A day after signaling that the National Rifle Association's messaging on gun legislation might go wide and wild, Wayne LaPierre stuck it straight to President Obama during the lobbying group's official response to the State of the Union, calling the President a master of "deception" on more than one occasion — and accusing Obama, falsely, of doing "nothing... [to protect] one child in any school in this country."
During a 14-minute address at a convention in Nashville, the NRA executive vice president said that Obama had "displayed a level of public deception that simply cannot be ignored." Later in the speech, LaPierre dug in even more deceptively himself: "The President has taken the art of public deception and manipulation to a whole new level."
LaPierre took Obama to task for not mentioning the words "school safety" — a classic NRA turn of phrase — during the most memorable (if politically impossible) moment of the State of the Union, when Obama said that legislation on universal background checks, high-capacity magazine limits, trafficking restrictions, and an assault-weapons ban "deserve a vote," whether the Republican-majority House (no doubt heavily lobbied by the NRA) passes them or not. Failing to use an NRA talking point, apparently, revealed the President's true agenda. "It's not about keeping kids safe at school," LaPierre intoned. "That wasn't even mentioned in the President's speech."
Which, of course, isn't true: According to the official transcript of the State of the Union, president Obama opened the section on guns by talking about just that. "Of course," Obama said, "what I've said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource, our children."
While reiterating the NRA's policy proposal to put an armed guard in every school in America, LaPierre added, "Nothing he proposed has anything to do with protecting one child in any school in this country."
Which, of course, isn't true either: According to just one of the President's 23 "executive actions," his administration will "provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations."
In an op-ed for The Daily Caller on Wednesday, LaPierre appeared to introduced new talking points beyond the NRA strategy since Newtown — going back to the future with statements we've heard before for 20 years (and seen on Facebook) on everything from video games and movies to women and the idea that gun control "doesn't work." Dropping the action-movie/Sasha-and-Malia bit to write a long essay, LaPierre walked out new talking points from the apparent need for guns in weather-related emergencies to even starker messaging: "We will not surrender. We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever."
But on Thursday it was back to rolling his eyes at the assault-weapons ban, which even Obama knows won't pass, and blaming the President for ignoring children — which was the official NRA response to Obama signing those executive actions... while surrounded by children.
You can watch LaPierre's full speech here:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.