National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre delivered a fiery — some might call it pure boilerplate — speech to a crowded members’ meeting Saturday focusing on one of the organization’s favorite targets: the media.
Using a series of clips from past confrontations with the press and speeches over the years in which he predicted the course of the gun control effort that has become a gun prohibition movement, LaPierre threw punch after verbal punch. It was a speech in which the longtime NRA CEO declared, “For years, I’ve warned Americans about the decay of our society, the threats to our individual freedoms, the growing contagion of the ever-increasing violent Left and the anti-American dream of so many national democrats and their ‘running buddies’ in the media to warp our nation into a European- style socialist state.”
“But over the last three decades, I’ve been right,” he said. “Everything I have predicted and warned gun owners about has either come true or is happening now.”
Watch LaPierre’s speech here.
LaPierre, who has been the face and voice of the NRA for more than two decades, turned his sights on anti-gun politicians. He warned the audience that the 2018 midterm elections could be a make-or-break event for the organization, and the Second Amendment.
“Gun owners—every one of America’s 100 million law-abiding gun owners— had better listen up, buckle up, and get to work to win this election,” he cautioned. “If we lose the House and Senate, the dystopian media and political elites will destroy President Trump. They’ll block every judicial appointment, and every pro-freedom measure. And then they’ll seize the White House and come after us with everything they’ve got. Come after you, your guns, your freedom.”
LaPierre’s speeches are traditionally the highlight of the annual meetings.
“The NRA will do everything we can—devote every resource we can muster— but we can’t do it alone. We need every gun owner, every citizen who cares about American freedom, to stand with us. Stand and fight like hell to save our great nation.”—Wayne LaPierre, NRA
Elsewhere inside the massive Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, tens of thousands of NRA members of all ages strolled through the crowded aisles of the exhibit hall. They were looking at new guns and gear, from pint-sized .22-caliber rifles for young shooters to high-caliber custom rifles for big and dangerous game. They were examining pricey hunting and competition shotguns, talking about reloading, checking out hunting clothing and accessories, knives and camping equipment, and talking about rights.
It was a stark contrast to anti-gun demonstrations held near the convention center.
They’ve had the chance to rub elbows with big names in the firearms community, including reloading giants Steve Hornady, Bob Nosler and Chris Hodgdon; Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb, famous outdoor writers including Jim Zumbo and Larry Weishuhn, and sharing a camaraderie built around what they say is the uniquely American tradition of gun ownership.
The 2018 NRA convention wraps up Sunday, with more activities including seminars and workshops.