Wayne LaPierre decided to go hard-line, going after the grieving parents, and then, LaPierre spent over $70,000 of NRA money on a vacation in the Bahamas.
That is unbelievably cold:
Twenty young children had just been gunned down by a semiautomatic rifle in their classrooms in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, and inside the hardened bunker of the National Rifle Association, rattled officials were wrestling with rare feelings of self-doubt.
In the past, the gun rights organization had responded to mass shootings with unapologetic, high-profile attacks on any attempt to restrict firearms. But several senior NRA officials — laid low by images of sobbing parents planning their children’s funerals rather than tucking presents under Christmas trees — thought the organization should take a less confrontational approach this time, according to multiple people familiar with the internal debate.
Over the objections of some top officials, however, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre struck a defiant posture. In fiery public appearances crafted by Ackerman McQueen, the organization’s longtime advertising firm , LaPierre announced that the group would create a model program to train armed security guards who could protect schools from shooters, saying that was the only measure that would keep children safe.
Then LaPierre and his wife left for the Bahamas, a trip they billed through Ackerman McQueen — and was ultimately paid for by the nonprofit organization. Their post-Christmas flights to and from Eleuthera, known for its pink beaches, cost the NRA nearly $70,000, according to internal documents and people familiar with the trip.
New details about how the NRA handled the tumultuous moment show how Sandy Hook —one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history — divided the leadership of the powerful gun rights organization. The episode also showcased the symbiotic relationship between LaPierre and Ackerman McQueen, an alliance that defined the NRA for more than three decades, several former officials said.
During that period, the bills for LaPierre’s wardrobe and his private jet travel flowed through the Oklahoma-based ad firm, recently revealed internal documents show, a practice that critics say shrouded the nature of the costs from some NRA leaders and members. At the same time, Ackerman McQueen collected tens of millions of dollars in consulting fees and kept a tight grip on the NRA’s aggressive messaging, according to documents and people familiar with the dynamics.
Who cares about dead children when you have a movement to loot, huh?
There are a lot of repulsive people in the world, but Wayne LaPierre is in a whole new class of contemptible.