Wayne LaPierre at CPAC – NRA Leader Attacks Liberals

NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—Wayne LaPierre could read the room.

“I hear a lot of quiet in this room,” the NRA leader told the Thursday morning crowd at CPAC. “I sense your anxiety. You should be anxious. You should be frightened.”

LaPierre was referring not to the sustained fear of gun violence that much of the country has felt in the days after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, but about the present culture wars. LaPierre spent more than 30 minutes offering CPAC extended dog whistles about the dangers of possible changes to the 2nd Amendment, arguing that if one freedom goes, the rest will follow.

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LaPierre attacked the mainstream/national/liberal media as a conduit for a socialism tsunami that is scheduled to wipe out America any day now.

He denounced what he sees as a lack of due process, calling it the “gold standard” of the socialist state. He warned of a dystopian future where children spy on their parents and personal information in “the cloud” is used against you. He attacked contemporary liberals in general, telling the CPAC audience: “They keep their movement growing by finding someone to be offended by something every minute of every day. From the Occupy movement to Black Lives Matter to Antifa, they agitate the offended, promote uncivil discourse, and ignore any sense of due process.”

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All of this was a roundabout way of finding anything except guns to blame for American gun violence, which may or may not be reaching a sea change moment as high school students continue to speak out after Parkland.

“We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods, and a safe country,” LaPierre said. In a tone that was at once bemused, preachy, and exhausted, LaPierre condemned “the breathless national media” eager to smear the NRA. “They hate the NRA. They hate the second amendment. They hate individual freedom.”

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LaPierre’s speech followed a fiery warm-up from NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who berated the media for exploiting the Parkland tragedy “for political gain.” Loesch drifted from the podium as her tone grew increasingly antagonistic, offering her own doomsday proclamation to the assembled CPAC crowd who refuses to come aboard with the NRA’s mission: “We are just getting started, and it will be you who is left in the dust bin of history.”

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It is important to note that both of these speakers set the stage for Vice President Mike Pence. President Trump tweeted his support for the NRA earlier this morning:

The president is scheduled to speak tomorrow.

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