Thursday, June 19, 2008

NRA Backtracks And Re-Thinks Guns In Schools...

LaPierre Decries Threat of Anti-Gun Elitism

“Behind every gun control law is a ruling elitist class that can’t stand your ability to take care of yourself.”

That’s the view from National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who addressed an energized audience at the annual NRA members meeting in Louisville, KY, the morning of May 17. Portraying the gun rights battle that he believes is about to erupt anew across the American landscape as an “us versus them” scenario, the veteran gun rights leader warned his audience that “the ruling class believes that you shouldn’t protect ourselves…the government should.”

“They don’t give a damn about you,” he declared. “They couldn’t care less about your safety.”

LaPierre described this “ruling class” made up of corporate and legislative leaders as being opposed to concealed carry and personal protection, while at the same time “completely abdicating” any responsibility to protect people.

He recalled how the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina brought this issue to the forefront, when victims of that storm could not depend on police for protection, yet the authorities ordered troops to go door-to-door searching for firearms, which were confiscated.

t was that confiscation that led the NRA, along with the Second Amendment Foundation, to file a landmark federal civil rights lawsuit against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Eddie Compass, and subsequently his replacement, Warren Riley, to stop the gun seizures.

LaPierre said this ruling class has “conspired with the media ruling class” to bury the story of those confiscations. However, if a police officer roughs up an armed criminal, “they run that footage over and over until you’re sick of it,” he noted.

“The ruling class hates street cops, too,” LaPierre stressed.

With repeated applause from the audience, LaPierre also bashed “ruling class legislators” who are opposed to so-called “castle doctrine” statutes that allow citizens to stand their ground and fight back against criminal attack.

“Your home is your castle,” he said. “You don’t have to retreat.”

From his remarks, it was easy for the audience to follow LaPierre to the current situation in Washington, DC, where the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling within days that defines the Second Amendment, and whether a handgun ban in the District of Columbia is constitutional under that definition.

Criticizing the ban, LaPierre noted, “If I don’t want to be thirsty, I drink water. If I don’t want to be hungry, I eat food. If I don’t want my family attacked, I own a gun!”

He told the audience that the NRA will not consider the legal challenge to the gun ban a victory until law-abiding citizens in the District can purchase a gun legally and take it home.

His barbs then shifted to anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his attacks on gun dealers in other states.

“Bloomberg is not concerned about prosecuting criminals,” LaPierre asserted, after noting that only one out of a hundred felony arrests ever results in a trial in New York City. But instead of concentrating on prosecuting and imprisoning hard-core felons, he noted that Bloomberg “has Wal-Mart taking photos of law-abiding citizens” who are purchasing firearms.

New York is home to the United Nations, and that, said LaPierre, is a “breeding ground of international global elitists.” He warned that the UN “wants to force on the world what the DC government wants to force on its citizens.”

The ultimate goal of the global gun control movement, he said, is to disarm people all over the world.

But then LaPierre took the argument to neighborhood schools and college campuses, where he said that “a gun-free zone for students is nothing but a risk-free zone for killers.”

It marked a reversal of remarks he made in 1999 in the wake of the Columbine massacre, when he stated that “we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools.”

“That means no guns in America’s schools, period,” he said at the time.

But times have definitely changed, and LaPierre—predicting that he will be vilified for bringing it up, “but I don’t care”—told the audience that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

“Instant responders,” he said, alluding to armed teachers, school staff or in the case of college campuses, armed students, “are always better than first responders.

Reminding NRA members that “we built this nation with spunk,” LaPierre said colleges and universities “should honor” concealed carry permits and licenses. While the NRA doesn’t encourage firearms on campuses, “we discourage bans,” he said.

The time has come, he observed, for schools to develop security plans that include parents, teachers and “other volunteers with concealed carry permits.”

“Armed intruders at schools,” he said under this scenario, “will be met with armed resistance.”

He noted that every public opinion poll on self-defense and gun rights “comes down on our side.” LaPierre said the NRA speaks for more Americans than the Democrats and Republicans.

He closed his remarks by noting, “The only true ruling class is represented in this room today, and I am proud to be one of you!”

Good to finally see the NRA taking a different stance on firearms in those murder holes they've been calling schools lately. In a few days, the Supreme Court is set to rule in our favor regarding the DC gun ban. NYC should be next, then on to allowing guns on campus.

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