One of America’s most vehement of gun rights supporters argued back against opponents for calling him “crazy”–instead insisting they’re the ones acting bizarrely–as he delivered a red-meat filled speech on the second day of the annual CPAC convention.
The CEO of the National Rifle Association took the stage to thunderous applause after a short video was played featuring various clips of pundits and politicians criticizing him for out of touch. In his speech, he tried to turn the tables on those accusers.
“They call me crazy, yet the people doing the finger pointing are doing things that are absolutely bizarre,” Wayne LaPierre said, adding, ”It’s time to take a look at the insanity that’s consumed the media and too many in this town.”
Of course we have learned that majority of the NRA’s 5 million members don’t agree with LaPierre, who argued that no new laws should be pursued to address gun violence, beyond arming teachers. A recent Johns Hopkins University survey shows 75% of self-identified NRA members support universal background check laws, a policy LaPierre opposes.
He also claimed that “the vast majority of Americans” favor trained armed police and security officers in every school. Apparently LaPierre’s definition of “vast majority” is a two point margin, because an ABC News/Washington Post poll asked this question in the last week and found only 50% of Americans agreed with LaPierre, compared to 48% who disagreed. Moreover, support for that idea has declined since the question was asked in January, only a few weeks after the Newtown school shooting.
LaPierre wasn’t only confused about how Americans and his own organizations members feel about the issues. He also claimed that gun ownership is at an all-time high in America, despite a report released just this week that shows gun ownership has declined in the last four years.
The CPAC audience, however, didn’t seem to mind his factual errors, cheering him on as he asked ”Have they lost their minds over at the White House?” and made fun of Vice President Joe Biden for arguing that shooting a shotgun could be equally effective in home defense as an AR-15.
“You keep your advice. We’ll keep our guns,” he said to Biden. He also returned to his argument that politicians who’ve benefited from Capitol police or Secret Service protection have no right to suggest gun control proposals (Although fortunately he refrained from talking about Sasha and Malia again).
At this point, Biden has (perhaps wisely) refrained from addressing LaPierre’s comments.