LOS ANGELES TIMES: The NRA's loose cannon
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.
It would be wrong to base one’s judgments about politicians too heavily on their gaffes. Public speakers are exposed to microphones so often that it would be shocking if the occasional boneheaded remark didn’t slip out. But in the case of National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, the achingly incongruous statements tend not to come from off-the-cuff remarks but carefully vetted prepared statements.
Which leaves us to wonder: How can anybody possibly attract such a large and financially powerful following by uttering statements that defy third-grade logic? One does not have to dig deep into the LaPierre highlight reel to find footage of him dismissing the real point in order to bring up a complete irrelevancy, or simply ignoring an issue when it is in fact at the heart of the problem he’s discussing.
For example, here he is in a speech in Reno on Tuesday dismissing President
But the non sequiturs just kept flying. Filling out background check paperwork would mean
There was, unfortunately, a lot more, including a rambling defense of “absolutism.” Under LaPierre’s definition, absolutism in support of freedom is a virtue. Presently, this means that supporting every picayune gun law, including those that make it easier for criminals to obtain firearms, is doing the work of the angels, while coming up with common-sense restrictions that wouldn’t affect law-abiding gun owners is a form of extremism.
Are people buying this? In a word, LaPierre’s arguments aren’t just slightly out of touch; they are absurd. If the NRA wants to continue using him as its chief spokesman, it will have only itself to blame.
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