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“I may be a New York lefty—with all the experiences, prejudices and attitudes that one would expect to come along with that, but I do NOT believe that we will reduce gun violence—or reach any kind of consensus—by shrieking at each other. Gun owners—the vast majority of them I have met—are NOT idiots. They are NOT psychos. They are not even necessarily Republican (New Mexico, by the way, is a Blue State). They are not hicks, right wing “nuts” or necessarily violent by nature. And if “we” have any hope of ever changing anything in this country in the cause of reason—and the safety of our children—we should stop talking about a significant part of our population as if they were lesser, stupider or crazier than we are. The batshit absolutist Wayne LaPierre may not represent the vast majority of gun owners in this land—but if pushed—if the conversation veers towards talk of taking away people’s guns—many gun owners will shade towards him—and away from us.” – Anthony Bourdain in Guns and Green Chile [at]

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  1. Wayne LaPierre is not a batshit absolutist. A) He is not crazy and B) he is not an absolutist. He supports background checks, for example. And adding names into a federal database of people with mental health issues. But it seems the left’s attempts to make Wayne’s World into a gun-clinging caricature have been successful. Time to change the front man?

    • I think to effectively lobby in Washington you have to appear to be “reasonable” to “moderates”. If someone else comes in with a hard line stance it would probably diminish the NRA’s influence and could do more harm than good.

      For all the flack he got from the left for saying that the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, I was trying to think of high profile shootings that didn’t end with the bad guy confronting a good guy with a gun. I can think of one, Jared Laughner who had his replacement magazine ripped out of his hands by an unarmed 68 year old woman. Anyone remember any others.

      • Agreed, RF. I have no beef with Wayne, but I think it’s time for a fresh face that’s harder to caricature.

        • I don’t think Wayne LaPierre should be discarded over anything but the dissatisfaction of NRA members. He represents the views, generally, of NRA members quite well. As far as I can tell, anyway.

          I don’t think replacing Wayne would be a bad thing, I just don’t think he should feel betrayed by his people caving in to liberal opinion. The last thing we should do is cave in to liberal prejudice and undermine one of our own.

          If Wayne wants to step down I’m sure there are other people competent and motivated enough to replace him, but in no way should he tender his resignation as a “response” to quotes like this one form Tony Bourdain, an NYC liberal.

    • I agree, he’s done a decent job, but I think a fresher face would do well for the NRA. They need to adapt to changing demographics, while maintaing an hard stance on gun control.

    • Wayne has been a great hammer. It might make sense, though, to transition him more into the anvil – that unmovable piece of tool steel against which opinion is forged. Here’s what I mean by that. He’s been one of the primary messengers for our cause. His stance and organization has worked wonders: CCW at least possible (or imminent) in every state, smackdowns on most creeping gun laws in DC, etc. His message has been dire and full of implicit threat – tread on us at your peril. We are much better off now than before he was the exec vp at NRA. The question is what do we need now?

      I think we have to keep Wayne involved – he’s is a great anvil. But we need new, more divergent hammers. Smaller ones, perhaps. More colorful ones. People that look more like the folks we want to sway to our cause. People who represent the entirety of those who legally own guns in this country. Which it would seem the NRA is currently doing. I think their small hammers – the new and hopefully expanding set of NRA commentators – needs more exposure. The concept is valid and timely, but we will not win this just on youtube.

      • Im thinking it should be run by guys like Colion Noir, who defy almost all of the stereotypes they set on us. As for Wayne, he’s great at NRA rallies and rallies for the cause, but should probably not be our PR speaker.

        • Use the same tactic the libs used in electing Obama. Get rid of the stuffy old white guys they always use, and put Colion Noir and Kirsten Weiss front and center. The gun control lobby’s collective head would explode.

        • What are his qualifications to RUN anything? Who the heck is Colin Noir anyhow?

          The US TWICE elected an incompetent buffoon who had/has zero record of accomplishment solely because he was black. NRA/gun owners should do the same? Wrong answer.

