Editor’s note: Today, WorldNetDaily runs the first of two excerpts from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s newest book, “Guns, Freedom and Terrorism,” the sixth title published by WND Books. In “Guns, Freedom and Terrorism,” LaPierre tackles a wide array of gun-rights topics: arming pilots, media bias, right to carry, ballistic fingerprinting nonsense, the sad fruits of gun control and much more.
In today’s excerpt, LaPierre covers how the tragedy of Sept. 11 was callously used for political gain by gun-grabbers. Tomorrow, he lays out the case for individual firearms ownership as an essential part of securing the homeland.
To most Americans, the horrific Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were more than just senseless mass murder. They were also a frontal assault on the very values that made America a target for this kind of madness in the first place: liberty, democracy, justice and decency.
But to the nation’s gun-ban lobby, this catastrophic event was seen as an opportunity: a cynical opportunity to use the genuine shock and revulsion millions of Americans felt in the wake of 9-11 to advance a political agenda.
“Terrorism” has become the new watchword for gun control – and our liberties are at stake as never before.
The gun-ban lobby has seized on terrorism as an excuse to launch a new push for universal gun-owner registration and for laws that criminalize all now-legal sales, trades, and gifts between peaceable persons. If you own a gun, they want your name in a computerized federal database – profiling you on the basis of mere ownership of a firearm.
Ironically, prior to 9-11, the gun-control movement had stalled. That all changed when foreign terrorists – armed with box cutters and a fanatical will to die – committed the worst mass murder in American history. Now, every anti-gun-rights group is reading off the same page – and terrorism has become the vehicle reviving a far-reaching agenda to destroy our Second Amendment freedom.
It started in the press with newspapers running headlines all on the same theme: “Lax Gun Laws Help Terrorists,” or “Lax U.S. Gun Control Is Benefit to Terrorists.” This is simply a lie.
The laws on the books today firmly deal with any attempts by terrorists or violent criminals to obtain firearms. Period. Under current tough federal laws, firearms commerce anywhere in the nation that involves violent convicted criminals or illegal aliens or terrorists is already illegal. It is a federal crime punishable by tough penalties for those prohibited classes to attempt to acquire any firearm from any source. Possession of any gun by such people is already a crime. Their presence at a gun show or a gun store with the intent to acquire a firearm is in itself a federal crime.
But these indisputable facts have not stopped the anti-gun lobby from camouflaging their firearms-registration agenda in an “anti-terrorism” wrapper. And in no case has this crass opportunism been more evident than with the pronouncements issued by anti-gun zealots.
Even before the flames at Ground Zero could be put out, Sarah Brady sought to exploit this tragedy to further erode the Second Amendment, demonize firearms and ridicule those who own them.
On Sept. 18, 2001, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement urging Americans not to respond to 9-11 by buying a firearm. Sarah Brady announced:
This nation has lost too many lives in the past week. Please don’t let someone in your family become yet another casualty of a senseless act of violence.
What gun ownership had to do with the 9-11 attacks must be left to one’s own imagination. It is, however, crystal clear that the lack of firearms in the hands of the pilots allowed the hijackers to seize control of those ill-fated planes in the first place. This seemingly obvious truism was lost on Brady, as she urged citizens to forgo self-defense in preference to blindly trusting innocent lives to the government.
Of course, the Brady Campaign was not alone in issuing hysterical anti-gun warnings in regard to terrorist threats in America. On Sept. 21, 2001, the Consumer Federation of America issued a press release entitled “Buying a firearm is … harmful. …” In it, Consumer Federation Firearms project director Susan Peschin warned:
The terrorist attacks naturally made people afraid, but buying a firearm for self-protection gives the consumer nothing more than a false sense of safety.
Peschin went on to assure Americans, “Research that supports the use of firearms for self-defense is flawed.” Yet she offered no evidence of the alleged flaws. Instead, people are expected to have full faith in the Consumer Federation, a lobby that believes the federal government should regulate gun designs to ensure “health and safety.”
