Wayne LaPierre’s Curious New York Times Interview and What it Probably Means

wayne LAPIERRE nra

National Rifle Associaiton Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre isn’t someone who seeks out mainstream media attention. Unless it’s following an incident like a mass shooting or pending gun control legislation in Congress that requires a response from the NRA, he’s not one to gab idly with journalists just to get his name and face out there.

So what would prompt the NRA’s top man to give one of the first interviews he’s granted in years to the New York Times? In Inside Wayne LaPierre’s Battle for the N.R.A., author Danny Hakim used a “three-hour on-the-record conversation in late October” with LaPierre as the basis for a re-telling of Wayne’s time at the Association and a recap of some of the current controversies and battles the Association is fighting.

Wayne LaPierre NRA

Dan Z for TTAG

All told, it’s not a bad recounting of how the NRA came to find itself in its current predicament. But you can’t read it without considering the strategic decision-making that obviously went into this. It’s a move that couldn’t possibly have happened without the approval — and probably at the urging — of the NRA’s outside attorney, William Brewer.

The result is a surprisingly benign — some might even say almost sympathetic — portrayal of LaPierre and his current embattled position (especially considering who printed it).

…he was occasionally evasive, often startlingly direct and always acutely, sometimes painfully self-aware. …

…no matter how much time [LaPierre] had left, he said, he would spend it doing what he always did: fighting for the N.R.A. — not just against Democratic regulators looking to destroy his organization from without, but also now against the treacherous former allies seeking to do the same from within. “If I lose every friend,” he said, “I’m prepared to do it.”

Given that the piece appeared in such an ardently anti-gun outlet as the Times, the article is a notably even-handed, of not positive depiction of LaPierre as the beleaguered head of an organization that finds itself in serious trouble.

“Everybody knows we were singled out,” LaPierre said. “Everybody knows that it’s politics.” Whatever the fate of the N.R.A., he has held on far longer than many thought he could. In his spartan office, he seemed weary. After many long years spent building one of the most powerful organizations in Washington, he had found himself isolated and embattled. “Somebody asked me in a deposition how you feel about all of it,” he recalled, briefly looking up once more. “I said I feel sad.”

Noteworthy also is Hakim’s treatment of attorney Brewer. He doesn’t leave out the concerns about Brewer’s ethics or the astronomical amounts he’s billing the NRA, but Brewer is depicted as a crusading defender of civil rights, willing to cross ideological lines to defend constitutional freedoms.

Brewer decided to take the case. Whatever he felt about the N.R.A., he said, he saw a principle at stake. Government investigators should not target political enemies. “People were not only crossing the lines that are appropriately drawn by our Constitution,” he said, “they were aggressively determined to blur, cross, obliterate those lines. And you know what? If they could do it to those guys, they could do it to me. They could do it to all of us.” In this view, at least, Brewer was completely in sync with LaPierre. “I think everybody in the country ought to be on our side,” LaPierre told me. “Because if we don’t prevail, in my opinion, the United States is not the United States anymore.”

The way Hakim tells it, the $1400-an-hour counselor is also spearheading the effort to get to the bottom of what’s wrong at the NRA.

Brewer went to work. Rivals quickly came to view him as a Rasputin-like figure, whispering in LaPierre’s ear and billing the N.R.A. into oblivion, but he moved forward. He filed a First Amendment case that accused New York of blacklisting the organization simply for expressing its views. He also got the green light from LaPierre to undertake a broad internal audit.

It almost brings a tear to the eye.

TTAG talked with David Dell’Aquila, the dissident NRA donor who’s suing the Association, to get his take on why we’re seeing this article in this media outlet at this time.

