of fairness and decency. Weinstein’s threat was over-the-top offensive to people who believe in civilized political debate – even if they respond with Pavlovian predictability to its opposite and flock to violent movies in droves. Regardless, the NRA-ILA should have taken the high road on Weinstein’s throw-down, deploying both immediacy and personality. Colion Noir should have led that charge.

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  1. Is it just me, or is Weinstien’s head abnormally large?

    And, what’s the deal with that right eye going stink-eye all the time?

  2. I don’t know if the NRA sees harvey here as a major threat. He’s a spoiled, delusional kid throwing a temper tantrum. It may not pay to give him more press, which will just end up encouraging him. Go after the movie if it comes out.

    • The movie will be a pitch to the anti-gun crowd and this NRA-ILA muse was pitching to its crowd

      Neither will change the fence sitters

      You have to appeal to emotions and logic.

    • Supposedly the Weinstein blockbuster will star the Popeye-jawed Meryl Streep as “The Senator’s Wife” as she plays her aging-ingenue bit for the umpteenth time. All any of this demonstrates is that the Hollyweird crowd inhabits a special world consisting solely of their shared opinions & security details. Message movies usually bomb & so will this one.

      Uh, without going to the urban dictionary, what is the meaning of “meh”?

      • Make that “Mehh” noise with your mouth while trying to adopt the attitude of someone disappointed or unimpressed. You’ll quickly get what I mean.

      • I thinks it’s a Yiddish thing, where you scrunch up your shoulders like the “I don’t know” gesture but if you say “meh” it translates more like Joy Behar’s “who cares”

      • Senator’s wife??? No no no no no. She will be playing DiFi. I mean, what else could it be? An actress of that stature, a film of this nature, it all makes sense to me.

  3. As the article said, the NRA is once again late to the party. I recognize that Wayne LaPierre making a statement is rarely JUST Wayne LaPierre making a statement, meaning that there is most assuredly a cadre of lawyers and PR folks involved in just about any public statement he makes. All that aside it sure would be nice if they could improve their response time a little….right now even the NYPD responds faster.

    • > the NRA is once again late to the party.

      The anti-gunners have been running circles inside the NRA’s OODA loop for the past year.

      And I’d say the same for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (of which I am also a member). Their response to the push-for-tyranny in Colorado was utterly incompetent. It was painful to watch the NRA and RMGO recycle the same talking points and tactics they had been using for decades, when it was obvious they weren’t working.

      • The NRA can “get off the X” of a snarky argument about as fast as Michael Moore could run a marathon. The NRA is olde-school slow in virtually all of their responses, and they’re about as hip as your mom friending you on FaceBook.

        However, the NRA fights for gun rights and I’ll support them with my time and money as long as they do that.

        • I don’t disagree. There’s a post/comment on this site from too far back for me to look up that best sums up my point of view on the NRA:

          Fund the fight first THEN complain.

  4. It seems that the NRA is winning battles at the Federal level and in the states that are winnable. They must be doing something right.

    • I’m aware of the many battles the 2nd Amendment Foundation has won recently including the IL concealed carry decision. The NRA, not so much…

      • NRA concentrates on legislative action. They stopped the entire Obama Adminstration push for gun control. The SAF or any other pro Second Amendment organization does not have the clout to do that.

      • I am pretty sure that one of the main proponents of the Illinois carry law, and in fact someone who drafted a version of the law, works for the NRA, and was intimately involved in the day to day finagling that went into the final product.

  5. The NRA is snakebit. They have a horrible reputation. Plus, they are lousy in the political arena. The best they have done recently is with the likes of Colion Noir. However their use of those individuals and their current campaign is pretty close to useless. NRA should devote themselves to what they do best, firearm training, safety, etc.

    Heck, these are the guys that have supported firearm restrictions in the past. Helping to pass legislation we deal with today.

    Time some other group(s) takes up the battle in politics and for the the public message.

    • Well said, which is why my donations go to the GOA and Larry Pratt, who hammers back at the likes of Weinstein and Peers Morgan head on.

      The days of the Harlon Carter “take no prisoners” NRA are over, now we have Wayne “Escalade” Lapierres appeasement strategies.

    • Right on. The NRA has avoided helping people in states like Massachusetts that have over the top un-constitutional gun laws. I’m not convinced this is a group that is really out to defend the 2nd Amendment. Sometimes it seems they play the good cop in the good cop/bad cop routine as the country’s gun right laws get continually infringed.

