National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre warned that “all we've worked for” with regard to “our freedom since the founding of the country could be in jeopardy” in the 2016 elections while also stating that “every American owes NRA members and gun owners a debt of gratitude” for the 2014 election outcomes.
The NRA frequently rallies its supporters by suggesting each election cycle could bring about the destruction of the Second Amendment or even the entire United States of America while baselessly giving itself credit in instances where Republicans do well at the polls.
During a November 6 appearance on the NRA's radio show Cam & Company, LaPierre wasted no time turning to 2016, stating, “We've won the first half here of the game, but we won't win the battle until we win all the game and 2016 is a big deal.”
“I mean if we end up with an anti-Second Amendment president in 2016, I mean all we've worked for in the last 30 years or our freedom since the founding of the country could be in jeopardy,” LaPierre added.
Arguing that “we need to get NRA stronger,” LaPierre went on to describe the 2016 election as “the fight of our lives for American freedom.” LaPierre also said in the 2014 elections that the NRA had “beat the Bloombergs, we beat the Clintons, this time, but they're not going away and if they win in '15 and '16 the damage that they can do to the Second Amendment is unimaginable. (Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a prominent gun safety activist and was the primary backer of an “historic” 2014 ballot initiative to expand background checks on gun sales in Washington state.) LaPierre concluded his remarks by saying, “we are never going to have a bigger challenge than what we have to pull off together in 2016.”
That sentiment from the NRA is one that observers have heard time and again.
Just days ago the NRA warned that the “the future of our Second Amendment rights comes down to one day -- Election Day 2014,” which is “the most important of our lifetime” because "[o]ur fundamental right to keep and bear arms has never been in greater jeopardy."
In a 2014 “special two-cover election issue” the NRA's magazine America's 1st Freedom urged supporters to “vote to save us all” because “only pro-gun candidates can confront Obama's last two years.” The second cover featured an assault weapon-toting Islamic State militant and urged readers to “vote your guns” because “your Second Amendment freedom has never been more important or necessary.”
In his “Standing Guard” column, LaPierre wrote that we were “just days away from the most historic election of our time -- an election that can reverse the collapse in American values that we see all around us today.” According to LaPierre, voting with the NRA's slate of candidates was important because Obama is "[d]estroying" America.
Unsurprisingly, in 2012 LaPierre described elections that year as the “most important” in United States history, before comparing the prospect of Obama's reelection to a 2004 tsunami that killed more than 250,000 people in South Asia.
LaPierre wrote (emphasis original), “It might seem like a stretch to compare an election to one of the deadliest disasters in modern history. This year's election could prove the most disastrous in the history of this country. Why? Because this election will decide whether Americans remain free.” In a separate release on 2012, LaPierre wrote, “This isn't just the most important election of our lifetimes -- it's the most important election for our children's, grandchildren's and great-grandchildren's lifetimes.” (2008 was also “the most important election battle of our lifetime.” )
After the 2012 elections -- which featured astoundingly inept election spending by the NRA -- LaPierre said of Democrats who support gun safety proposals, “I predict in 2014, when they are out on that plank, if they walk it with Obama, the American public and the NRA will saw it right off behind him and defend this freedom.”
Now LaPierre is attempting to take credit for 2014, saying on the NRA's radio show that NRA supporters “changed the history of this country, it -- they provided the margin of victory, and I'll tell you, every American owes NRA members and gun owners a debt of gratitude.”
There is no evidence for the claim that NRA supporters were responsible for the 2014 election outcomes. According to exit polling Americans' biggest concerns were the economy, health care, immigration, and terrorism/ISIS. When asked about “gun policies” -- which would presumably encompass both the NRA and gun safety advocates' agendas -- just one in ten voters selected it as one of their top two concerns.
While analyses are explaining the midterm outcomes in myriad ways, the big story about guns was not a victory for the NRA but rather the passage by Washington state voters of a ballot initiative that expanded background checks on gun sales.
LaPierre's November 6 appearance on NRA News: