||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
Wayne LaPierre speaking at a political conference in September 2011.
November 8, 1948 |
Schenectady, New York, US
|Education||BA in Education, MA in Government|
|Alma mater||Siena College, Boston College|
|Occupation||CEO and Executive Vice President of the NRA, author|
|Known for||Second Amendment activism|
|Home town||Roanoke, Virginia US|
Wayne LaPierre (born November 8, 1948 in Schenectady, New York) is a US author and advocate of the right to keep and bear arms. He is best known for his position as the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association and for his criticism of gun control proponents.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
LaPierre graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, Virginia in 1967. He received his BA in education from Siena College and his MA in government from Boston College. He has been a government activist and lobbyist since finishing his MA, including positions on the board of directors of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
National Rifle Association activity
Since 1991, he has served as Executive Vice President and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest gun rights organization in the United States. LaPierre joined the NRA in 1977 after working as a legislative aide to a Democratic Virginia delegate, Vic Thomas.
Shortly before the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, LaPierre wrote a fundraising letter describing federal agents as "jack-booted government thugs" who wear "Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms". Former president George H. W. Bush was so outraged by the letter that he resigned his NRA life membership. In response to growing criticism, LaPierre apologized, saying he didn't intend to "paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush".
In 2000 LaPierre said 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. Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart called it "really sick rhetoric, and it should be repudiated by anyone who hears it". In 2004, citing Democratic candidate John Kerry's history of authoring and supporting gun control legislation, LaPierre actively campaigned against the senator in the 2004 presidential elections.
In his role as executive vice president of the NRA, LaPierre has stated "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun", and in response to gun violence on school premises said "I call on Congress, today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation."
On December 21, 2012 the NRA held a televised media event at Washington's Willard Hotel located adjacent to the White House at which LaPierre read a prepared statement in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which he connected gun violence with "gun-free zones", violent films and video games, the media, weak databases on mental illness and lax security, and called for armed officers at American schools in an effort to protect children from gun violence. He said that the initiative should not require massive funding and called upon Congress to immediately appropriate the funds necessary to implement this. He announced that Asa Hutchinson, former Arkansas congressman and DEA chief, will lead the NRA's effort in developing a "school shield program".
Following the event, several in the media criticized LaPierre's statements, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board and The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. Others also criticized LaPierre's remarks, including Republican Party strategist and pollster Frank Luntz and pundit Ann Coulter. The Newtown school board voted unanimously to ask for police officer presence in all of its elementary schools. Some of their schools already have these officers, but such would be new for Sandy Hook, Hawley, Head O’Meadow, and Middle Gate elementary schools.
Views on gun control
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- Having armed security personnel at all schools.
- Increasing funds for a stricter and more efficient mental health system, and reform of civil commitment laws to facilitate institutionalization of the mentally ill when necessary.
- Creating a computerized universal mental health registry to help limit gun sales to the mentally ill.
- Increasing enforcement of federal laws against and incarceration of violent gang members or felons with guns.
- Project Exile and similar programs that mandate severe sentences for all gun crimes especially illegal possession. LaPierre stated "By prosecuting them they prevent the drug dealer, the gang member and the felon from committing the next crime....Leave the good people alone and lock up the bad people and dramatically cut crime."
- Universal background checks, as he believes this will lead to a universal gun registry.
- The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 proposed by Senator Feinstein, which would also limit high-capacity magazines.
- Any limits on the law-abiding public's access to semi-automatic weapons.
- Gun control, which he views as a form of government tyranny: "What people all over the country fear today, is being abandoned by their government. If a tornado hits, if a hurricane hits, if a riot occurs, that they're going to be out there alone, and the only way they will protect themselves, in the cold, in the dark, when they are vulnerable, is with a firearm."
In the media
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LaPierre hosts Crime Strike, a syndicated weekly television program which advocates gun use for the purpose of self-defense and highlights situations where people have used their guns against criminal suspects. In October 2006, LaPierre instituted a weekly online podcasts on the NRAnews.com website called "What They Didn't Tell You Today." Every weekday, LaPierre gives a short broadcast about gun rights.
LaPierre has authored several books on weaponry topics, ranging from shooting practices to terrorism to gun safety to crime. He also makes appearances promoting his books and the NRA at gun shows and political events.
- Guns, Crime, and Freedom (1994)
- Shooting Straight: Telling the Truth About Guns in America (2002)
- Guns, Freedom, and Terrorism (2003)
- The Global War on Your Guns (2006)
- The Essential Second Amendment Guide (2007)
- America Disarmed: Inside the U.N. and Obama's Scheme to Destroy the Second Amendment (2011)
- The American Institute of Philanthropy (May/June 2013). Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report. "Top 25 Compensation Packages" at www.charitywatch.org. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Brock-Abraham, Cleo (April 18, 2013). "Origin Stories: Mapping the birthplaces of the 2013 TIME 100". TIME. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Feldman, Richard (2008). Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist. John Wiley. p. 236.
- The New York Times (May 11, 1995). "Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association" Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Keil, Richard (May 18, 1995). "NRA Apologizes for 'Jack Boot' Letter". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Pear, Robert (March 19, 2000) "Guns Don't Kill People, Presidents Do" The New York Times.
- Lacey, Mark (March 20, 2000) "NRA Stands by Criticism of President" New York Times.
- "NRA calls for armed guards in schools". The Age. December 22, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Nakamura, David and Tom Hamburger "Put Armed Police in Every School, NRA Urges Washington Post, December 21, 2012, p. 1
- Molloy, Tim (December 21, 2012). "NRA Blames Films, Media, Video, Unarmed Schools for Massacres". The Wrap. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Fields, Gary; Colleen McCain Nelson (December 21, 2012). "NRA Calls for Armed Officers in Schools". Wall Street Journal.
- "NRA nonsense: LaPierre speaks for gun makers, not gun owners". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Goldberg, Jeffrey. "So Many Myths About Guns and Gun Control". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Robillard, Kevin. "Frank Luntz: NRA not listening to public". Politico. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Poor, Jeff. "Ann Coulter rails against NRA's Wayne LaPierre". The Daily Caller. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- Zaretsky, Mark (January 31, 2013). "Newtown board wants more cops in schools", New Haven Register
- Wallace, Chris (February 3, 2013). "Capt. Mark Kelly, Wayne LaPierre on chances for compromise in gun control debate". Fox News Sunday. Fox News. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- Fields, Gary (August 5, 2008) "Going After Crimes – and Guns" The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Feinstein, Dianne. "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013". www.feinstein.senate.gov. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Wayne LaPierre's NRA Press Conference Announcing National School Shield Program, as delivered transcript, audio, video, December 21, 2012
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Wayne LaPierre at the Internet Movie Database
- Wayne LaPierre collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Wayne LaPierre in libraries (WorldCat catalog)