Wayne LaPierre Previews The NRA's 2012 Campaign Pitch

The pattern from National Rifle Association (NRA) executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is getting pretty clear: ad hominem name-calling, a slew of conspiratorial misinformation, and a call for gun owners to align with the NRA's political agenda and defeat President Obama based on those ginned-up grievances.

For months, LaPierre's been pushing interlinked false talking points on the trafficking of U.S. guns to Mexico in a variety of media formats. According to the NRA leader, requiring gun dealers to report multiple sales of rifles Mexican cartels are known to favor to the ATF is an assault against American gun owners. He's also claimed the Obama administration intentionally manufactured a crisis by allowing U.S. guns to fall into the hands of cartels to justify more gun control.

This time speaking through the NRA's many publications LaPierre gets explicit about why he's been pushing those claims: it's all about attacking President Obama. From the piece:

All of this was done to bring about Barack Obama's promised “under the radar” gun control.


Gun owners must begin marshalling our collective power to unelect not only Obama and his crowd, but to unelect his anti-gun-owner axis in Congress.

Getting back to his roots, LaPierre starts by throwing around insults, referring to people to who disagree with the NRA about the role of U.S. guns in Mexico as “ghouls”:

This move by unelected bureaucrats is part of a plan that was hatched at the outset of the Obama administration with the full support of a host of media enablers. Those in the gun-ban crowd are ghouls, always in search of a “crisis” to feed on.

The scale of cartel violence in Mexico is staggering: an estimated 40,000 deaths since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and started a more aggressive campaign against the cartels. Outside of the gun lobby echo chamber everyone agrees that many of the guns fueling the violence are from the United States. But inside that lobby, pointing out the connection makes you a “ghoul.”

It doesn't get better from there.

LaPierre then moves on to the false suggestion that no U.S. guns fuel cartel violence in Mexico:

With black market surplus full-automatic AK's and Vietnam-era M16s easily available, combined with master gun-running criminals on the level of the cartels, the notion that cartels are arming themselves from average gun stores is nuts.

A variety of sources show large flows of U.S. guns going into Mexico, most notably the raw numbers of U.S. guns caught going to Mexico or found at crime scenes. As Media Matters reported in August:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) has seized more 10,000 firearms and more then 1.1. million rounds of ammunition headed to the southwest border since 2006. On the Mexican side of the border, 20,504 or 70 percent of the total firearms seized and submitted for tracing in the last two years were from the United States.

Only around 1 percent of guns traced are found to be from anywhere other then the United States. The remaining weapons were not traceable due to insufficient information.

LaPierre then suggests that virtually all the guns that do come from the United States were connected to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' failed Fast and Furious program, which he claims was initiated as part of a conspiracy to advance gun control:

In one of the best descriptions of “Fast and Furious,” Robert Farago wrote in the Washington Times that " ...The agency's motive for creating a program that violated Mexican sovereignty and put innocent lives at risk: inflating the number of American firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes.

Fast and Furious was actually an attempt to develop a "a large, complex conspiracy case" according to a report issued by Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Sen Charles Grassley (R-IA).

Nor do the numbers back up the contention that Fast and Furious fueled a large spike in Mexican cartel crime guns traced to the United States. The Washington Post reported in July that 227 guns related to Fast and Furious had been recovered in Mexico. If all of those guns were part of the trace data it would account for only 1 percent of U.S. sourced guns traced in the last two years.

Finally LaPierre pushes the suggestion that requiring gun dealers along the southwest border to report sales of certain rifles favored by the cartels, such as AK-47s, is a grievous assault on gun owners in America:

Using the big lie that American firearm retailers are fueling Mexican drug cartels, the administration has demanded that in four states (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California) personal information on law-abiding purchasers of two or more semi-automatic rifles (above .22 cal.) in a five-business day period will become part of a centralized database.

This is gun owner registration, pure and simple. Keeping a central registry of information on law-abiding Americans and the firearms we own or acquire is specifically forbidden in federal law and has been voted down in Congress.

It may be only four states and some firearm owners today, but as with all “gun control” it will never end until all Americans suffer under its yoke.

The impact of the regulation on law-abiding gun owners is virtually non-existent. They don't have to do anything and aren't prevented from buying guns that were previously legal. No gun owner has to register their guns with the ATF.

Rather then being forbidden the law in question states that the Attorney General can ask for gun dealer records as he 'may specify'." Multiple purchases of handguns have been reported to the ATF for decades. But to LaPierre doing the same for AK-47s and similar rifles is the first step towards the always around the corner despotism.

You won't be surprised to learn the “let's defeat Obama” message is same one LaPierre put forward in last presidential election when none of these issues where part of the public debate. LaPierre was short on the facts then too.