  6. The NRA doesn’t have to respond to Harvey, he won’t ever make a movie that makes the NRA want to die. No response needed. The NRA should respond to its membership better, get more people shooting safely and very well, get more ranges build everywhere and increase knowledge of marksmanship and firearms. Much of which they do well, but like most institutions they pick up weight and wallow and waddle where once they were a lean shooting machine.

    • I’m a life member of the NRA. I paid my dues years ago.

      And if NRA membership was not required for membership in the private gun clubs I belong to, I would have resigned my NRA membership in protest over the complete incompetence they displayed last year. Unfortunately, if I’m not an NRA member, then I wouldn’t have a place to shoot around here.

      I don’t want to see Wayne LaPierre on the Sunday morning talk shows. Pay Colion Noir whatever he wants to do those gigs — it will be money well spent.

      • Without the NRA we would have at the very least universal registration and probably magazine limits as well. We might even have gotten an assault weapons law. Tell me who else could have stopped that?

        • > Without the NRA we would have
          > at the very least universal registration
          > and probably magazine limits as well.

          In Colorado, we now have magazine limits more draconian than the 1994-2004 federal ban, and no more private transfers.

          Every time Wayne LaPierre appeared on David Gregory’s program, he should have waived a 30-round AR-15 magazine around, just to make a point that Washington DC’s ban did not stop David Gregory from violating the law. But Wayne (1) doesn’t have the guts to do it, and (2) would rather play nice with a fellow Washington-insider.

        • You seem to be short on an understanding of the legislative process. The Democrats had the votes. What is the NRA supposed to do? I bet next time they will have more influence on the Colorado process.

        • tdiinva, the NRA is supposed to magically stop all gun control everywhere forever, even if there are an overwhelming number of antis holding office.

        • The assault weapons ban was passed by a Democratic Congress. Bill Clinton attributes the Democrats drubbing in the 1994 Congressional elections to twoissues: Healthcare and the Assault Weapons ban. The NRA killed red and purple state Democrats that year Why do think the same kind of Democrat failed to support the President on gun control? They remember 1994 and are afraid of the NRA.

      • Anonymous is right about LaPierre having zero traction as a spokesman. he hasn’t had any since the 90’s. Let him lobby behind the scenes and get Colion Noir and Kenn Blanchard out front.

        • +1

          Keep Wayne around to schmooze (and twist arms) on Capitol Hill- it’s what he’s best at.

          Let someone new take over as the new face of the NRA. While he could use a bit more seasoning, we could do a lot worse than Mr. Noir.

        • Colion Noir would be perfect. Let the usual “uncle Tom” accusations start flying, as they will when a black man supports a normally conservative position, use that to highlight the bigotry and irrational nature of the anti gun cause.

  7. The NRA doesn’t have to be a raw nerve that gives a signal every time someone flicks it. They are trying to be the bigger person in the argument.

    They battle the extremist title every day. They are not the only soldier fighting this war and its up to us and other organizations to respond properly to threats to our rights. I am a member of the NRA and a state group, and even a local county group in order effect my influence at all levels. The NRA does safety training, regulates competitions, and does some legislative/legal work and they have done a laudible job at all of those items. They are not the best all the time at everything and that is why we need to split our support. The Shall Issue law in Iowa was pushed by two local org. Through their hard work they took the ball over the goal line with a little assistance from the NRA.

  8. There is no *NO-ZERO-NONE* type of spokesman the NRA can use that the left has not readied a response for. From Colion “Uncle Tom” Noir, to Dom “Babykiller” Raso, to Billy “White Bread” Johnson, to Ad “Hominem” Infinitum.

    • True. I’d rather they let Colion Noir continue what he’s doing the way he’s doing it. I’ve seen his clips on cable news segments twice now. He is being vaguely recognized by people in the Black community and that means his message is starting to reach an otherwise tuned-out audience. The NRA has made some really wise moves in the last 12 months with their NRA News team. I think a lot of people that criticize the NRA’s current actions aren’t seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff that helped prevent all those federal laws from being passed last year.

  9. :He is an irrelevant twit. No power, unknown to 99.99% of the US and little influence. If a “response” is necessary extend you middle digit at your screen and forget him. Not worth NRA, or anyone else, wasting any time on him.

