While railing against the "elites" of the United States, the NRA's CEO attempted to slam some members of the Democratic Party for supposedly exploiting the victims and survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. The horrific incident killed at least 17 people on Valentine's Day. Although he claimed to be against the "elite," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre didn't mentioned his net worth or NRA salary.
If you're wondering, here's the estimated and not-exactly-blue-collar figure: With a yearly salary of over $950,000, LaPierre's declared net worth is an estimated $10 million. But in his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference, LaPierre chose not to mention either figure to his audience.
Instead, he focused on accusing Democrats of pushing a "socialist" agenda. "Each and every member of the NRA mourns the loss of the innocent and continues to keep their families and that community in our prayers. We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods, and a safe country. As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain. Saul Alinsky would have been proud," LaPierre said.
Indirectly referring to the Democratic Party, LaPierre said that they were "breathlessly" pouncing on the opportunity to "smear" the (heavily-funded) NRA. He criticized news media as well and accused "eager" national news networks of trying to malign the organization. Democrats were, according to LaPierre, calling "for more governmental control" and apparently "hate" individual freedom in the country. The NRA CEO called Democrats "elites" who were indifferent about America's schools and that people "should be anxious and ... frightened" about the rival party.
LaPierre told his audience that the Democrats were not concerned with helping citizens grapple with gun violence across the United States. "The elites don’t care not one whit about America’s school system and school children," he said. "If they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. For them it’s not a safety issue, it’s a political issue."
So, what do the Democrats care about? According to LaPierre, "They care more about control and more of it, their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment and our firearms freedoms so that they can eradicate all individual freedoms."
How would the NRA CEO fix the grisly and heartbreaking dilemma of mass shootings in America? LaPierre suggested that teachers receive training in shooting firearms and opting for the practice of concealed carry or else the schools would be "wide" targets for more tragedy. "We drop our kids off at schools that are so-called gun free zones that are wide open targets for any crazy madman bent on evil to come there first," he told the CPAC crowd. LaPierre isn't the only one to support the notion of arming teachers; Donald Trump himself shared the idea on Wednesday and also said that teachers trained in shooting could be given "a little bit of a bonus."
In addition to slamming the "elites" of the Democratic Party while making a killing with his own salary, LaPierre's remarks at the CPAC seemed to directly contradict the words he shared in 1999 at an NRA conference that took place in Colorado. Back then, the CEO was entirely against the idea of guns within school premises. "First, we believe in absolutely gun free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools," he said then. "That means no guns in America's schools. Period."
On social media, the NRA CEO's comments were instantly attacked by activists seeking sensible gun laws. The irony of an extremely affluent man calling out the rich seemed to be lost no one. Picking apart his comments, Shannon Watts, founder of the anti-gun violence movement Moms Demand, noted LaPierre's stunning salary and said he was the living definition of "elite."