The Cliff Notes guide to the NRA’s response to Sandy Hook

If you missed the NRA’s response to the Sandy Hook tragedy—being the speech read last Friday by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre—below is that speech in a nutshell; it’s the Cliff Notes version of it, if you will. The phrases are presented in the order in which they appear in the speech.

I would hate to be the person arguing that LaPierre’s speech was not shamelessly inflammatory, a grossly irresponsible exercise in fear-mongering, and an unconscionable ploy to use the Sandy Hook tragedy to promoste the material interests of the gun manufacterers the NRA represents.


the safety of our nation’s children

every insane killer in America

schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk

we leave our children utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world know it

an unknown number of genuine monsters

People deranged, evil, possessed by voices and driven by demons walk among

the next Adam Lanza is planning his attack on a school

a dozen more killers, a hundred more

killers, robbers, rapists, gang members in every community across our nation

violent crime is increasing

Another hurricane, terrorist attack, man-made disaster

a national nightmare of violence

a callous and corrupt shadow industry selling and stowing violence against its own people

Vicious, violent

Bullet Storm

Splatter House

Kindergarten Killers

Another hurricane, another natural disaster

Blood-soaked films out there

murder as a way of life

fantasizing about killing people

the filthiest form of pornography

shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society

toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes. Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year

the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids

your glass breaking at three a.m

Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School

evil monsters

a police officer in every single school

protect ourselves and our loved ones

a protection plan for every single school

protect our kids now

put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.

erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now.

put security forces in place right now

protect our schools and our children now

the greatest level of protection possible

decisive action

the next unspeakable crime

for the sake of every child in America

protect our children

In the days following his speech Mr. LaPierre invited everyone to call him crazy. Works for me.

See also Spending and Shopping with the NRA.

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  • Jill Jacobs via Facebook

    Fear and paranoia sell, just ask Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

  • John, that was a good summation of the rhetoric being promulgated by the gun lobbyists. I have spent a decent amount of time studying violence, the first error in his speech is that reported violent crime reflected in number of occurrences per 100,000 has been decreasing for a number of years. I may be able to follow up with my personal recommendation later but I fear that this post would become far too boring for Facebook. But nice job. I always enjoy reading. -Lyle

  • Al

    Given that Lapierre earns a salary of $875,000 a year, most of which comes from the NRA’s chief financial supporters, gun-making companies, I’d say that these are less the words of a crazy person and more the words of a gun salesman. Fear sells guns and Lapierre certainly knows how to hit the fear button.

  • Lloyd Smith via Facebook

    Lyle and the second error is? Have you heard how bad it is at the Miracle Mile in Chicago?

  • Suz

    Haven’t commented in a while. Expect to hear more from the MEMBERS of the NRA. This is some of the folly of the gun control advocates:

    Now every (literate) criminal in three NY counties knows which houses to target for robbery. The heavily armed criminals will go for the gun owners, and the more cautions criminals will hit their unarmed neighbors.

    This is the work of a mainstream newspaper – the Journal-News. Does this sound like gun control advocates are interested in “common sense” solutions?

  • Karen Bunn via Facebook

    Heard the history of guns in Australia from our Australian-American neighbor at Christmas dinner. No hand guns EVER in history allowed for civilians; no clips larger than 5 rounds for rifles now (formerly as many as 15); military-type arms unheard of. He himself turned in his own rifle when at a party, a bullet shattered the window. He’d had a few drinks and found himself searching for the gunman all night without having ever called the cops. Sane and sober the next AM, he turned in his own rifle understanding how awful it might have been if he’d used his rifle the night before. As he said, most Aussies would rather drink than have a gun. (He now no longer drinks either.). Would this ever happen in the States?

  • The statement was intentional I think. It was to add more shock and awe, to perpetuate the cultural lie of fear needs violence to stem off the fear. Never mind that the formulation doesn’t work in reality. One cannot cancel out the other. Thankfully many simply are tired of being told the same thing over and over and over and seeing that the promised results don’t materialize as promised. We are more than tired of being lied to, of being told this quick fix will cure what ails us, of being told They…they are the problem, the enemy.

