Members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) are “the good guys” trying to defend the United States’ traditional values, according to Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
"We're the good guys," he said at the group’s annual meeting on Saturday. "And to reclaim our values and take back our country, to save our great American freedom, we will stand and we will fight."
The NRA group was the sole force counteracting a country where “the law is used for the advantage of the political elites and the disadvantage of the rest of us," he said.
“The character of our nation and all of our values are at risk,” he told the crowd in Indianapolis. “These are the core freedoms and core values that have always defined us as a nantion: our right to speak, our right to gather, our right to privacy, the freedom to work and practice our religion and raise our families the ways that we see fit.”
LaPierre has become a divisive figure for his impassioned defense of gun owners, even in the wake of mass shootings like last year’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been among the most vocal opponents of the NRA, recently announced a $50 million plan to counter the group’s influence and reduce gun violence.
“We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” Bloomberg told The New York Times in an interview this month.
In response, LaPierre on Saturday showed a new NRA video in which a number of people said that their combined voices would overpower Bloomberg’s.
“He’s one guy with millions. We’re millions with our 25 bucks,” said one person. “We’ll see who crushes who.”
LaPierre said the NRA’s influence would be felt during the November midterm elections and would not ease up until after the presidential elections in 2016.
“Let there be absolutely no doubt about it: We will be there in the polls in November, and in the November after that and we won’t rest until November of 2016, not until we’ve stood up as America’s good guys and taken back the White House,” he said.