National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre on Saturday launched a blistering attack against the so-called Washington and media "elites" whom he said just don't understand America.
Speaking at the NRA national convention in Houston, the organization's most visible figure acidly referred to "elites" more than a half-dozen times, painting them as hopelessly detached from the rest of the nation.
"The media and the political elites, they denigrate us and they cringe at the sight of long lines at gun shows around this country. They mock Americans buying firearms at a record pace...they don't get it because they don't get America," LaPierre said.
After President Barack Obama said the NRA "willfully lied" to the American people about defeated gun legislation last month, LaPierre noted how Obama had tried to reassure gun owners during his re-election campaign.
"Liars? Really?" LaPierre said. "This from a man who spent his entire re-election campaign saying he supported our Second Amendment rights and would never try to take anyone's gun away. And he calls us liars?"
LaPierre dismissed Obama's calls for more gun legislation, pointing out that his hometown of Chicago has been suffering from a nearly unending wave of violence.
"If the president had one clue about how to clean up violent crime, don't you think he would do it in his own hometown?" LaPierre asked.
He said Chicago ranks last in enforcement of federal gun laws, but that no journalist would dare question that, in part because they "still have Obama bumper stickers on their cars."
Bringing up the recent manhunt for the Boston bombing suspect when residents were told to remain in their homes, LaPierre asked, "how many Bostonian wished they had a gun two weeks ago? How many other Americans now ponder that life or death question?"
"Lying in wait right now is a terrorist, a deranged serial killer, a kidnapper, a rapist, a murderer waiting and planning and plotting...no bill in Congress, no rose garden speech will ever change that inescapable reality. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!" LaPierre thundered, earning some of his most sustained applause from the audience.
LaPierre said the last few months have shown that the NRA is "truly at the heart of America's heartland."
"Nowhere does freedom live anymore than in our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves, our families and our nation," LaPierre said. "Without that freedom we really aren't free at all. There is nothing more good or right or normal in America than an honest American citizen owning a firearm to protect himself or protect her family."
"They can try to blame us and shame us with all their might," he continued. "We will never sacrifice our freedom on the altar of elitist acceptance. We will never surrender our guns, never!"
LaPierre reminded the audience that Obama vowed that last month's gun bill defeat was only "round one."
"They're coming after us with a vengeance to destroy us -- to destroy us and every ounce of our freedom...we need to meet them head-on," he said. "We don't care if it's round one, round two or round 15. The NRA can go the distance."
"To the political and media elites who scorn us, we say, let them be damned!" he said. "We will always stand and fight for our American freedoms."