  • Lloyd Smith via Facebook

    “now that’s a knife”

  • Suz, robbers do not choose difficult targets. They are not interested in a fight, only in getting the merchandise. They prefer to hit a house with no one home–they don’t want a challenge. I mean, as humans, we take the path of least resistance. If you were on the second floor of a burning building with two staircases, one on fire and one not, you’d take the clear staircase to get out, right? Or would you prefer the “challenge” of the staircase that’s burning? Typical robbers, heavily armed or not, do not want a fight, they want the goods. If they have the choice between a house that is confirmed to have no guns and a house that does have guns, they’ll go for the unarmed house. That’s certainly not to say there isn’t someone handy with a baseball bat in that house, but if you’re a commiting a crime, you take your chances.

  • Forgot to mention…yeah, that newspaper was stupid. Were they trying to shame people? There’s no shame in having a concealed-carry license if you’ve gone through all the hoops to get it.

  • They may be a problem, but they are not the “enemy.” We get in trouble when we start labeling people as our enemy. The NRA has just as much right to exist as any other advocacy group. If the American people want the NRA’s influence to wane, it will wane. You could do away with the NRA today and you’d still have wackos shooting at people.

  • Suz

    Exactly. If I didn’t have a gun yesterday, and I lived next door to someone on that list, I’d buy a gun and adopt a pair of mastiffs. Today.

    I’m not a fan of lawsuits, but if anyone on that list loses his or her guns in a burglary, I hope they sue the paper inside out.

  • Yeah, it’s pretty awful!

  • Allie

    The Commercial Appeal in Memphis published the name of everyone with a concealed carry permit several years ago. For being supposed peacelovers, anti-gun advocates can be real wads.

  • Janet

    Methinks he doth protests too much.

  • Karen Bunn via Facebook

    LOL Lloyd. Croc Dundee is a clever fellow who seldom uses his rifle preferring instead to cleverly trick and trap his enemies. Hard not to love the guy.

  • He’s not crazy, he’s not even necessarily evil in the grand satanic sense of the word.

    Methinks he’s just a shill* who will say / do anything if paid enough.

    * I was going to say “whore” but whores only take money to get screwed, not screw others.

  • I don’t mean “they” as the NRA at all, but ‘”they” being anyone perceived as a possible, just maybe a threat, with the off chance that they may threaten safety, hence the chance that violence may be the solution. The they could be someone who might be a gang member, might be a terrorist, might be thinking of robbing you, might be a person who’s mental capacity would cause them to do something horrible, might be….well you get the point. Whether or not the conclusion has any validity or not is completely irrelevant, its the perception that matters.

    It’s clever marketing, because it merely allows the the listener to draw their own conclusions as to who the “they” is.

  • Oh! Gotcha, hon! Sorry I misunderstood.

  • Will

    Wayne LaPierre represents the only God that people really worship; MONEY.

    That other God only gets lip service.

  • mike moore

    Sorry, guess I didn’t hear you correctly.

    How does my wanting to know to if my scarily crazy co-worker has a permit to carry a concealed weapon make me a “wad?”

  • Suz

    If you want to know, for what you believe to be your safety, you are free to look it up.

    How would you feel right now, if you lived next door to someone on that list? Do you think violent criminals who steal guns, don’t read newspapers (or the internet?)

  • The concealed to carry gun owners I know, and I happen to be married to one, are not at all ashamed of being one. In fact around here its a matter of pride, something I don’t get being a pacifist leaning democrat in South Carolina, of all places. Here you have to take an 8 hour course and pass a shooting range test to obtain such a permit, plus pass the ordinary background check (have you had a felony?)

    The biggest danger is likely to themselves. The permit class doesn’t teach how to use one, and a lot of people have never fired a gun until they get to the range portion of the class. That is likely the only time that gun is ever to get used too.

    Personally I think they are highly impractical as a defense mechanism. Yet to tell folks around here that…well, you’d think I was suggesting they start wearing wonderbras on their heads.

