Wayne LaPierre’s Newtown statement pilloried by US newspapers
New York Times and Hartford Courant among publications to denounce
NRA leader’s response as ‘almost deranged’
The US media delivered its riposte to National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre on Saturday, a day after the gun cheerleader blamed the news industry for America’s culture of violence.
Breaking a week-long silence following the deaths of 20 children and six adults at a school in Connecticut, LaPierre ranted against the media in a press conference Friday calling it a “silent-enabler” that overlooks its own “moral failings”.
The response was forthright from editors and opinion writers. “CRAZIEST MAN ON EARTH” was the New York Daily News’ verdict, noting that the “NRA nut blames everyone and everything EXCEPT the GUNS”.
The New York tabloid is currently embarked on a campaign to get Washington to put in place a ban on assault weapons.
Its response to last week’s tragedy is in directly opposition to that of LaPierre, who called for armed guards to be put in place at every school across the US.
“In Wacko Wayne’s world, the only answer to death by guns is to flood the country with more guns and stand ready for the shootout. His zeal is worse than nuts; it’s a peril to life and limb,” the Daily News said in an editorial on the NRA press conference.
The New York Times likewise found it impossible to hide its contempt. In its main editorial, the NRA executive vice-president was attacked for his “mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.”
Editorial writers could be forgiven for dipping their nibs in as much vitriol as they could muster, given that 24-hours earlier, newspapers were being blamed by the NRA for fostering a culture of violence.
During Friday’s press conference, LaPierre said the national media stood by as “silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators” as American youths play violent video games and watch slasher movies.
“Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away,” he said.
Connecticut newspaper the Hartford Courant – 50 miles from Newtown – left it to resident cartoonist Bob Englehart to deliver its response to the NRA’s breaking of silence.
It depicted the NRA’s shield with a departing American eagle missing from its heart declaring “I quit” as it flees in disgust.