On Oct. 2, 2001, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence put out its own release bemoaning increased gun sales in the aftermath of 9-11. Coalition President Michael Beard “urged citizens to think twice before bringing guns into their homes, and urged Congress to again take up legislation to prohibit the unregulated sale of guns.”
Beard concluded: “In the end, real protection for Americans will mean not arming every family but ensuring that people who should not have guns cannot get them – that means strong gun laws.” Beard would have Americans believe thousands died on that horrible Sept. 11 day because of insufficiently strong gun laws – though 20,000 laws are already on the books, including federal laws that regulate every aspect of firearms commerce in every corner of the nation.
Lost in the hype is the indisputable fact that no system of firearms registration or background checks could have prevented the box-cutter abuse of that day.
On Oct. 1, 2001, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence – a branch of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence – put out a press release titled “Talking about gun control after September 11.” The release proclaimed:
Stronger gun laws must be a part of any plan to reduce the threat of terrorism in our nation. Keeping guns out of the hands of those who wish to harm us at home requires the same policies that can keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
The Education Fund’s press release concluded that “people who are looking for protection and solace during this time would be better served to visit a grief counselor, priest, or rabbi, than to buy a gun.”
All that was missing from that alert was a 24-hour toll-free phone line for citizens to call for solace and for protection against violent assailants, “terrorist” or otherwise. Even after the worst attack on American territory since Pearl Harbor, the anti-gun forces tried to advance their core message that guns are so dangerous that only government agents could be trusted with them.
Such anti-self-defense dogma fell on deaf ears as Americans, in an emphatic demonstration of self-reliance, flocked in droves to gun stores to purchase handguns for protection. Homeland security meant exercising Second Amendment rights; it meant gun ownership. So much so that instant background checks for firearms purchases were up about 20 percent in the first six weeks after the terrorist attacks in comparison to the same period in 2000.
To the anti-gun lobby, the reality of potential victims actually using a gun to defend themselves against a terrorist or a violent predator, for that matter, is simply not on the radar screen. In fact, many gun banners are convinced just wanting a firearm is evidence of evil intent – or at the very least, a contributing factor in gun violence – and now terrorism.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence claimed exactly that when it asserted that “as Americans rush to buy weapons for protection, we must remember that others with more sinister motives can just as easily do the same.”
The Fund had but one objective – to promote the notion that anyone buying a gun either is a fool or has sinister motives or is helping those with sinister motives. None of these arguments make any sense – but each is designed to advance the core message of the anti-gunners – that guns are both inherently dangerous and easy to obtain.
Hypocrisy was also in ample abundance in the days that followed the 9-11 attacks. Roll Call, the semiofficial newspaper of Congress, reported: “Several lawmakers described colleagues – including some advocates of strict controls on handguns – who are now seeking firearms training in hopes of protecting themselves if the need should arise.” Since Roll Call is deferential in how it reports on members of Congress, no names were used. Nor did any anti-gun members of Congress publicly admit a near-deathbed conversion. But one congressman who whined to Roll Call captured the prevailing mood of panic on Capitol Hill:
I have absolutely no protection in this area. My family is completely unaware of what’s going on and completely unprotected.
In truth, members of Congress receive vastly better police protection than most Americans: It is difficult to walk across Capitol Hill without seeing a small army of Capitol police. But despite the size of the army, some members of Congress – like ordinary American citizens – take responsibility for their own protection. A prime example was Warren Rudman, who represented New Hampshire in the Senate from 1980 to 1993 and who, after retiring from politics, wrote a book on his life in Washington, D.C. He had the following to say about the nation’s capital and its gun laws:
Honest people don’t have guns and criminals do. I think people have a right to protect themselves. I was outraged to learn that I couldn’t have a gun in Washington. Despite the law, I kept one in my office and one in my apartment, because there were plenty of armed criminals roaming the streets of Washington. Until someone figures out a way to disarm criminals, I won’t support the disarming of law-abiding citizens.
But the anti-gun lobby will not listen to people like Warren Rudman who speak common sense. They have cynically exploited every failure of the federal government to protect citizens from criminals or terrorists and used them as a pretext to disarm peaceful citizens.