  • Suz

    Oh, what the hell. I’ll do it right:

    Do you believe that knowing whether or not your crazy coworker has a permit, actually makes you safe from him or her? You are aware, aren’t you, that one of the things which makes “scarily crazy co-worker” scary, is their relative lack of scruples with regards to legal technicalities? You know, like permits? So. Learning whether or not your “scarily crazy co-worker” has a permit, doesn’t serve a valid safety purpose does it? I wonder what purpose it does serve. Oh! Oh! I know! Gossip. Meddling. “Justification” of prejudice. Easily available in the newspaper, so you don’t even have to work for it!

    Additionally, does your (patently ineffective) means of keeping yourself “safe,” trump the actual safety of the neighbors of publicly “outed” permit holders? Are you so special that your desire to assure yourself that your “scarily crazy co-worker” is not LEGALLY armed, that you aren’t the least bit concerned for the safety of others?

    How about you take a look at how “scarily crazy” CRIMINALS think: Say there’s a meth addict/dealer who has quite a bit of use for guns he doesn’t have to register OR pay for. Now he knows exactly where to find them, but even a meth-head knows enough to be careful about robbing an armed victim. He should probably drive through the neighborhood to “case the joint.” Hmm. Looks like the guy with the permit is home, and if he’s smart, his gun is within easy reach. If Meth-head breaks into that house, Meth-head might leave leave that house in a body bag. But look! Two doors down, there’s a dark silent house, with a wheelchair ramp no less! And the address of THAT house is not on THE LIST. That old or disabled person may not have a gun, but he or she probably has a TV, a stereo, some jewelry, and maybe some cash in the house. Not a bad second choice for a guy who needs a fix right now, is it?

    Target acquired.

    Violent criminals may not be the smartest people on the planet, but they are smart enough to ply their trade, often rather successfully.

    Mr. Moore, if you applaud the media providing dangerous criminals with such handy tools, because it makes you FEEL secure about you coworker, you either have the emotional maturity of a four year old, or you are a depraved sociopathic narcissist.

  • That made me physically sick.

  • That made me physically sick.

  • That made me physically sick.

  • That made me physically sick.

  • Whoa. Maybe just a tad too harsh there at the end, Suz. But some really good points.

  • Suz

    I apologize. That was rude of me.


  • mike moore

    I used the example of “scarily crazy co-worker” because I survived such an experience. I will give the details to John if you want it fact-checked. Your rant is both wrong-headed and wrong in fact.

    As to the “target acquired” theory, violent criminals typically go for either the easy target, if the target is random, or they have a specific agenda for perpetrating a specific crime. In the former cases, the dark silent house with the ramp is always going to be the first choice. In the latter cases, the crime is committed to achieve that specific agenda and is planned accordingly, anticipating the hurdles that will be faced.

    In regards to outing gun owners, several good reasons quickly come to mind. Are there guns in the home where my children are having a sleep-over? Do the neighborhood-watch guys carry guns (think George Zimmerman)? Am I riding the elevator in my apartment with people with concealed weapons? Does our crazy co-worker have a carry permit?

    This has nothing to do with how I feel. It has everything to do with actually protecting myself and my family from potentially careless or dangerous gun owners.

  • I’m angry.

  • I’m angry.

  • I’m angry.

  • I’m angry.

  • Suz

    You are mistaken in your assumptions about criminals’ attitudes towards victims. They are opportunists. If the preferred opportunity is too risky or otherwise unfeasible, they don’t go home empty handed; they take the next best opportunity. When you need a hit of meth, you don’t have the luxury of meticulously planning the perfect crime. You seek out opportunities, and you take the best opportunity that you can find RIGHT NOW.

    Licensed gun owners and carriers are among the least violent, least careless, and most law-abiding people anywhere. Your fear of them is irrational because it’s disproportionate to reality. Thousands more people are injured by the careless use of cars and other “tools,” than by the careless use of guns. When was the last time anyone proposed a ban on, or special restrictions on, cars that can exceed every speed limit by 100 MPH?

