WASHINGTON D.C. – In a rare moment of thoughtfulness, Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association, seemed to take a more reflective tone on the issue of gun violence in schools than his usually fiery speeches would suggest. In a closed-door sit-down with reporters following the conclusion of the CPAC confab outside of Washington, the conspiracy theorist famous for calling federal law enforcement “jack-booted thugs” and striving to incite racial violence and civil war seemed subdued. The day before, more than a dozen companies had terminated longstanding alliances with the NRA as the student survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre championed an intense pressure campaign to isolate the gun lobby.
“Arming teachers to shoot their students – and we know that’ll happen, right? – is definitely one idea in circulation right now,” LaPierre told reporters. “But in light of what these students are doing, I’m prepared to go a step further. If student victims of gun violence are going to mobilize and shut us down, we at the NRA are prepared to take the ultimate step to protect students in America. I’m announcing today that the NRA’s official position on school shootings is that we need to end schools.”
The journalists in the room seemed stunned by the idea, but LaPierre continued. “I mean, think about it. No schools, no school shootings. No students, no student activists to cut into my bottom line.”
He concluded with a final thought about the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who have provoked a sea change in our calcified politics when it comes to guns. “These kids, these student victims of a deranged teenager armed with an exceptionally powerful firearm,” he said, shaking his head sadly, “are the most dangerous people in America today.”