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Battling Elite Conceit

Thursday, July 31, 2008

by Wayne LaPierre,
NRA Executive Vice President

The Second Amendment is facing a perfect storm--in fact, the worst I’ve seen in 30 years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I came to work at NRA in 1978. And it’s taken three decades to crystallize for me: Behind every anti-gun law, or candidate, or editorial, or movie, is a ruling class that can’t stand you taking responsibility for your own safety.

The ruling class wants you to believe that they’ll protect you, so that you are dependent on them. I’ve seen and heard them all: Time, Newsweek, “60 Minutes,” Sarah Brady, Pete Shields, Dianne Feinstein, Peter Rodino, Howard Metzenbaum, Michael Moore, Rebecca Peters, Chuck Schumer, Rosie O’Donnell, the un, George Soros--the media brand conglomerates.

They’re the ruling classes that all believe the same elite conceit--you shouldn’t protect yourself. Government should.

But we know there’s a little problem with that. They don’t give a damn about you! They couldn’t care less about your safety. That’s the bald-faced truth. That’s the one constant that runs across all the ruling classes--and it’s killing the Second Amendment.

Take the political ruling class that fights your Right-to-Carry. They say you can’t take responsibility for your own safety because good people carrying guns turn into maniacs. They say guns make good people do bad things. So the political ruling class never empowers you, but always empowers themselves to keep you powerless!

It’s the same thing for the corporate ruling class, the legislative ruling class and the media ruling class. They all say you can’t be trusted with responsibility for your own protection. But at the same time, they abdicate their responsibility to protect you. They refuse to prosecute and put away the bad guys. And so the jailhouse revolving door spins: Take them in, turn them out. And it’s open season on the rest of us.

Hurricane Katrina should’ve taught this nation that the elites who say they’ll protect everyone, won’t protect anyone! Those hurricane victims couldn’t count on police, electricity or phones. They couldn’t call 9-1-1, but they could count on the looters, and the rapists, and the robbers, who all arrived right on time.

And that’s when the ruling class ordered troops door-to-door to confiscate the good guys’ firearms--at gunpoint--when they needed their guns the most! We’ve got footage of it, kicking in doors, body-slamming 70-year-old grandmothers to the floor of their kitchens. WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE?

When the New Orleans ruling class realized how bad it made them look, they conspired with the media ruling class to bury the story. So Americans never saw video footage of the first forced gun confiscation in U.S. history. But if a cop roughs up an armed criminal, they’ll run that video over and over and over until you’re sick of it. And we all know why--the ruling class doesn’t like street cops either!

Let’s talk about the legislative ruling class that fights our Castle Doctrine laws, like you have here in Kentucky. Because they say if you had full responsibility for your own protection, well, you might take unfair advantage of the armed thugs jacked up on meth, who just smashed out your patio door with a pavestone.

No, the legislative ruling class has rules you have to follow before you can use deadly force against the armed thugs ransacking your living room. You know, I’ve talked to real victims of home invasion and they all say the same thing. There’s a split second of total terror that spells life or death for you.

But the ruling class says you have to take time during that split second to think through their checklist of all their options you have to exhaust before you can lawfully use force against the armed intruders, who are now at your bedroom door.

You have to jump out a window, or run out the door, or hide under the bed, or find some other way to retreat before you can hurt the bad guys. Now that sounds like a really good law--if you’re a home-invading criminal. But the NRA’s Castle Doctrine says your home is your castle. You don’t have to retreat. You can stand your ground!

NRA had to fight the same “elite conceit” when the airline ruling class refused to let pilots be armed after 9/11. Here’s why. And they actually said this: Because with a gun, a pilot might be--dangerous! But wait, he’s flying the plane. Doesn’t the pilot already have every passenger’s life in his or her hands?

With the same “elite conceit,” America’s corporate ruling class says employees can’t take responsibility for their own protection. Factory workers, pizza delivery guys, convenience store clerks, taxicab drivers, assembly line employees--the corporate elites deny all of them a firearm for self-defense. Rich corporate lawyers don’t care about invisible second- and third-shift night workers who come and go in pitch-black parking lots.

But a self-defense gun “securely encased” in your vehicle? Workers are fired on the spot. The elites say gun bans in workers’ parking lots creates a sense of safety. But no one is safer, except a criminal in that parking lot.

Two truths must be told here. The first truth is, almost no workplace homicide is worker-on-co-worker. It’s almost all armed robbery. The second truth is that the corporate ruling class couldn’t care less about these workers.

Murdered pizza boys, cab drivers and convenience store clerks are just collateral damage, a cost of doing business. And that’s how the corporate ruling class negates the Second Amendment rights of the obedient worker class. I say that no breadwinner should ever be forced to choose: “Do I save my life or lose my job?”

The idea that anyone is safer by giving away his or her right of self-protection is pure fantasy. And it’s a deadly fantasy. But for 30 years the municipal ruling class of Washington, D.C., has made that deadly fantasy the law--guns are banned.

Now tell me, does an armed homeowner make his home more dangerous? Or do disarmed homeowners make D.C. more dangerous?

I want to meet that D.C. brainiac who truly believes that when meth addicts kick your door off its hinges at 2 a.m., society is better off if you’re armed with nothing but a phone in one hand and a Chia Pet in the other. With reasoning only a third-generation inbred elitist can grasp, D.C. says citizens can only seek safety in the supremacy of government, not the individual. In return, D.C.’s lawful residents are served up a daily dose of bloody gunplay and violent crime that’s often the worst in the nation.

Time out, here. Most of us instinctively know that, “If I don’t want to be thirsty, I drink water.” “If I don’t want to be hungry, I eat food.” “And if I don’t want my family attacked and murdered, I own a gun!”