His opinion is that it’s about two things; access and stasis. Giving the interview to the Times gets LaPierre’s side of the controversies and the ongoing pissing match with Ackerman McQueen out there. Agreeing to run a sympathetic — as much as possible — treatment by the Times gives the paper an in on a big ongoing story.

nra wayne lapierre

Dan Z for TTAG

But why would the Times agree to a relatively benign portrayal of someone the paper and its readers clearly revile? In Dell’Aquila’s view, it’s better for those who hate the NRA and the causes it supports to keep LaPierre right where he is.

As the Times see it, according to Dell’Aquila, with LaPierre still in the big chair as head of the Association, at least through 2020, the NRA will continue to be discredited and embroiled in controversy…and therefore less able or effective in supporting gun rights and the Trump reelection effort.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Brewer’s interests either, as he’s a been dedicated, longtime supporter of Democrats and their causes.

How bad are things likely to get for the NRA in the new year? The Outdoor Wire‘s Jim Shepherd has a good (if darker) take on the latest in the State of New York’s ongoing investigation into the NRA and its non-profit status. He talked to a number of NRA board members who have been questioned by the New York Attorney General.

Having spoken with several of the current/former Board Members who have just been deposed, questioning in those depositions have led to a common conclusion: each person deposed has been surprised at the level of detail and specificity of the questions they’ve been asked.

General questions quickly give way to very specific ones. Those have revolved around some now-familiar names inside the organization’s current and former senior leadership.

What I’ve been told does nothing to assuage my growing concerns about the future of the organization we’ve all counted on to defend the Second Amendment on a national level.

If anything, the direction of the questioning adds to more concern. It would appear the ultimate goal isn’t to correct problems inside the NRA. Or even to distract the organization’s leadership during the 2020 election cycle.

The ultimate goal, it seems, is dismantling the entire organization.

Read the whole thing here.

That sorta jibes with Dell’Aquila’s take and makes perfect sense going into 2020. Both objectives are doable. There’s no reason for the NY AG to move the investigation along too quickly if stringing things out benefits Democrats heading into a critical election year.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

comments

  1. avatar American Patriot says:

    If Wayne was in politics he would be the Tyrannical Govt the founders warned us about which is why the 2A exists.

    1. avatar PK says:

      You flattened the damn nail, brother.

      1. avatar G44 says:

        Gun owners better grow a spine quickly or tyrants like LaPierre will steel both the jewels and the religion.

        Unless gun owners are just the hollow shells of men the antis say they are. In that case, bend over and hang on.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      …sort of reminiscent of why the allies stopped trying to assassinate Hitler!……his continued presence actually weakens the organization….

  2. avatar Thixotropic says:

    And it sounds like La Peepee and the NRA Deep State have been complicit all along with diluting our 2nd Amendment Rights.

    No wonder there has been NO transparency to the membership through all of this.

    1. avatar Chicken Wing says:

      Exactly. A thousand profitable paper cuts for the NRA. Their existence as they’re currently setup depends on the constant threat. Never any attempt to regain what they gave away. Never fighting too hard or too effectively.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    “I don’t care if I lose all my friends”. “I’m rich”. Old Wayne😩

  4. avatar Chicken Wing says:

    The longer any of us treat the NRA as actually representing us the faster we will see the wave of national anti-2A political moves that will come after it’s destroyed from within and without by corrupt leadership. Blood is in the water and the 2nd will be tied to the NRA by big media and pols. If it happens to coincide with loss of the Senate and the presidency they’ll gut our rights nationally.
    This is what you get when you blindly support fudds who have stuffed their pockets while our rights tumble down that slippery slope for decades. And don’t think guys like Rob Pincus who calls anyone who won’t comply criminals is going to help you.

  5. avatar Mad Max says:

    They are all missing the most important point; the NRA isn’t the “gun lobby”, we are.

    Let them stay ignorant…

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Correct. Are politicians afraid of the 5 million NRA members of the NRA or responsive the meager amounts of political donations from the NRA ILA? I doubt it.

      But they are aware of the 100-150 million gun owners who, to a person. VOTE!!

