Welcomed to the stage with a lengthy period of applause, National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took the stage at CPAC Friday and heralded the Second Amendment as the means through which Americans will remain free and independent.
“As you can imagine, I don’t get invited to many parties in this town,” LaPierre began. “But that’s OK…I didn’t come here to be popular. I came here to stand for what I believe is true.”
He rallied the supportive crowd, saying the NRA’s nearly 5 million members and America’s nearly 100 million gun owners will not back down in the fight over gun control. “I promise you that,” LaPierre said.
The Second Amendment, he explained, does not include meaningless “words on parchment.” Nor is it some “frivolous suggestion from our Founding Fathers to be interpreted by whim.”
“Our Founding Fathers knew that without the Second Amendment and that freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy… If you aren’t free to protect yourself when government puts its thumb on that freedom, then you aren’t free at all,” he proclaimed.
A fiery LaPierre accused anti-gun elitists of demonizing gun rights activists and trying to tell everyone else what’s really best for America, including how people should defend themselves.
LaPierre pointed to the NRA’s gun safety programs and argued that gun accidents have been brought to an “all-time low.” He said the gun rights organization regularly teaches people how to use, store and handle firearms properly.
He went on to relentlessly mock the Department of Homeland Security for suggesting that people use scissors to defend themselves against an active shooter.
“Scissors? That’s their answer?” LaPierre asked. “Let’s get this straight. To protect our children in school, we recommend a trained professional with a gun, they recommend scissors. And they say we’re crazy?”
Referring to universal background checks, the NRA executive vice president said the federal government would only end up compiling names of “good decent people” across America who happen to own a firearm, entering them into a federal database of all law-abiding gun owners.
“It won’t make anybody safer anywhere,” he argued.
LaPierre also slammed Vice President Joe Biden’s infamous gun advice, in which he suggested women take a “double-barrel” 12-gauge shotgun and just “fire two blasts” in the air outside if they are confronted by a home intruder.
“Gosh,” he said to laughter. “No doubt the violent predators would love to face a woman armed with a shotgun that is empty.”
He followed up with a line that elicited thunderous applause: “You keep your advice, we’ll keep our guns.”
LaPierre then set his sights on the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, ridiculing the school’s bizarre list of self-defense tips for women confronted by a rapist. Some of the advice included urinating and vomiting.
He did, however, offer some alternative advice: “The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun.”
The best approach to dealing with gun violence, LaPierre explained, is to enforce the federal gun laws already on the books and help the mentally ill get treatment.
“And for God’s sake, leave the rest of us alone,” he said to applause.
He went on: “Don’t be swayed by the wakes of political insanity. And no matter what the elitists who scorn you say, let them be damned. Fill your heart with pride. Clear your eyes with conviction…Now and for the rest of your life always stand and always fight for our great American freedoms.”
Watch LaPierre’s entire CPAC speech below:
Featured image via Getty. This story has been updated.