On Thursday, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, addressed the Parkland massacre by rehashing his organizations’ talking points on gun control. LaPierre’s comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference came just over a week after a gunman used an AR-15 to kill 17 teachers and students at a Florida high school.
LaPierre’s speech tried to reframe calls for new gun control measures as attacks on individual freedom. He suggested that the larger issue in the Parkland shooting was school safety. While he expressed sympathy for the victims, he accused Democrats and gun control activists of using the “terrible tragedy” as a political opportunity.
LaPierre took umbrage with Democrat heavyweights like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, as well as the press. He did not mention that many of the activists speaking out in favor of gun control are survivors of the Parkland shooting. “The elites,” said LaPierre, whose basic salary tops $1 million a year, “don’t care not one wit about America’s school system and school children. If they truly cared, what they would do is protect them … They care more about control, and more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”