      In a year or two, the only member left in the NRA will be the poor dumb bastards who bought lifetime memberships. I won’t be re-upping when the time comes if Wayne La Pew is still there.

  6. avatar The Pontificator says:

    Wayne, start buying your suits off the rack.

    1. avatar ceefour says:

      Good one…….

  7. avatar JBS says:

    Why does the NRA keep its corporate registration in New York? Why not move it to some state more friendly?

    1. avatar Ed Weber says:

      Wish I could give upvotes to you. I’ve been saying this for years. Whether it is the NRA or gun manufacterers,,,move out of anti 2nd amendment states. Personally,,,I refuse to buy weapons for companies located in said States.

  8. avatar Evan In Dallas says:

    Wayne LaPierre is “the devil they know,” and he has likely told them the devil they don’t know is much “worse.” It’s no wonder they’re willing to listen.

  9. avatar moreadventuresonotherplanets says:

    Congratulations you ignorant tight wad Hill Jacks. The Socialists love your ignorance and stinginess. The old adage “A Conservative is his own worst enemy” is literally written in stone for the ages. The Socialists could not have a better tool and ally than gun owners themselves to destroy the NRA and 2A.

    2020 will be the year that will be the biggest assault on 2A in the history of the document and the destruction of the NRA could not have come at a worst time in its history or the history of 2A. Wayne the God Father of Guns knows this but he would rater destroy the NRA and 2A than lose his 4 million salary, his mistress and the millions in perks he gets as well as his lust for power. Like Hitler, to lose power is to lose life and like Hitler Wayne would rather watch the NRA around him crumble to dust than give up his power.

    Meanwhile stingy ignorant Hillbillies are dumb enough to think they do not need the NRA and that the courts will save their ass. I say to these Moronic unwashed retards that even orange face Trump is not that dumb.

    Between power mad Wayne and the Hillbillies 2A has no more of chance to survive in 2020 that the North and South Pole glaciers do of surviving Trumps Global warming. As we watch the glaciers melt away day by day the NRA power is also melting and floating away as the Dems cannot believe their good luck that gun owners are that stupid. Fortunately for the Dems gun owners are indeed that stupid.

    Those that do not know History are doomed to repeat it.

    The Socialists send love and kisses. They could not ask for better dupes and allies than the gun owners themselves. If wisdom came in a pill gun owners would choke on it.

    Socialist message for the day:

    “Do not send money to the NRA” and help us stamp out 2A once and for all and to show our appreciation we will send you an e-mailed You Tube video of the smelters melting down all your guns. And remember to uphold the Conservative credo, save a penny today and lose all your guns tomorrow. Brilliant. Even if gun owners had a brain they would still be to stupid to use it.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Pants on head retarded. Incredible how you get everything backwards but you can still remember to breath. 2020 is going to be the worst year of your life. Pathetic waste of resources. If greta was serious about the environment she’d Jimmy Hoffa your ass. But then she’d have to know you were alive before that could happen.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Man, you are a mess. Get some help. Please.

    3. avatar jeff says:

      Well, I guess I am a hillbilly, I live in the southern mountains. Maybe that’s why I cannot make heads or tails about what you are saying.

    4. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

      History has shown periods of warming and cooling. Eons of history shows this. Did not know Trump was that old.

      Socialists may attempt to destroy the US, but they will bring only their own demise. As all socialist revolutions show us, many die by violence, many more die by famine and all that is left is destruction. Why do you wish for this? You are their useful idiot, you are safe until they need cannon fodder. Then your death will be a footnote for the glorious utopia that will never and can never be achieved.

    5. avatar HP says:

      Are you drunk?

      1. avatar Vlad II , Voivode Of Wallachia, Father Of Vlad (III Dracula) Tepes says:

        He’s not drunk, you see, as a child, Vladimir Jr was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed psychotropic medications that affect him in a bad way. Combine that with the pot that weird homo teacher I mentioned introduced him to, and you got a killer combination.