    • Wayne la Pierre is wayyy too friendly with those gun grabbing commie socialists….. just wait until we get some real gun rights politicians into office then we’ll be up for some freedom

    • WE know that Wayne isn’t crazy, but that’s exactly how non-gun owners/non-NRA members see him. How can they not? They only see him through their CNN/MSNBC filters. They hear a LOT about what the NRA says and does, but never FROM the NRA! No, they hear it from the media hacks instead of simply going to one of the NRA’s many websites. Or Wayne’s blog.

      I once told Mr. LaPierre in an e-mail that he could use an image consultant. He remembered that when I met him at Cabela’s a couple of summers ago and we laughed together about it. He very good-naturedly said that although he wasn’t about to hire one, that he took my point about being cognizant of how he comes across to people unfamiliar with the issues. I still think he could use the consultant. Or maybe a good spokesperson. I sure do miss Charlton Heston. Or, going farther back, Neal Knox. But the NRA has brought on-board two hot new spokesmen in the form of Mr. Colion Noir and Billy Johnson. Both weild the sledge-hammer of logic against anti-gun idiocy very well. Put ’em to work, Wayne!

  2. Anthony Bourdain is an asshat, plain and simple, just like the rest of them.

    He talks about “shrieking”, and then proceeds to call Wayne LaPierre “batshit absolutist”.


    • I was with him right up until then.

      Making that statement just leads me to believe that he doesn’t really mean everything that he is saying but, more likely, just trying to tap into a hot button issue to keep his celebrity rolling along. Calling WLP a “batshit absolutionist” shows that the only words that Bourdain has heard come from LaPierre, have been what CNN has re-quotted…. I like his TV show, perhaps he should just stick to that….

  3. The consensus he speaks of is normally called “total capitulation to disarmament”.

    Cliff notes version:Consensus =Confiscation.

  4. Who is Anthony Bourdain? I gather he is some sort of chef turned TV show host?

    While AB may not be as batshit absolutist as many gun control advocates, he hints that he is in favor of stricter controls than most TTAG readers are going to go for.

    And where is the bar in Texas where everybody is packing? Must be a gangbanger bar since it is illegal in Texas to carry in a bar and most lawful gun owners tend to follow laws.

    • Yup, went to the Gingerman in Plano last night, Mr XD subcompact stayed in the car. Not that I really ever care to goto the bar but I cant argue with free food.

    • And they tell me that Texas is soooo gun friendly. Here in Virginia you can carry into a bar, you just can’t drink if you do.

      • There are basically three aspects to firearms: ones you may keep (i.e, which guns/mags/etc are legal to possess), how you may bear them (i.e., manner of carry and transportation), and when and how you can use them (i.e., under what circumstances are you allowed to show, draw and open fire).

        Texas is rather poor on the “bear” part of things: OC illegal, no bars, etc., (it sucks compared to Colorado in that regard, but then most states do), but from what I understand is pretty good on which ones you may keep (and Colorado has backslid significantly there this year, dangit) and when you can use them.

  5. While I disagree with him about Wayne LaPierre — who isn’t crazy but IS an AWFUL frontman — guys, come on. Bourdain just said a bunch of things right and one thing wrong. He’s not 100% correct, but he’s 90% correct, and that sounds like progress to me. Sometimes we have to be pragmatic and accept someone who isn’t as perfect as we are into the fold, eh?

    • Agreed – Take the support when we can get it, use it to build a wider appeal. If he can get a few gun owners on his cooking program and show the true side of gun ownership, that’ll be a win for us.

    • If he can convince even a few anti-gun lefties to stop screaming at us and actually engage in polite conversation, I think that’s a good start. Is this man on our side? Balls no, but he does make some good points and he gets more right here than wrong. I’m willing to give credit where credit is due.

    • to add on to this, we do have to reach people who HAVE long been told how “batshit” LaPierre is. they need to be reached on gun rights, not specifically on how they feel about LaPierre.

    • I kind of agree, but anyone who mentions “the children” as a special class where guns are concerned immediately loses two full letter grades in my view.