    Personally I always feel safer when I’m in the presence of a legal concealed carrier, because I AM safer. And I suggest that next time a crazy coworker gives you the willies, you get a CCP, a reliable gun, and take a defensive shooting course. If your coworker is violent, it could save your lives and a few other lives as well. Very few dangerous people are allowed to have guns, and dangerous people don’t particularly care whether they’re “allowed” or not. Gun laws don’t stop them, but laws DO stop non-dangerous people from protecting themselves.

    Gun control advocates have a lot of nerve to accuse the NRA of paranoia and fear mongering.

  • Jill H

    I wish I felt the safety of your worldview. Oh wait, no I don’t. Never mind.

  • As an Aussie it’s hard to understand the whole gun ownership in the states. Praying your nation comes to a solution.

  • Jill H

    Thank you, that’s really kind.

  • Natalie

    What about his sidekicks Paranoia and Fear? I’m sure they have their fair amount of worshipers.

  • Matt

    For all his blustering, children are still most at risk at home. Those most likely to murder, abuse, rape, and sell them are their parents, relatives, and guardians.

    And you’re right, John, he doesn’t actually want to be called crazy. In this culture, to actually be called crazy is to have one’s power stripped away, to have every word called a lie and every belief a delusion. You can’t be too happy, sad, angry, or God forbid you not be enough of these things. He is intentionally using our dehumanization of mentally ill people against us. And it’s pathetic how easily it can be done.

  • mike moore

    Thanks Jill, I think you nailed it … even if Suzi Uzi is right, which she is not, I’m not interested in condoning or adding to the insanity of that worldview.

  • Guns don’t make me feel safer. Why? Because they represent the potential for great harm. I know every time I see one what they are capable of, even with every precaution taken, I know the danger is still there.

    I also cannot concieve of a mindset where one would take a tool of any kind and possess it with the intention of intentionally causing harm to another human being if a certain set of parameters arose. I understand war, although I strongly disagree with it, and I understand the rare situation where defending one’s life or the life of others is made easier with a weapon. But those are not everyday scenarios.

    All one has to do is turn on the news to see how quickly people rush to judge their parameters. Or people are simply lacking understanding of a guns deadly potential, as happened locally over Christmas, a tragic death as a child picked up a loaded gun left on a coffee table by an adult. Or people making decisions for others, like the man who shot his wife, took his son to day car, then went back home and shot himself. Or people letting anger get in the way like the son having an altercation with his father, alcohol was involved and one had a gun.

    Those are the real gun stories, the ones that happen every single day, the ones that are much more easy to see that if a gun hadn’t been in the picture, the chances of these folks being alive today are infinitly higher.

  • mike moore

    Suz, I didn’t make any assumptions. That information was given to me by LAPD (those officers, for the record, who work in the ganglands east and south of downtown LA, support the ban on assault and semi-automatic weapons.)

    And you seem to be agreeing with me in this regard: crimes of desperation or opportunity are not planned. Which is why the dark silent house with the ramp, or the person at the wrong ATM at the wrong moment, or the empty corner bodega, or the person sitting in a convertible on Hollywood Blvd at a stop light, will be the easy targets.

    As for cars that can exceed 100mph? When people start using those cars as weapons to mow down 20 little kids and murder people, I’ll feel the same way about vehicular control laws. Of course, it’s already far easier to legally confiscate a vehicle and take away a driver’s license. (or maybe we should do away with traffic safety laws and driver’s licenses altogether? Honest people will stop at lights and stick to the speed limits anyway, and a sign by the road or a flashing red light sure won’t stop a criminal with an expired DL.)

    If you FEEL safer with a person with a concealed weapon, good for you. I, on the other hand, know that FBI stats show 1/3 of gun shot victims (approx. 23,ooo people in 2011) are the victims of accidental shootings, so I’ll feel safer if you stay from me.

    As for your insane advice … had you bothered to read the first sentence of my prior comment, you would have noticed the word “survived.” Past tense. “Past tense” means it has already happened, in the past.