    6. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Hey Vlad, for someone who has a Mensa level IQ, several university degrees, and a diverse share portfolio, why is it you think “rural hillbillies” are causing the shooting casualties among urban ghetto residing gang members?

    7. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Just dropped some cash on Virginia Citizen’s Defense League. They’re doing a crap ton of leg work in Virginia and being a big part of taking the fight to the Democrats there. More grass roots level leg work than I’ve ever heard of the NRA doing pretty well anywhere. Have you heard about a peep from the NRA in VA? I haven’t. Although they’re likely well funded I bet it’s not NRA bank.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        There’s a big difference between “letting it settle in the courts” and putting money where you think it will actually do good. The NRA isn’t the only game in town for gun rights by a long shot.

  10. avatar Kendahl says:

    One would expect the NRA to work closely with state and local gun organizations. Where I used to live, the NRA rep was a virtual stranger. On one occasion, the rep testified in opposition to the state organization’s position which had been carefully thought out after discussions with legislators. The two most favorable Supreme Court decisions, Heller and McDonald, weren’t won by the NRA.

  11. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    I’ll be straight-up honest. I saw the words “Wayne LaPierre” and chose to skip the article entirely to scroll down to the comments. Until something actually changes for the better at the NRA, I’m not sending money or spending much time reading about WLP’s attempts to captain the sinking ship.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

      “Until something actually changes for the better at the NRA, I’m not sending money or spending much time reading about WLP’s attempts to captain the sinking ship.”

      Bingo!

      The NRA is ‘PNG’ to me. There are other organizations that can and should pick up the mantle and carry on for gun rights.

      And as far as I’m concerned, it’s dangerous to put all our eggs in one basket concerning civil rights. A loose association of different organizations is a better alternative. Give them more targets they have to shoot at…

      1. avatar Nanashi says:

        The NRA is Portable Network Graphic?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Persona Non Grata?

        2. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

          JWM gets it… 😉

  12. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    So the questions are specific? Somebody did a lot of talking to the AG before this started and probably provided documents, the NRA is screwed.

  13. avatar Chuck Finley says:

    Without the constant Threat of anti gun legislation how would the nra fill it’s coffers to fund their lavish lifestyles? They do nothing for anyone’s rights, but when some other organization does they are happy to take credit, how many times has the nra supported unconstitutional laws, and still idiots will white knight for them till they’re blue in the face, VCDL, now that a civil rights organization!

  14. avatar jeff says:

    I have already told the NRA no more donations until Wayne Lapierre goes. We need to clean house before the AG of New York shuts the NRA down.

  15. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

    What they don’t seem to understand is that if the NRA was dismantled in its entirety tomorrow, political support for gun rights will not evaporate.

    Individual conservative legislatures will not suddenly vote for gun control. Leftists seem incapable of understanding that…

  16. The only words for the DemoCRAPs I can muster would be those uttered with disdain toward them…To quote the actor who played chancellor Palpatine from Star Wars:The Revenge of the Sith….”So it’s Treason THEN!”

  17. avatar Nanashi says:

    “The result is a surprisingly benign — some might even say almost sympathetic — portrayal of LaPierre and his current embattled position (especially considering who printed it).”

    Controlled opposition. Times knows keeping LaPierre in power is the best way to destroy gun rights.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Probably a lot of truth to this; You have someone pissing away money as well as selling away gun rights a bit at a time. They know he’s a loser in the long game and there’s a good chance he’d be replaced with someone more radical and less cooperative.

    2. avatar Rusty - Always Carry - Chains says:

      The NYT approaches everything with the attitude of how does this benefit the political side they support. It’s what Democrats do. Always.

  18. avatar Someone says:

    “The way Hakim tells it, the $1400-an-hour counselor is also spearheading the effort to get to the bottom of what’s wrong at the NRA.”

    He should start with a long look into a mirror. The NRA became the physician who treated the patient to death instead of healing him.

