NRA President LaPierre in Speech, Defends “Absolutism”

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After President Obama referred to “Absolutism” in his Second Inaugural address to the nation, the president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre attacked the president’s use of the word by defending “Absolutism” in a speech at an awards ceremony for the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation organization.

The NRA president at one point in his speech said,

“Obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word — just another word for extremism.”

It would seem that LaPierre felt the word was a direct attack on his organization’s stance on gun control, which has been no gun control at all. The one statement out of Obama’s speech LaPierre is referring to is:

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle.”

The statement to me sounds very general, especially since the whole context of that portion of Obama’s inaugural speech went like this:

“For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”

I do not see the mention of gun control in the least here but let us give Mr. LaPierre his benefit-of-a-doubt and say that President Obama was referring directly to him, which called for a response from him. Being an Absolutist says one thing about a person; they think they are always right, even when they are wrong. It is always “my way or the highway” with someone who believes being stubborn shows strength. Certainly, there are absolutes in life; our Constitution is not one of them, including the Second Amendment.

The NRA chief Wayne Pierre went on with his speech to say:

“[Obama] wants to put every private, personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government and he wants to keep all of those names in a massive federal registry,”. “There’s only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners — to either tax ‘em or take ‘em.”

In my opinion, I believe men like LaPierre who believe so strongly in their Second Amendment right to bear arms — that nothing must restrict them from whatever kind of weaponry they choose to own, buy or sell, no matter how powerful or how inappropriate for civilian society. Moreover, the reason why they want such availability to these high-powered weapons is out of their fear.

Another statement from his speech I believe points to the fear that him and those who are like him have:

“We believe we deserve and have every right to the same level of freedom that our government leaders keep for themselves, and the same capabilities and the same technologies that criminals use to prey upon us and our families,” he said.

“That means we believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semiautomatic firearms technology,” he added. “We believe that if neither the criminal nor the political class and their bodyguards and security people aren’t limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn’t be limited in our capacity either.”

Mr. Pierre believes citizens should have a civil right to “semiautomatic firearms technology” because the government has it and some security personnel have it so everyone else should too. The government also has nuclear missile technology; does that mean he thinks him and his other Second Amendment wonks should have that technology too?

I got news for the NRA chief; no amount of guns you could stockpile would stop the government if it decided it wanted you.

I do think that this time around, things are different when it comes to passing legislation in Congress. It is likely an assault weapons ban will not pass the House of Representatives but I think there is enough political will to pass background check legislation with strong enforcement — that is probably the best we can hope.

As far as Wayne LaPierre, the NRA president: the more paranoia he puts forward to the public, the less influence in Washington he and his organization will have.

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