    Having been there, I can promise you that panicked amateur gun-slingers would only have made the situation more deadly for both co-workers and law enforcement.

  • mike moore

    PS – Suz, good news for you. I think you’re a gun nut, so I’m not wasting any more time on you. The last word is all yours.

  • Jill H

    Ah, and herein lies the seemingly irrepressible dichotomy of those that assume safety (replace with whatever word is preferred: security, control) with quick access to a gun and those who feel just the opposite.

    If we lead the world in both guns per civilian capita and the second highest rate of gun deaths (under Mexico), then that math doesn’t = safe to me.

    Of course the issue is *bigger* than the argument that continues to pit one agenda against another, which is terribly boring and lacking creativity. The interesting answers lie somewhere in the murky, nebulous zone of compromise. So how do we get there?

  • I think the answer lies in perceptions of what danger is, and what safety is. It also may lie in a re-examination of the long held notion “the best defense is a good offense” and the validity behind the notion.

    Mostly it lies, not in the tools of destruction, but in the minds of the hands that wield them. In other words how we percieve each other, how much value we give to people, in our circle and out; how much thought we put into recognizing that someone care about them as much as someone cares about us, how much those pesky little labels we slap on everyone really matter.

    Regulating gun ownership is easy. The violence they help cause is only the symptom of the real issue. Fixing that is gonna be the real toughie.

  • Jill H

    (Sorry that I can’t get my reply under yours!)

    I really like what you said about the value placed in people. How do we actually show value in the people considered to be on the fringes of society? How do we take care of ‘the least of us’? We haven’t cracked that code yet as a collective culture.

  • mike moore

    Wow, Jill, and SD … you do realize you just defined and summed up the Great Divide in this country, Red people v. Blue people? And it’s more well-said than any pundit I’ve noticed.

    Take every significant issue that divides our country, and the real issue boils down to, “how do we value people?”

    Healthcare. Immigration. Wage and working conditions. The annoyingly named “entitlements?” Environmental regulation. Prison v. rehabilitation. And the list goes on …

    Well done.

  • Suz

    “Shaming” labels and ad hominem dismissals.

    Awesome debate tactics.

  • Way to label someone as the enemy, Mike. Jeez.

  • Robert

    Interesting thread, but you lost me Suz for calling Mike out for shaming labels after calling him a “depraved sociopathic narcissist.” (well, or that he has the emotional maturity of a four year old- at least he can pick!)

    I’m all for strict gun laws like Australia where they have .14 gun homicides per 100k compared to our 2.97 per 100k. Source:

    The real problem is the ~300M guns already in the US- that I don’t have a good solution to.

  • “When was the last time anyone proposed a ban on, or special restrictions on, cars that can exceed every speed limit by 100 MPH?”

    Like what, NASCAR?

  • mike moore

    Jeez, Nicole,

    Way to gloss right over the fact that in this thread Allie called people like me “wads” and that Suz stated to me, “you either have the emotional maturity of a four year old, or you are a depraved sociopathic narcissist.”

    I guess labels are OK when you concur, but not OK when you don’t.

  • mike moore

    Spinetingler (good name, btw) …

    I think Suz is referring to those cars which are regularly used as assault weapons to mow down innocent litte kids in schools, to run over people in movie theaters, to plow through malls killing people, and to murder students at university (think Virginia Tech.)

    Oh, wait, you mean you’ve never heard of the assault-car problem? Yeah, neither have I.

    But, I am ready to consider car-control if such a time should arrive.

  • Point taken. Since John has replied to Suz’s unecessary comment, I didn’t feel the need to, plus Suz apologized. Admitedly, I didn’t notice Allie’s comment. I just wish we could listen to each other’s views without seeing the other as stupid. Everyone here on both sides has valid points as far as I can see. We’re not each other’s enemies.

  • Every car I’ve owned could go up to at least 120 MPH. Cars are basically a high tech battering ram. It doesn’t take more than 15-20 MPH to kill a person with a car. Even less when parents accidentally back over a kid. Cars killed as many people last year in the US as guns, slightly more actually. But no one seems worried about that loss of life. We’re not giving up our cars.

