It is no secret that National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is known to use over-the-top conspiratorial and paranoid rhetoric to make it appear that the NRA is constantly locked in a life or death struggle to save America from nefarious forces -- while also raising a few dollars in the process.
LaPierre offered more of the same at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where he fearmongered about large-scale societal collapse and attacks by terrorists, "knockout gamers" and "haters." According to LaPierre, Americans are buying guys because "sooner or later reckless government actions and policies have consequences." Even worse, opponents of the NRA are purportedly supporting Hillary Clinton for president "to finish the job, to fulfill their commitment, their dream, of fundamentally transforming America. Into an America that I guarantee you won't recognize." In typical fashion, LaPierre positioned the NRA as salvation for a collapsing America, promising the gun rights organization "will not go quietly into the night."
Here are five over-the-top moments from LaPierre's speech:
1. LaPierre On America Becoming Too Dangerous For Children To Play Outside
"All across America, everywhere I go, people come up to me, and they say, 'Wayne, I've never been worried about this country until now.' And they say it not with anger, but they say it with sadness in their eyes. 'I've never been worried about this country until now.' We're worried about the economic crisis choking our budgets and shrinking our retirement, we're worried about providing decent healthcare and a college education for our own children. We fear for the safety of our families. It's why neighborhood streets that were once filled with bicycles and skateboards and laughter in the air now sit empty and silent. In virtually every way, for the things we care about most, we feel profound loss. We're sad, not because we fear something is going wrong, but because we know something already has gone wrong."
2. LaPierre: Americans Buying Guns Because Of "Reckless Government Actions" And Because The "Entire Fabric Of Society" Is In "Jeopardy"
"It's why more and more Americans are buying firearms and ammunition. Not to cause trouble, but because that America is already in trouble. We know that sooner or later reckless government actions and policies have consequences, that when government corrupts the truth and breaks faith with the American people, the entire fabric of society, everything we believe in and count on, is then in jeopardy."
3. LaPierre On How The National Media Is One Of America's "Greatest Threats"
"One of America's greatest threats is a national news media that fails to provide a level playing field for the truth. Now it's all entertainment, ratings, personal celebrity, the next sensational story, and the deliberate spinning and purposeful use of words and language, truth be damned, to advance their own agenda. You see it every day in this country. And here's how you know the media is lying: they still call themselves journalists. I'll tell you they've never been honest about the NRA. They hate us. Just for saying out loud and sticking up for what we believe. As if we have no right. So they try to ridicule us into oblivion or shame us into submission. But their moral indignation, it should be directed right into their own makeup mirrors. The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination. And NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media."
4. LaPierre: "Knockout Gamers" And "Haters" Just Two Reasons We Need Unlimited Rifles, Shotguns, And Pistols (Also "Waves Of Chemicals" Could Collapse Society At Any Moment)
"We don't trust government, because government itself has proven unworthy of our trust. We trust ourselves and we trust what we know in our hearts to be right. We trust our freedom. In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want. We know in the world that surrounds us there are terrorists and there are home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all."
5. LaPierre Quotes From "Independence Day" At Speech's Emotional Peak: The NRA "Will Not Go Quietly Into The Night!"
"This election, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, it's going to be a bare-knuckled street fight. They're going after every House seat, every Senate seat, every governor's chair, every statehouse they can get their hands on. And they're laying the groundwork to put another Clinton back in the White House. They fully intend to finish the job, to fulfill their commitment, their dream, of fundamentally transforming America. Into an America that I guarantee you won't recognize. But mark my words -- the NRA will not go quietly into the night. We will fight. I promise you that."
LaPierre's full speech: