National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre warned conservative activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that Democratic leadership would implement a “socialist agenda” after last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
“As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” LaPierre said, mentioning that the 20th-century socialist community organizer “Saul Alinsky would have been proud of the breakneck speed for gun control laws and the breathless national media eager to smear the NRA.”
LaPierre said that he had worked with Democrats in the past who were interested in reducing gun violence, but that the “European socialists” currently leading the Democratic Party cared only about using tragedy for their own political gain.
“I hear a lot of quiet in this room, and I sense your anxiety,” LaPierre said. “And you should be anxious, and you should be frightened. If they seize power, if these so-called ‘European socialists’ take over the House and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our Americans freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.”
The NRA CEO specifically noted that Democratic politicians—including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT)—were among the “elites” that did not care about working to find bipartisan solutions to gun violence.
“The elites care not one whit about America’s school system and schoolchildren,” LaPierre added.
LaPierre also accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats of not working with conservatives who wished to address mental health issues and put checks into the federal database that would prohibit dangerous people from gaining access to firearms.
The NRA executive has a history of working with pro-gun Democrats in the past. In the 1970’s, LaPierre worked as an aide to a pro-gun Virginia legislator, specializing in gun legislation and worked on Democrat George McGovern’s presidential campaign in 1972.