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The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: Washington’s all-powerful gun man

YAHOO.COM (VIA APF) August 23, 2019 – After a surge in mass shootings and reports of scandalous spending on his own luxury needs, Wayne LaPierre’s time as Washington’s preeminent power-broker appeared to be up.

But with President Donald Trump desperate to win reelection next year, the National Rifle Association chief worked his magic, convincing the US leader to further help under-attack gun owners in exchange for their votes.

After two shocking massacres at the beginning of August, Trump initially promised tougher gun controls, a pledge which quickly melted away after he spoke on the phone Tuesday with LaPierre.

Suddenly, Trump was again a hardliner defending the most absolutist interpretation of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of firearms ownership.

“People need weapons, unfortunately, for protection,” Trump told reporters.

“A lot of the people who put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment,” he said.

It was another victory for LaPierre, the man who almost singlehandedly has made gun control the untouchable third rail of US politics over three decades.

It also put to rest the idea that dozens of US deaths by extremists carrying assault weapons, combined with an ugly financial scandal at the NRA, were about to end LaPierre’s career.

The 69-year-old joined the NRA as a lobbyist in 1977 and has led the organization as chief executive since 1991.

In that time he has turned it from a hunting and shooting hobbyists’ club into a potent conservative power broker focused on Americans’ ability to buy whatever gun they want, when they want, and to carry them openly.

Gun foes are in awe of his ability to not only block firearms regulations but to get more lethal weapons into the hands of Americans.  [Read More]

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