He went a step further last week when he testified to Congress about gun regulation. He said, in effect, that he supports assault rifles for the sake of trying to even the odds in an insurrectionist uprising against our government, a la the Revolutionary War.
Josh Horowitz, Executive Director of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence, recently blogged on this:
Following last week's high-profile Senate Judiciary hearing in response to the tragedy at Newtown, the media paid extensive attention to National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre's flip-flop on the issue of closing the Gun Show Loophole and witness Gayle Trotter's ridiculous assertion that "guns make women safer."
What went largely unnoticed was perhaps the most telling moment of the hearing, which involved this exchange between LaPierre and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin:
DURBIN: Mr. LaPierre, I run into some of your members in Illinois and here's what they tell me, "Senator, you don't get the Second Amendment." Your NRA members say, "You just don't get it. It's not just about hunting. It's not just about sports. It's not just about shooting targets. It's not just about defending ourselves from criminals," as Ms. Trotter testified. "We need the firepower and the ability to protect ourselves from our government--from our government, from the police--if they knock on our doors and we need to fight back." Do you agree with that point of view?
LAPIERRE: Senator, I think without any doubt, if you look at why our founding fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.
During a hearing in which Republican Senators actively tried to portray assault weapons as merely "scary-looking" pieces of plastic with no real functional purpose, LaPierre's statement revealed that they are in fact weapons of choice for individuals ready to wage war on our government. This was certainly not the first time LaPierre had made such a declaration -- remember, this is the guy who told us "the guys with the guns make the rules" at a CPAC conference -- but his statement on Wednesday was nonetheless remarkable because it so clearly articulated the insurrectionist ideaon a national stage, linking it directly to the need for unfettered access to assault weapons. Now, no doubt remains about the type of "firepower" citizens would need in order to fight LaPierre's "tyranny" ... The same type of firepower that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The Second Amendment was written to allow states to organize their own armed militias as an alternative to a standing army, for the purpose of securing their borders against invasion by foreign armies or insurrections within their borders, NOT so common citizens can arm themselves and stage insurrections if they don't like their government. In fact, Article III section iii of the Constitution specifically spells out that insurrections are not to be tolerated, and that it was in part the duty of the state militias to put insurrections down. And they did so. Shay's Rebellion is an example.
But the insurrectionists among the pro-gun extremists, including Wayne, have a revisionist interpretation that fits their own paranoia about being governed. I've written on this before. In their fevered, gun-fetish mind, they conveniently omit the first part of the Second Amendment, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" and just quote the second half, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" as if the two parts weren't related.
They also love to quote from the Federalist Papers, which have a goodly amount of talk by the founding fathers about insurrection against tyranny. Of course, those documents were aimed at sparking the citizenry into rising up against King George. Those same founding fathers changed their tune when the war was over. But it doesn't really matter. The law of our land isn't the Federalist Papers. It's the Constitution.
The NRA has a long history of stoking paranoia and insurrectionist talk. Just look to a recent statement by board member Ted Nugent, for instance, where he shamelessly said (with a healthy dose of anti-Obama-isms),
I'm part of a very great experiment in self-government where we the people determine our own pursuit of happiness and our own individual freedom and liberty not to be confused with the Barack Obama gang who believes in we the sheeple and actually is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George that we escaped from in 1776. And if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies.And, sadly, the extremist guys out there eat it up, consuming this paranoia by the pint and spitting it back out as if it were fact. See here for some examples.
There's a better name for this type of insurrectionist talk: TREASON.
And they dare to call themselves "patriotic." Why is it the treasonous types always drape themselves in the flag?
Hey, here's a thought for you gun guys: No tyrannical government has been overthrown by armed citizenry, including the Revolutionary War. Without interference from allies of the revolutionaries, such as France, Washington's army would have fallen. Hunting rifles weren't enough. And in modern times, every nation that has overthrown a despot has done so either through peaceful protest and democratic reforms (i.e. India, Estonia, USSR, East Germany, Tunisia) or involvement and arms from other nations, like us (i.e. Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan). All those little assault weapons and handguns in the hands of American citizens aren't likely to amount to much against the might of the military.
Of course, there's no sign at all (to sane people) that our government is going to be tyrannical And we have this other means of removing governments, too... every four years.
It's time for NRA members and the public to recognize how extreme the NRA has grown. If any insurrection is needed, it's an insurrection by NRA members against their own leadership.