  19. avatar JoinGOA,FPC,SAF says:

    With all the gun control proposed in VA where the NRA is headquartered their silence is deafening!!!!! MIA!!!

    They are a joke using $100’s of $Millions of our hard earned membership money were massive numbers of kids worked numerous hot sweaty mosquito infested summers to become life members…. now all that money is being wasted fighting lawsuits for corruption etc………..

    The Low of Lows!

    Lets build the GOA,FPC,SAF to @ least 10 million [email protected] least they are fighting 4 our rights.. and only have a few employees…

    Discount Membership!
    https://gunowners.org/antonia-okafor/

  20. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The NRA will be destroyed by the Government. The high level criminals all think they will never go prison. To them it’s only drug dealers and prostitutes that serve time. But the NY AG has sent many 70 and 80 year olds to long prison terms.
    Rich white criminals think it will never happen to them. We will see.

    I would liked to have see the NRA gun museum. I wonder what will happen to all those historical artifacts?

    1. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

      “I would liked to have see the NRA gun museum. I wonder what will happen to all those historical artifacts?”

      They had better be planning for that contingency.

      The NRA has billionaire members, perhaps one or a few can buy the collection, and then re-gift to another gun rights .org?

  21. avatar Jim Warren says:

    Dismantle the organization with the intention of rebuilding with safeguards against what it has become?

    So be it.

  22. avatar Sam Hill says:

    NRA.. not real active. I am not a joiner of anything. Of the three things I have joined only one has been a great idea, two would have been better left on the shelf, first marriage and military. You can talk demofarts and republicants, liberals and conservatives all day long, but ball gonna stop in the court which has the most trees with money for leaves.

  23. avatar Fit2Btyed says:

    I’m part of the NRA Resistance to rid the organization of WLP. I’m just wondering how many NRA subscriptions WLP is pissing away on this $1,400.00 an hour hack.

  24. avatar Don Ward says:

    I’m only here to read the comments.

    Not disappointed.

  25. avatar HoundDogDave says:

    I would guess it is an attempt at padding his resume with a sympathetic spin as to why he is being driven out of the NRA.
    ” They are kicking me out because I’m not radical enough. I want ‘reasonable” and responsible regulations, like Red Flags and UBCs.” “I would be a GREAT consultant for your ‘gun violence and safety’ org.”

  26. avatar KGM says:

    GOTS to go!!

  27. avatar Mark says:

    What everyone here seems to forget or not care about is NRA Training. There is no other organization that has the quality and depth of training that the NRA has. The loss of that as a National asset would be tragic to say the least.

    So the NRA got too big for it’s britches and tried to be everything to everyone. It’s easy to sit on the outside and bitch, but hard to fix the problems and get back to business. You all seem to pile on socialism for being self destructive…well I see 2A “activists” doing a pretty good job of killing themselves as well.

    I’ve never seen a militia group yet that lasted. Always ends with some blowup over something that, in retrospect, is stupid and petty. Y’all are acting the same way. Grow the fuck up.

  28. avatar Red says:

    The NRA has always been a compromising organization.

    Everyone would do well to find a no-compromise organization like Gun Owners of America (GOA) or the Second Amendment or The Citizens Committee For the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

    Wayne LaPierre is a sellout like those who came before him. I left the NRA decades ago because of their cowardice.

  29. avatar Joe Wilson says:

    “I am confident that the members of the NRA BOD in their collective wisdom (38 + 1 or more) will continue to work to make those decisions which best serve the interests of our cause, ……” Herb Lanford

    This is part of the response (in an email) I got from Herb Lanford NRA Board member when I asked about removing Wayne.

    If Wayne is retained by the BOD then it is obvious to me that those BOD members who do not vote to remove Wayne whereas IMHO their interests are something other than protecting the 2nd amendment therefore they should be held just as accountable for any malfeasant of which Wayne is found guilty of.

    .

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