Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” National Rifle Association Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said Democrats are attempting to introduce new gun control legislation to “divert your attention,” away from “embarrassment of their failure in this terrorist area.”
Partial transcript as follows:
DICKERSON: Let me start with where we where were Donald Trump on this question of, anybody who wants to purchase a gun who happens to be on one of these federal lists. Is there any space between you and Donald Trump? And what worries you about legislation on that?
LAPIERRE: Let me set it in context in terms of what I think we’re facing this past week. We all mourn for what happened, John. But we face a terrorist challenge where there on the verge of overwhelming us. What happened this past week is, the president, the whole gun ban movement said, hey, don’t look at terrorists. Look over here. Divert your attention. Take your eyes off the problem, because they don’t want to face the embarrassment of their failure in this terrorist area, and they want to cover their butts and not talk about it. You can’t save the country with politics. The politically correct policies of the White House are intruding right now in military, terrorism, law enforcement. It’s all being politicized with the politically correct White House nose and fingers in areas they don’t belong. And that’s — now, let’s start with the terrorist watch list.
DICKERSON: Let me — we will address some of those claims in a minute, but just quickly on this question of you and Donald Trump. You’re in the same place on this issue?
LAPIERRE: You know, Donald Trump’s — as far as I know, he wants to attack criminals, he wants protect the law abiding and he wants attack ISIS and get the bad guys. And that’s where we are.
DICKERSON: If a person is on a watch list, whether no-fly or terror watch list, what should their — what would the policy be?
LAPIERRE: You know, let me talk about the watch list. I have never seen so much misinformation and poorly researched stories the last week as that as we have seen. What happens on the watch list, people forget, law enforcement set it up. They set it up exactly the way they wanted it, federal law enforcement. NRA didn’t take the guy’s name off the list. The federal government did, FBI did, largely because of these some politically correct policies that I think I have been talking about earlier. Here is what would have happened if they left him on the list. People don’t understand this. There would have been a ping. Go into the federal government. They would have talked to the guy, but actually put his name on the list. There would have been a three-day delay. During the delay, if the government wanted to stop it, they could go to court. They could stop it. What law enforcement wants to do 90 percent of the time, 99 percent of the time, is let it go through. They want to watch it. They want to build a case. They want to build patterns. FBI Director Comey said that he didn’t want an outright ban, because that would blow a lot of their criminal investigations.
DICKERSON: But you also don’t want terrorists with guns in their hands. Right?
LAPIERRE: Nobody wants terrorist with guns.
DICKERSON: So, what is the accommodation we can find here?
LAPIERRE: The accommodation is the Cornyn bill, which does exactly what law enforcement set up. It codifies the whole thing. If somebody is on a list, tries to buy a gun, there’s a delay. Law enforcement immediately gets on it. If they want to stop it, they to go a judge. They have got oversight. They don’t — they have to do it right away, because the minute you delay, you’re tipping off the bad guy. And it provides due process for the good people. And it gives law enforcement the ability where they can conduct these investigations and it won’t blow what they’re doing.
DICKERSON: Let me get back to your original point, which is the — in the reaction to this. Isn’t it human nature to, when something happens, to reach for an explanation of what happened? So, there is the terrorist piece. There’s the LGBT piece.
DICKERSON: But are people so crazy to think that a weapon that is involved in the case and has been in other cases is not something to just seek into and inquire, and find out what is going on? You’re kind of making it sound like it’s a conspiracy. Aren’t people just trying to figure out why people should be able to have access to weapons that produce bullets so quickly, and maybe we should do something to curb that? That seems like a human reaction.
LAPIERRE: John, I think we need to look right in the face of what these people are that we’re facing. They don’t care about the law. Laws didn’t stop them in Boston. Laws didn’t stop them in San Bernardino, where you had every type of gun control law that you could have. And they didn’t stop them in Paris, where people can’t even own guns. They had fully automatic guns. They had ICDs. They had explosives. I mean, these bad guys we’re facing, they don’t say, oh, gosh, they passed a law. Oh, gosh, I don’t think I can do it. It’s like, what we’re doing with this debate on the Hill right now, it’s like they’re trying to stop a freight train with a piece of Kleenex.
DICKERSON: Wouldn’t pause or a waiting period or extra scrutiny or something maybe create one more filter that might have caught a guy like Mateen, goes the argument.
LAPIERRE: The filter is, take them off the street, confront them directly. Attack them. That’s what we got to do.
DICKERSON: You have said a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. There was a good guy with the gun in the club. Couldn’t stop him.
LAPIERRE: Well, what every place needs is a security plan that protects it. The fact is, we need to face what’s coming. They’re trying to kill us. They’re not going to attack hard targets. All the hard targets are protected by the government with guns. They’re going for vulnerabilities. They’re going to go for shopping malls. They’re going to go for churches. The fact is, we need vigilance, we need preparedness, we need a full-court press on personal protection. We need to be able to protect ourselves.
DICKERSON: Donald Trump has suggesting concealed-carry in nightclub, where people are drinking? Is that a good idea?
LAPIERRE: I don’t think you should have firearms where people are drinking.But I will tell you this. Everybody, every American starts to have — needs to start having a security plan. We need to be able to protect ourselves, because they’re coming. And they’re going for vulnerable spots, and this country needs to realize it.
DICKERSON: What does that mean, have a security plan? Should everybody get an automatic or a semiautomatic, or should we lift limits against automatic weapons?
LAPIERRE: I think that we’re talking about the fact law-abiding people need to be able to own firearms to protect themselves. I think we need national carry reciprocity. I think every school needs a protection plan with a either police officer or certified armed security. And we need to look at all our vulnerabilities, and we need because to hard them, because they’re coming and they’re going to try to kill us, and we need to be prepared. And this president, by diverting the attention to gun control movement, that’s not going to solve the problem. They could care less.
DICKERSON: Do you think — Donald Trump mentioned somebody going in buying all sorts of ammunition. Should the amount of ammunition somebody buys get them extra scrutiny?
LAPIERRE: I — you know, again, you’re going to an area that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make a difference.
DICKERSON: Well, but he’s running for the nomination, so — and you have endorsed him, so, is he right or wrong on that?
LAPIERRE: But that’s not the issue. If we want to save lives, let’s look at Chicago, OK? You got every federal gun law on the books right now. Drug dealer with a gun, 10 to 20 years. Criminal gang member with a gun, 10 to 20 years. Felon with a gun, five to 10 years. This federal government, that attorney general, Janet (sic) Lynch, they’re not enforcing any of the federal gun laws. They’re letting it happen night after night after night. And they’re being given cover by elite media like “The New York Times” that writes five-page story, and has one little paragraph…
DICKERSON: All right, we’re going to have to leave it there, Mr. LaPierre. I’m sorry. We have run out of time.
LAPIERRE: Let’s get the bad guys off the street. Attack the terrorists, and leave the good guys alone.
DICKERSON: All right, we will be right back.
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