FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA — Nationalist Rifle Association Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre held a press conference today in front of the NRA headquarters, addressing the Las Vegas mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay hotel and the ensuing national dialogue on potential gun control measures.
LaPierre has largely been an opponent of any and all new gun regulations during his tenure with the NRA. After the tragic massacre of twenty first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Mr. LaPierre spearheaded a fierce public advertising campaign decrying efforts in Congress to push through a universal background check requirement as well as limits on ammunition magazine size. However, the NRA’s stance after the Las Vegas shooting — the largest mass shooting in American history — has softened toward new gun legislation, at least in part.
“The Nationalist Rifle Association has a proud, rich tradition of defending every American’s right to own one, two, or six hundred thousand deadly weapons if they want, for no reason at all,” LaPierre said, “and I will continue to make that our mission as long as I draw breath on this earth. But perhaps the time has come for us to feign an attempt at caring, and bump stocks are the right sacrificial lamb for us to appear a little less like profit driven sociopaths.”
LaPierre said that while he and the NRA reserve the right to ultimately oppose the measure, for the time being they are open to Congress exploring new restrictions on the accessory that the Las Vegas shooter used to modify his semi-automatic rifles to make them mimic automatic fire. Mr. LaPierre said that bump stocks, which are designed to use a rifle’s recoil to allow more rapidly fired rounds, are “fun as hell and cool” but that in order to “appear more sympathetic,” he and the NRA are temporarily going to “pretend to be okay” with regulating them. LaPierre warns Americans not to get too cozy with the idea of the NRA backing gun laws though.
“There can be no doubt that it’s time for a disingenuous, half-hearted attempt to pluck how hanging gun control fruit,” LaPierre said, “but let’s not get carried away and start thinking about things like biometric gun locks, background checks, or anything else that make guns actually safer.”
The NRA will work closely with lawmakers to determine the “best way to appear to care” for at least the next few days.
“We’ve done studies that show Americans stop caring about gun violence about six days after a mass shooting for some reason,” LaPierre said, “so we’re just counting down the hours until we can get back to counting our profits.”
LaPierre said the NRA will also at some point oppose the very measure they’re supporting now.
“We want to look humane,” LaPierre said, “but that doesn’t mean we want to be humane. You have any idea how much compassion and empathy cut into our margins?”
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