  • True Cars are more the instruments of death than guns, BUT..yeah you knew there would be a but…more people use cars every day than use guns, so the car/gun comparison doesn’t exactly compute, unless every day, gun owners shot their guns for an extended period of time.

    But if we are going to make the comparison..lets consider this.

    Consider the legistlation that has been built around the motoring public to ensure their safety. In just my lifetime I’ve seen mandatory seat belt laws, mandatory child restraints, mandatory safety features such as impact absorbant bumpers and air bags being built and improved on in new cars. Now many new models have back up alarms and even cameras to possibly help avoid a tragic backing up accident.

    Then you have insurance required by every state to not only own a driver’s lisence but to own a car. That insurance helps offset the cost of damage to car and people, in case of an accident. Sure there are people driving around lacking insurance and/or driver’s licenses, but they are the exception, not the norm. The license ensures that the driver has proven qualified in understanding the basics of auto safety and use. There are tiers to that lisensing based on the type of driving the license holder wants to participate in.

    When it comes to weapon ownership and safety…well most guns have a safey feature which may or not be turned on. There are few requirements for ownership, the only insurance is likely built into a homeowner’s policy and covers loss or theft. We have an ownership tracking system so if a car is sold or stolen, its history can be followed. That serves the purpose of helping reduce fraud, help an owner who’s car has been stolen, absolving them if the car was used in a crime, ensure value in buying and selling.

    We are trying to do something to reduce deaths and accidents due to cars. Cracking down on drivers who get behind the wheel impared with a substance legal or not, insisting on people taking personal responsibility for themselves and their passengers by using safety restraints and following traffic laws are a part, and those efforts do make a difference.

    I don’t see what is wrong with putting some similar precautions into place for gun ownership.

  • Great post, SD, and I agree. I would love to see that kind of testing required for gun ownership as well as the same kind of title transfer, etc. for guns. Also agree on the fact that we’re, on the whole, incredibly safe with our cars per your first paragraph. Though, considering how many guns are in circulation in the US, it appears that we are incredibly safe with them as well.

  • Much appreciate your prayers!

  • Oh staying on the cars vs. guns scenario, the number of auto related deaths in 2011 was 32,310, the number of gun related (including accidental and suicide) 31,347. Considering that many more people drive cars then shoot guns, the number comparison is rather alarming.

  • I wonder why the poisoning rate is the biggest.

    I do think it’s important to note that over half of the gun-related deaths were suicides. While that’s incredibly sad, it’s still an individual choice, versus someone taking the life of another.

  • I think the poisoning rate includes drug over-doses or interactions of a drug and another substance like alcahol. It probably includes the legal and non-legal stuff too. Opiades cover about 40% of it…

  • when your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails…

  • when your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails…

  • when your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails…

  • when your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails…

  • Leslie Baker

    I’m way late to this game, but I have to respond to Mike Moore, who posted this:

    “mike moore December 29, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Wow, Jill, and SD … you do realize you just defined and summed up the Great Divide in this country, Red people v. Blue people? And it’s more well-said than any pundit I’ve noticed.

    Take every significant issue that divides our country, and the real issue boils down to, “how do we value people?”

    Healthcare. Immigration. Wage and working conditions. The annoyingly named “entitlements?” Environmental regulation. Prison v. rehabilitation. And the list goes on …

    Well done.”

    Wow. You can sum everything up as “us vs. them” by lining people up by the color you assume they are? Take all of your “how do we value people?” issues above and try to jam in the anti-aborition banners taken up by the same people you indicated. Oh, wait…that’s the “value of people” issue on which the “blue” folks turn their backs every time.

    If you have any intention of being open-minded, not to mention Christian, you have to stop the stereotypes. Me? Pro-life and in favor of gun control. (Not abolishment, control.) Purple people, unite!

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Suz…um..”very few dangerous people are allowed to have guns”??? When you come back from wonderland with some fact checks…then maybe you can have a discussion about gun laws and how they are now enforced. WOW