In response to the largest mass shooting in modern history last week in Las Vegas, politicians and activists on both sides of the aisle have reignited a debate about gun control. While Democrats lament that if this tragedy won’t spur change, then no amount of blood spilled will, Republicans are eager to claim that gun control is not the solution that the country needs.
The CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, sat down for an interview in the wake of the shooting to argue that we should not politicize this event. “If legislation worked, Boston massacre wouldn’t have worked, San Bernardino where California has every gun law on the books, that wouldn’t have happened,” he argued.
He said Democratic lawmakers and liberal celebrities alike only try “to piggyback their whole agenda to ban guns, restrict law abiding people for the last 20 years, this circus, on the back of this tragedy.” While the NRA traditionally remains out of the spotlight, he felt he had to speak out against Washington “elites” and their politicization of this recent tragedy.
He did grant that the NRA could review “bump stocks” – a specific technology that makes semi-automatic weapons function like fully-automatic ones. But in principle, he is against gun control. “What the NRA has said is we ought to take a look at that and see if it’s in compliance with federal law and it’s worthy of additional regulation,” he said about bump stocks. “That being said, we didn’t say ban [them], we didn’t say confiscate [them],” he tempered.
“The other side has been so outright trying to politicize this tragedy that we did feel the need to speak out today on this whole bump stock issue,” he concluded, explaining why he felt now was the time to make a public statement about the matter.