Monday, January 6, 2014

#860: Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre is Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association and an absolutely batshit insane conspiracy theorist. The reason – or at least the reason that qualifies him for inclusion in our Encyclopedia – is not his advocacy for gun rights, or even his tortured, fallacy-filled arguments that more guns means less crime (according to LaPierre the Second Amendment is the source of all freedoms; without guns, there can be no freedom), but his completely reality-unrelated ability to see conspiracies to take away his guns everywhere around him. They’re all out to take them, you see, and have been for a long time. In 2000, for instance, LaPierre claimed that President Bill Clinton tolerated a certain amount of violence and killing to strengthen the case for gun control and to score points for his party. In the real world gun rights advocates have won pretty much all the legal and political battles (there have after all been no serious effort at gun control in Congress for the last decades), but that has not diminished the paranoia or dampened the rhetoric of LaPierre and his gang. Their warnings about how they are out to get those guns of theirs remain as dire as they have been for the last 25 years and will probably remain the same given the characteristics of the new President, Jim Porter.

Now, imminent gun-confiscation is a relatively familiar rightwing conspiracy theory; it is part of the agenda of the New World Order crackdown that is lurking right behind the next corner, whether it is the US government or their secret partners in conspiracy, the UN, and the goal is to make people powerless to … well, it is not entirely clear. In any case, LaPierre, though he is often counted as a mainstream figure within the conservative movement, is wholly on board and has even done his own part to promote the conspiracy in his book The Global War on Your Guns: Inside the UN Plan To Destroy the Bill of Right. The fact that LaPierre, despite his conspiracy leanings, remains a mainstream figure in the conservative movement is of course just further evidence that the movement is mainstreaming crazy. In fact, LaPierre has a history of organizing letter-writing campaigns against the UN to counter their perceived (by LaPierre) attempts to restrict good ol’ Americans’ right to arms (in the real world the measures LaPierre are talking about are measures to limit illegal weapon trade to terrorists and criminal groups, but to LaPierre that is just a foil to … take away his guns).

Of course, Obama is another enemy of the movement, since he is also, according to LaPierre, working hard to take away LaPierre’s guns through various measures that don’t say anything remotely close to what LaPierre thinks they say, and which Obama has tabled anyways. Indeed, the fact that Obama has made no move toward gun restriction is – according to the rather paranoid LaPierre – itself evidence that Obama is out to ban guns: “It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country,” says LaPierre and offers a pretty illustrative example how conspiracy theories actually work: absence of evidence for a conspiracy is evidence that the conspiracy exists, since it just means that the conspirators are trying to hide it. Splendid.

LaPierre has, in fairness, tried to emphasize that it’s not a matter of paranoia; it’s just a natural response to how liberals deliberately keep the borders open to Mexicans and other al Qaeda terrorists and criminals “whose jobs are murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping.” He has also forcefully argued against the creation of a national firearm database on the grounds that it will be hacked by the Chinese or handed over to Mexico (presumably by our traitorous president). Here is his take on school shootings, and here is the infinetly even more lunatic Larry Pratt following up on LaPierre’s assessment by claiming that the solution to school shootings is more spanking. There is an illuminating article on the NRA and its allies here (it's interesting how out-of-touch NRA's hysterical leaders are with the majority of the organization's members).

Diagnosis: Hysterically paranoid and reality-challenged wingnut conspiracy theorist, who often makes Alex Jones look almost reasonable. LaPierre nevertheless has quite a lot of influence, something that ought to scare anyone.