A paranoid column from National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre appearing in the gun group's magazine fearmongered about terrorist attacks and “angry mobs” rioting “just for the sheer hell of it” in the United States before calling on supporters to “vote our guns” on Election Day.
As part of a “special two-cover election issue,” the NRA's magazine, America's 1st Freedom, depicted a flag and gun-toting ISIS fighter along with the headline, “Chaos At Our Door?” Other text on the cover added, “Your Second Amendment Freedom Has Never Been More Important And Necessary. Vote Your Guns In November.”
LaPierre's column was illustrated with a graphic that combined an image of a suburban house and an ISIS militant who has been seen in recent videos beheading U.S. and British hostages:
The image used by the NRA comes from an Islamic State propaganda video showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines.
LaPierre, who is the NRA's executive vice president and CEO, offered readers a litany of threats to consider in support of owning guns and voting with the NRA on Election Day, writing, “Whether it's through an EMP, a massive cyber attack, another 9/11 or just isolated sprees of murder and mayhem, military and homeland security officials agree it's just a matter of time before the U.S. faces some kind of terrorist attack.” Among the things LaPierre told readers to be afraid of:
- An electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) that could kill “as much as 90 percent of the population of the U.S.” by bringing about the reemergence of “Third World” diseases like “amoebic dysentery, typhoid, [and] cholera -- killing our youngest and frailest family members.”
- A cyber attack that would put “our economy into a tailspin” and possibly become “deadly” if hackers took over a dam or oil processing facility.
- An attack “along the lines of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, where terrorists launched a dozen coordinated attacks, gunning down innocent victims at hotels, a bar, a train station, a hospital and a movie theater,” killing 164 people.
- An incident similar to a 2013 terrorist attack on a mall in Kenya where "[f]our armed terrorists linked to al Qaeda were able -- thanks to Kenya's strict anti-gun laws -- to spend four days torturing, mutilating and gunning down shoppers with almost no fear of reprisal."
- Mexican drug cartels constituted of “waves of drug smugglers, kidnappers, sex-slave traffickers and criminals of all kinds who invade our country from the south every day.”
He also warned of general civil unrest, including rioting “just for the sheer hell of it” (emphasis original):
Even if you take terrorists and criminals out of the picture, chaos is an ever-present danger to Americans today -- especially when you factor in the undercurrent of social unrest that seethes beneath the surface of much of our society. How many times have we seen peaceful protests in this country degenerate into riots, looting, shootings, arsons and worse? How many times have we seen crowds turn into angry mobs after court decisions they didn't like, sports team defeats they felt were unfair, natural disasters that collapsed civil order -- or just for the sheer hell of it?
Touting gun ownership as protection against calamities one may encounter in life, LaPierre added (emphasis original), “And who among us can say with certainty that we'd never face that same kind of out-of-control mayhem and brutality in our own city or hometown?”
LaPierre concluded his fearmongering column, writing, “We will not surrender our safety to the lies of leaders who promise everything and deliver nothing. On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, we will defend our right to defend ourselves because we have no other choice. We will vote our guns! We will vote our freedom! And we will prevail!”
LaPierre is well-known for his paranoid rhetoric. His latest column echoes a widely ridiculed 2013 piece he wrote for conservative website Daily Caller that argued owning a gun was necessary for survival.