      I give this a C- with most of those points lost for his comment about the children. And I say that as a parent of 3 kids.


    How do I shut that off or not make it auto play ??

    Thank you !

    • Agreed – These autoplays, pop-up and pop-under ads are horrible.
      An example would be – I’m watching a gun video that has audio then oups here comes a second (unwanted) audio track playing ad b s over top of the desired gun video.

      • I used to always keep TTAG open in a tab. Not any more. The noise from the autoplay ads are incredibly annoying.

    • The pop up players/commercial and auto-play is irritating. I know TTAG needs Ad revenue, but I wish it was not commercials that play randomly and multiple pop up windows.

    • There are extensions available for web browsers such as AdBlock that block all advertisements when opening a page.

  7. I like Tony Bourdain… good chef, funny guy. And it might seem a little mean for him to call LaPierre a “batsh!t crazy”, but honestly, LaPierre did the gun community no favors when in his speeches after Newtown, he blamed video games for causing that sad tragedy. You can’t promote the 2nd Amendment at the expense of the 1st.

    • True – The jab at video games didn’t help us among the younger demographic, the guys who would be most open to trying out that M4gery. Plus, video games are not the cause of this in any way, any more than guns were.

  8. I like Bourdain, and I like his show. I’ve seen some questionable gun related stuff on his show in the past, but it’s usually very clearly said from a point of ignorance about how others live, not from animosity. Much like this post. The guy lives to learn about other people and cultures, and as a New York lefty, that’s exactly who the people of the gun are to him.

    If you haven’t clicked through and read the rest of the piece, you should.

    • +1 I like his stuff as well. I don’t expect him to be a “gun guy”, but he at least has a seemingly appropriate line of reasoning on the issue. To me, It’s ok not to be pro gun, as long as your respect my right and not be anti-gun or a douche.

      • He did say “…M-16 and a whole lot of extra clips” so he’s got some learning to do, but I find him 100x better than DiFi or John Morse or Angela Giron.

      • Is he respecting your rights when he votes for Obama, Hillary, or some other blatantly anti-2A pol? Just asking.

  9. I agree “they” shouldn’t talk down to us gun owners as if we were stupid or crazy, but Anthony isn’t trying to do us any favors here. It seems to me he’s just trying to divide and conquer by suggesting actual gun owners are reasonable people, unlike the evil, unreasonable NRA. If the NY lefties and the all the other lefties can truly respect us and understand us, then maybe we’ll just go along nicely while they proceed to relieve us of our rights.

  10. Summary:

    “If we want to take away these people’s guns we are going to have to be sneakier about it.”

    So this isn’t refreshing. A guy paid us a compliment and said he wanted to convert us to his side, and the compliment distracted us and made us amiable to listening to him, as it was designed to do. His sneakier approach has been validated.

  11. “but I do NOT believe that we will reduce gun violence—or reach any kind of consensus—”

    Gun violence is a misnomer and there isn’t a ‘consensus’ to reach. There’s no need for a ‘conversation’ with the anti-gunners about ‘reasonable gun control’. The left has nothing to offer except more illogical propaganda and more unconstitutional laws. The anti-gun crowd needs to deal with the fact that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right; a necessary right. They need to get over it and move on. Read or hear “reach a consensus”, “need for a conversation”, “reasonable gun control”, “gun violence”, “I’m all for (the RKBA/2A/an individual’s desire to defend themselves)”; then the writer or speaker is trying to punk you. Ignore them and walk away. Nothing to see, learn, or gain there. They simply want to convince you to give up even more in the exercise of your right to keep and bear arms.

    Successful trolling on the internet involves a certain amount of feigned ignorance interspersed with the disingenuous appearance of wanting to understand. Trolling happens in real life, too. The left are masters of it. On the internet or in real life… please don’t feed the trolls.

  12. He’s just trying to sweet talk and soft peddle his version of “reasonable restrictions.” Slowly trying to chip away until there’s nothing left. In 1934 you could buy a fully automatic Thompson at the local hardware store. Since then:

    1934 NFA
    1968 Title II NFA
    1986 FOPA
    1993 Brady Bill
    1994 AWB

    People like Bourdain won’t be satisfied until all firearms are banned, even if it takes another 100 years (that’s what they’re counting on actually).

    • Bourdain is a hardcore liberal. I have read his book and watched his shows. A lot of the time if you watch his show, even though he has done really interesting things, you just want to slap him.

      Tony knows cuisine and he is a libertine, which is the only reason he hates LaPierre, because he is a genuine conservative. That is what the anti-gun people really hate: The thought that Conservatives have/like/want weapons.

      Before people throw Wayne LaPierre under the bus because celebrities don’t like him, people should consider that. People should also consider that Tony Bourdain is on of the biggest sell outs in media and his current show is on Ted Turner’s CNN.

      • I find Bourdain annoying, I’m not a fan of libertines, and I don’t mind that LaPierre is conservative because I am too. What I DO mind is that LaPierre is tone deaf to what the actual problems are (hint – it isn’t Mortal Combat) and does not put forth good, convincing arguments for people on both sides. We’re trying to win a culture war primarily, and someone like LaPierre isn’t going to get it done.

        You don’t always have to assume that someone on the other side doesn’t like someone on your side because they nefariously hate all conservatives and secretly wish all white males were disarmed and subservient to a liberal master plan — sometimes they don’t like the person on your side because they’re generally unlikable.

  13. I agree with Matt – click through and read the whole article. It’s really worth your time. Bourdain doesn’t like Wayne LaPierre, but he’s entitled to that opinion. He’s basically sayi that any conversation about guns needs to come from an environment of mutual respect and that we need to step into each other’s shoes for a few minutes. The only thing I’m not sure I can agree with is the idea that there is actually any common ground between gun owners and the gun grabbers. Gun control doesn’t work, plain and simple. We already require a background check for new purchases, and I fail to see how keeping records will ever stop someone from doing something terrible. Their whole plan is based on being able to look in a registry and find the person AFTER the fact. However, I is refreshing to read an article that so openly advocates trying to understand the point of view of gun owners.

    • If many of them take his advice and do so they will see that the demonization of POTG–which is one of the pillars of the grabbers’ strategy–is fundamentally dishonest. That can’t possibly be a bad thing for us. Some of them might even be willing at that point to give firearms a try. And as long as some idiot doesn’t turn that into a bad experience, that too can’t possibly be a bad thing for us.

  14. Second time in a couple of weeks I heard this latest meme. I suspect this is the new “can’t we all get along” being pushed by the anti’s. Beware the enemy that wants to pull you closer to him. Wayne is fine. I wish he and the NRA were in fact absolutist. And Bourdain never had a Michelin star. So that settles that.

  15. The writer is the exception. Disarmers are not interested in reducing crimes and killing sprees committed with guns. Those occurrences give them more excuses to do what they really want to do: disarm gun owners.

    They hate guns but even more so, they hate people who own guns. They have, specifically, the bigoted view of gun owners the writer addresses. That’s why they blame the OFWGs from Arizona and Texas who belong to the NRA for the problems on the streets of Chicago, NY and DC. Why would they change what they are doing?

  16. Sorry, still sounds like an “I support the Second Amendment but…” statement.

    Was the next sentence “even 90% of them admit to supporting background checks, and don’t think we should have ‘weapons of war’ on our streets”?

    Call me a cynic.

  17. Mr. Bourdain,

    It is not the messaging, your side, the left, has dozens of PhD’s working day and night to come up with the most effective framing for your message.

    It is not the messenger, your side has the most powerful propaganda machine with the most polished propagandists, aka actors the world has ever seen and a monstrously large indoctrination system, aka the public schools, to pound the message into the majority of the children for 13 to 20 or more years.

    It is the message itself. A message which without all the above would appeal to only a small minority of the population. A minority that would all be like you.

    However, to become as large as your side has, it has had to resort to what is quite frankly a huge brainwashing experiment. Those persons in which this experiment was successful are not inclined to have any restraint in their expression of opposition to those they have been conditioned to believe are evil incarnate.