  10. “Weinstein’s threat was over-the-top offensive to people who believe in civilized political debate – even if they respond with Pavlovian predictability to its opposite and flock to violent movies in droves. Regardless, the NRA-ILA should have taken the high road on Weinstein’s throw-down, deploying both immediacy and personality.”

    On a few occasions you have asked readers about the tone of the TTAG website, and some of the posts herein. I think perhaps it would be worthwhile to consider, in light of the above quotation, how some of the posts here might appear to uninitiated viewers. It’s a side note to this story, but I feel it’s important to inspect our own behavior critically to make sure we live up the the same standards we expect from others.

  11. I give money to the NRA, the NRA-ILA, GOA, SAF, and last year to various state groups fighting gun control in NY, CA, and CO. Hell, I’ll give money and support to anyone fighting for our rights.

    Ok, so some gun-rights people don’t like the NRA. Got it. I don’t sometimes either, but they are the largest such group in the US, thus the world. Come on, people… arguing about NRA vs. GOA vs. (insert name here) does NOTHING for advancing gun rights. Hell, support who you want, but pony up and pay SOMEONE and then get involved with them to help defend and recover our rights.

    Arguments for or against NRA or other gun rights groups is getting to sound a heck of a lot like 9mm vs. .45 ACP, or slide stop vs. slide release. Can we PLEASE keep our vision on the big picture. Ok, flame away.

    • No argument here. I am an NRA Benefactor Member, and also belong to JPFO and several other pro-Second Amendment organizations. They each make their own contribution to the cause, and I’m convinced we could achieve more if we stopped pissing on each other’s shoes.

    • Agreed 505markf.

      Too many people quibbling over tactics and loosing sight of the overall strategy. Nothing will be successful 100% of the time; gotta go for the 80% solution and choose the battles wisely.

      No flames from me.

      • And yeah, if Herr Weinstein ventures into antigun territory with his proposed movie, it will be in the greater scheme of things, inconsequential.

  12. The NRA’s argument against video games and film was fundamentally flawed. Instead of putting out ideas that more people can agree with, the NRA decides to alienate two industries and made themselves look desperate in searching for a scapegoat.

    • ‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ But that is beside the point.

      My point is that the NRA won’t talk about the big pink elephant in the room when it comes to gun violence. They will not talk about Chicago gang violence, black on black crimes, the war on drugs and several other one off causes related to gun violence. I’d like them to speak up and support the efforts of Father Gregory Boyle and Homeboy Industires with their ‘Nothing stops a bullet like a job’ program. I’ll support my local NRA for the schools trap and skeet teams but nationally they have not deserved my donations.

  13. I could’ve sworn the NRA sent an email about Weinstein shortly after his interview. Why blast them at all?

  14. The NRA has my support (and $$$) as does Cal Guns and 2AF as they are the most prolific, active and effective of the pro gun rights outfits out there. They may not be as perfect as some of you would like, but they’re doing their best in a convulated, multifaceted anti gun war that is well subsidized and has been brainwashing the general public for years through the media and subversive reengineering of social mores vis-a-vis gun rights. I don’t see any better alternatives seated in our corner that are as committed and can address our pro gun and pro constitutional rights needs as well as these groups can.

    All you naysayers and critics are full of complaints, but offer no better solution.

  15. I think it was silly for the NRA to respond to the fat kid. If Whinestein actually makes a movie, there will be plenty of time for the NRA to comment. Why do it now? All it does is focus more attention on an attention whore.

    And for those of you who think that the NRA has no traction, every poll by every polling company shows that the NRA enjoys the approval of more that half of Americans, outstripping POTUS and Congress.

    Besides, I think that the Senate would disagree with you as strongly as it disagreed with POTUS’ unprecedented gun grab last year.

  16. There are a half dozen people who frequent TTAG who ought to be on the short list for the much needed position of NRA spokesman. If there’s going to be a live debate on 2A matters, I’d rather see Farago on my TV than Wayne. LaPierre is too much a caricature to spend much time in the spotlight. I tense up every time he prepares to speak, typically two weeks after the height of controversy.

  17. There’s a small part of me that really wants to see this as of yet theoretical movie. I’m starting to think that’ll end up being kind of like ‘Reefer Madness’ was at the height of marijuana hysteria.