But D.C. gets the last one backwards, which gives murderers a decided advantage over homeowners. Next month, the Supreme Court will rule on D.C.’s gun ban. But make no mistake: The National Rifle Association will not consider it a victory until that day when the law-abiding residents of Washington, D.C., can once again go out and buy a gun and take back their city from the criminals and the municipal ruling class that took it away from them.

The Big Apple is another place the underclass is denied any role in their personal safety. They’re kept dependent by the billionaire ruling class in the form of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Listen, in New York City only one in 10 felony arrests ever sees a judge. Only one in 1,000 misdemeanor arrests ever gets to a courtroom. And a new epidemic of home invasions is terrorizing residents across Long Island. But Bloomberg’s not concerned with prosecuting criminals. He’s too busy bankrolling litigation designed to take your rights away!

Now Bloomberg’s got Wal-Mart stigmatizing lawful gun buyers by lining them up, taking their pictures and storing them in a database, all because Wal-Mart wants to put stores in New York City. So thanks to the billionaire ruling class, Wal-Mart is shooting mug shots of Louisville deer hunters so Wal-Mart can sell baby food and diapers in Queens.

Then there’s the breeding ground of the global ruling class--the United Nations--where the pompous sheiks and kings, and autocrats, and sultans, and czars, and despots, and billionaire tyrants like George Soros are determined to dumb down American freedom to a global standard of no freedom. This club of global thugs says not only do individuals have no right of self-defense, the un says any nation that condones gun rights is committing a human rights violation!

So, the un wants to force on the world what D.C. forces on its citizens. You give up your guns, and hope government protects you. And here’s what this is really all about. If they can institutionalize all this at the un, then they have permanent funding for a permanent campaign to establish a permanent system to disarm and subjugate citizens. And we all know where that leads.

Wars kill soldiers. But governments kill civilians. Like the gassing of Kurds, the slaughter in Rwanda, the butchery in Libya, the killing fields of Cambodia, Uganda, Iraq and Iran.

In the last century alone, 56 million civilians were disarmed, rounded up and murdered by their own governments. It’s happening today with the half million dead and millions more dying in Burma, where the military regime has intercepted international aid to save the regime’s friends--and starve its enemies. That’s the end result of trusting the global ruling class to protect you.

Of all the places where good people are denied the right to protect themselves against bad people, probably the most tragic results have come at the hands of the academic ruling class at our schools and colleges. The Safe School Initiative by the United States Secret Service studied three-dozen major attacks at schools. Among the important findings:

1. Students almost always know an attack is coming. In one case, two dozen kids waited on a mezzanine to watch--one even brought a camera.

2. In reality, cops stop only one out of four attacks. Three out of four attacks are stopped by a teacher or administrator because most are over in less than 15 minutes.

3. In 93 percent of the cases, the attacker behaved weirdly enough prior to an attack to cause concern from teachers and students.

Friends, these facts clearly argue for armed security in our schools. Look, we put a perimeter of armed protection around our banks and airports, and sporting events and concerts. Politicians, and celebrities, and rock stars lavish themselves with armed bodyguards, and nobody says a word. So why do we deny the same level of protection for our children in our schools?

I know I’m going to get vilified for even bringing it up. But you know what? I don’t care! I’m fed up that we as a nation seem willing to tolerate the price we have to pay for the academic ruling class failure called “Gun-Free Zones.” A “Gun-Free Zone” for students is just a “Risk-Free Zone” for crazed killers!

Fact is, we can never predict where evil will strike. But we can always stop it with a self-defense firearm in the hands of a lawful, competent person. We’ve seen it time after time: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Instant responders are always better than first responders, because instant responders can prevent the kind of tragedy that first responders can only clean up.

Look, we built this nation with the spunk and guts of our own citizens in our local communities. It’s time to do it again, and give America’s children every measure of security we can.

First, colleges and universities should honor Right-to-Carry permits. Any adult who has the character and training for a Right-to-Carry permit doesn’t lose those qualities by crossing the street.

That’s why everywhere Right-to-Carry is respected off campus, Right-to-Carry should be respected on campus. For elementary through high school, national policy should empower every local school to design its own security strategy.

Think about the resources we have at our disposal. We have veterans, police, former police, off-duty police, reserve officers, former fbi, Secret Service and other people in the community who are certified proficient with firearms, including parents, teachers and volunteers with Right-to-Carry permits.

This country was built on volunteerism. Since our nation was born, our communities have come together to provide for the common good--from barn raising to bucket brigades. It’s time to do it again. And it’s time to send the message loud and clear: Armed intruders at our schools will be met with armed resistance! We will protect our children!

Yes, we can count on massive resistance from the elite of the elite--the media ruling class. But the same is true of Right-to-Carry, Castle Doctrine, Worker Protection, Armed Pilots, Eddie Eagle and every other NRA initiative.

And yet, in the face of the media ruling class--the most powerful communications machinery humankind has ever known--their lies are being increasingly caught and exposed, turned off and trashed by Americans like the people in this room. No matter how many billions of dollars worth of subtle spoon-feeding by the “elite conceit,” more and more Americans spit it back daily in their faces.

Every public opinion poll comes down on our side. More Americans agree with us than with them. Name any researcher--Gallup, Roper, Zogby, Reuters. Year after year, more Americans say the NRA speaks for them than does the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the u.s. Congress or The New York Times. In other words, if you ask Americans who really “gets it” about our country, more Americans raise their hands for the NRA than for any other group.
Ladies and gentlemen, though we face a perfect storm, I’m more and more convinced in my 30th year on the job that the only true, genuine and undefeatable ruling class is represented in this room today--the members of this proud and mighty National Rifle Association of America! And I’m proud to be one of you!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.