    They are the real “batshit absolutists” and by publicly saying what you have you just may come to know them a bit more than you might like.

  18. I guess I’m a batshit absolutist then. The guy is an anti. He wants gun control just like the rest. He’s just being sneaky about it.

  19. What a schmuck. He calls out his fellow libtards for insulting us, and then he insults us.

    I liked Bourdain better when he was a crackhead and an @ssh0le. Now he’s just an a@ssh0le.

    • Good point Ralph. Pay no attention to the fact that he votes for and supports democrats like Obama, he said some nice things so he must be on our side!

  20. Odd that he asked for a calm, respectful conversation and then went after LaPierre like that. It weakens his point and reveals his true perspective.

  21. I never take seriously anyone with an extensive history of multiple substance abuse and who wears thumb rings.

  22. Read the whole article. It’s great. He is a well traveled man with an open mind. He has been in every state in the US. He focus is mainly on food, but eating is a universal communication opportunity.

    The gun community alienates itself by shunning people who say they don’t like guns. Similarly gun control supporters do the same. I will keep drinking my starbucks, watch movies with “libtard” actors, and shoot my guns. It’s better than taking my guns and hiding from society in the woods because their is no one to disagree with me there.

    • Good for you Randall, now get back to making those Hillary 2016 yard signs. After all, you can vote for anti-2A politicians who would strip us of all our rights and still support the Second Amendment.

  23. Ah yes, let’s soften the rhetoric by calling a man millions support inflammatory names and make defamatory accusations against him while doubting his sanity in a flippant manner. That’s certainly rational discourse.

    Obama is inept, a Marxist Leninist but not a very good one and he ham-hands everything he attempts to the point of dismal failure both for his agenda and the nation at large. Assuming you accept that premise, most democrats are ok people you know, not entitled takers or loony pseudo academics, just good, reasonable people. Let’s start the conversation from there.

    This is precisely what Bourdain has done above only with the shoe on the other foot. It is however more transparent when restated from the other PoV. It’s either a sophomoric gesture from someone who has no more knowledge or input on the subject than any other citizen, or it’s a clumsy implementation of the classic divide and conquer progressive line; distance the masses from a popular leader by demonizing the latter and praising the former.

    Several have already stated precisely the same thing above though more succinctly but without explanation: He’s an asshat.

  24. While we do our yapping here the leftists are busy indoctrinating our kids and grandkids in school that guns are evil. The schools are the battleground. There should be an all out game plan to get guns and gun safety back into schools. The left always says they are for education…OK….lets do some gun education along with live fire trips at the local gun ranges to pass their final test.

    The alternative is a never ending slide toward leftism and gun control.

    • Yeah, we have to take it to schools. I remember being scared of even getting caught talking about Airsoft to friends in middle school. We were also told that you would become a bully if you punched one when they beating you up or stealing your money. Essentially self defense in any form was a NO.

  25. La Pierre is a mushy gun rights man. He only pushes hard when he thinks it will bring the NRA more money. That is the real mission of the NRA. They never brought a case to the Supreme Court in the past 100 years or more until Alan Gura did, and they tried their damnedest to stop him. If the courts had ruled in favor of gun rights, it would dramatically reduce the amount of lobbying the NRA can do.

    • Oh that’s just flat out false. For starters, the old “the NRA doesn’t really want to win, because that would stunt their scare tactics and membership drive” myth belies the fact that the NRA existed for many decades, nearly a century even, before its NRA-ILA arm was even created. They’ve done fine without scare tactics. They only went on the legal offensive when, well, the government started in the 1960’s to attack gun owners in earnest.

      As for taking cases to the Supreme Court prior to Gura, the NRA has done plenty and tried plenty more. The NRA’s competing case with Heller was Seegars v. Ashcroft. It was dismissed by an appeals court and the SC denied cert when the NRA appealed, true, but that doesn’t constitute a flimsy devotion to legal challenges on the NRA’s part.