    ‘Look at the NRA member with gun oil stains on his pants from constantly ‘oiling his gun’ when he can’t find a baby to shoot!’

  18. Mr. Farago: Maybe instead of using childish phrases like the Libs (the equivalant of saying “the Jews” make shitty movies when you are talking about Adam Sandler or “the blacks” make bad music when you are talking about 50 Cent, you should address specificall the person that you are criticizing and not make broad generalizations about an entire group of people. Weinstein doesn’t represent me or any of my liberal notions. Gun control, while it may be supported by many liberals is not an idea unique to liberals; after all the concept of a Fudd comes from conservatives that don’t think you need more than your hunting rifle or 1911.

  19. There’s something fundamentally wrong with our system of government if we need to give money to Institutes for Legislative Action in order to secure our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

    We have TTAG – ad-supported. We have Colion Noir on YouTube. The Internet gives gun owners the ability to unite as never before. If the NRA, SAF, GOA, etc. all disappeared tomorrow we would all still be informed about the issues and we would all still vote for freedom. The forces that truly win hearts and minds to the cause of freedom would still be in place.

    Maybe it’s naive, but I’m simply never going to donate to an organization and hope they “fight for my rights,” whatever that means. It’s not like we get extra votes when we pay dues to the NRA. I feel like the Founders would be horrified and ashamed of us.

  20. I agree…. the NRA shouldn’t even dignify the vacuous drivel from the Hollywood troglodyte with a response. Seriously… no response at all. Weinstein is not worthy of a response. It’s like arguing with a pig, as they say.

  21. It’s one thing to argue that the President of the United States has special security needs that do not apply to the rest of us. But another thing to extend that to someone like Harvey Weinstein. Being rich doesn’t suddenly give you special privileges that are to be denied the rest of society (i.e. right to self-defense).

    And even with being POTUS, one could argue that one chooses to pursue that, and thus doesn’t have any right to be denying the rest of us our right to protect ourselves. Where the NRA messed up was in attacking Obama over something he never proposed, which was to prevent the use of guards in schools. Obama didn’t say it was something he would pursue, but not something he wouldn’t pursue either.

    I also do not see why the NRA is even responding on this. Let Weinstein say what he wants. Otherwise, ignore him.

  22. This was one dance Wayne LaPierre and the ILA should have sat out. Whinestein is doing a fine job of damaging himself in the media. Every time he opens his mouth he digs the hole deeper.

    And what does Ms. Streep think of all this?
    [crickets and frogs]

    • How about Mr. Streep? I mean letting a woosie like Whinnin’ Harvey tell the Mrs. what she gonna do?

  23. “Harvey Weinstein appeared… amid a retinue of security.”

    Ya think Harvey wants to ban guns because his over inflated sense of self importance has driven him paranoid? I mean, beefing up security because of some nasty emails from the Scientology crowd? If it was the Mob, maybe but Scientologists? Buck, Buck, Be-ock!

  24. Hey boys ‘n girls, I just received my NRA ballot in the mail today.

    To all the non-Life Members and non-members: THIS IS HOW YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU THINK THE NRA SHOULD BE RUN.

    Put up or shut up when the adults are talking.

  25. I hope he’s right. GOA seems to much better represent people who care about preserving the 2nd Amendment. the NRA will continue its spiral of compromises that will eventually gut what’s left of the 2nd amendment.

  26. I actually think the NRAs measured response is refreshing in this era of instant retorts. A calm level head is exactly what I expect from any professional organization, especially one who exists for protecting the second amendment.

  27. Why should the NRA comment on Mr. W’s rant. He is going to be one of their biggest fund raisers, He is the perfect “Liberal Elite” trying to take away gun rights that they highlight in their fundraising campaigns.

  28. Just wanted to add… The NRA isn’t perfect. But, it’s a good, STRONG organization. The bottom line is that the NRA has accomplished a LOT. We need the NRA. I am a member. I just got certified as an NRA Pistol Instructor. It’s just another thing I can do to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I’m vocal in social media, including Facebook. I’ve actually converted a number of fence-sitters to our side. I blog about it. And, even stuck my neck out a bit on national TV.

    That all said, I think one of the best things we, as individuals, can do is to teach someone to shoot. Demystify guns and shooting… for one person at a time (more if you can!). If millions of us each teach a few people to shoot, we can grow our ranks exponentially. Easy peasy!

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