      Beyond that, there’ve been other cases from long before Mr. Gura.

      See Farmer v. Higgins
      Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove
      Reichert v. Village of Morton Grove
      Stengl v. Village of Morton Grove
      Perpich v. U.S. Department of Defense
      Silveira v. Lockyer

      And who’s to say the Supreme Court showdowns are the be all end all? Plenty of cases are decided by lower courts and the losers determine that there’s little chance for victory with higher courts. Your focus on Supreme Court cases alone denies the NRA credit for their lower court successes. Civil rights, like football, is a game of inches.

  26. Dumping frumpy old white guys may seem like a no-brainer PR move. After all, where is it written that a CEO-type figure must necessarily be the face and voice of the organization? Ralph Reed was a masterful public persona for the Christian Coalition in the 1990’s, for example, despite serving under founder Pat Robertson. More recently, we saw former BP CEO Tony “I just want my life back” Hayward make more than a few missteps while taking on the public point man role during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis. So there’s something to be said for separating the roles of Top Dog and Point Man. Until there isn’t.

    Lest we forget, George W. Bush did his level best selling his foreign policy to the public by appointing as Secretary of State “articulate and bright and clean” African-Americans, as Biden might describe them, in the persons of Colin Powell and Condie Rice. How’d that work out toward quelling Democrat attacks of Bush?

    Rather than grading Mr. LaPierre against some nebulous, shifing standard we speculate that adversaries or undecideds might embrace, let’s just tally the man’s tangible results in those areas he can reasonably be expected to score successes in:

    Improving NRA’s war chest? Check.
    Increasing NRA’s membership? Check.
    Motivating members and the general public to contact their elected representatives and make their views known? Check.
    Funding and winning legal challenges? Check.
    Funding and winning legislative lobbying battles? Check.
    Funding and winning political campaign activities? Check.
    Offering solutions and rationales beyond the rote “Because the 2A says so, now get the hell off my lawn!” Check.

    To be sure, there are improvements the NRA could make in strategy and tactics; but that’s to be said of every organization, including those with lengthy strings of successes like the NRA. And perhaps Mr. LaPierre could pass the ball once in a while, instead of always driving for the hoop. Perhaps. Ultimately, though, the NRA is the single most effective organized force for firearms civil rights in this country, and that isn’t by chance.

    Before we start tinkering with the formula, , we ought to be able to articulate and substantiate precisely what condition we’re seeking to overcome, as well as how the proposed solution will deliver the desired results. Dumping Mr. LaPierre simply because he isn’t Justin Bieber-youthful or Obama-mania (circa 2008) mesmerizing, however, is neither a novel nor cogent argument.

  27. “..shade towards us”? Son, you’re standing out in broad daylight at high-noon – there is no shade anywhere near you!

  28. These people will tell you who they fear most, because they seek to marginalize and de-legitimize their biggest threats. And Anthony Buttstain has just identified Wayne LaPierre as the greatest threat to the gun control lobby. Get rid of him? The NRA should be building monuments to him!

    If you want to promote someone else so the organization looks more like the Multiculture Pals, that’s fine. But you don’t need to replace what works.

  29. The fact that Wayne LaPierre blamed video games for spree killers right after Sandy Hook really alienated a lot people in at least two generations, maybe three.

    We need NRA speakers who look and talk like they at least know what the internet is.

    The era of OFWGs is over.

  30. Anthony Bourdain’s shows have been a favorite of mine for years. He is the definition of “Keeping it real.” He is one of the, if not THE most respectable of the TV personalities I have ever cared to view, and this simply renewed my faith in him.

    Alas – his advice will fall on deaf ears. The civilian disarmament movement is all about divide and conquer, alienation and marginalization.

    I’d put Bourdain in Office, even if he is a “New York Lefty”

  31. Do not misunderstand this admitted lib. He is very much in Bloomberg’s camp. He just has a better (real) understanding of who his ‘enemy’ is (aside from his NRA comments which are nothing more than a divide and conquer tactic). That makes him more of a threat to liberty.

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