NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre just got ripped into by a Fox News host for insinuating that President Obama was an "elitist" for providing armed security guards to his daughters while downplaying the ability of such guards to prevent gun violence in other situations.
The angry exchange took place on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday after host Wallace played a clip of the now-notorious ad calling the president an "elitist hypocrite" for protecting his children with a Secret Service detail at school.
Watch the argument below:
WALLACE: Mr. LaPierre, do you regret putting up that ad?
LAPIERRE: The point of that ad was this: it wasn't picking on the president's kids.
WALLACE: But you mentioned them...
LAPIERRE: The president's kids are safe, and we're all thankful for it. The point of that ad...
WALLACE: They also face a threat that most children do not face.
LAPIERRE: Tell that to the people at Newtown. Tell that to people.
WALLACE: Do you really think the president's children are, are the same kind of target as every schoolchild in America?
LAPIERRE: I think that...
WALLACE: That's ridiculous and you know it, sir!
LaPierre ineffectively tried to turn the conversation to criminal gangs, noting that just blocks away in the center of Washington D.C. that armed criminals could likely be found selling drugs. As Wallace noted, while gangs may be involved in gun violence, they are not responsible for the school attacks that the ad was referring to.
Later, Wallace touched on whether the tone of the ad was taking on an inappropriate class argument, and pointed out to LaPierre that he himself hires armed security due to his prominence in national politics. A visibly flustered LaPierre took several moments to get back on message.
WALLACE: One of the points of that ad that I want to ask you about, is you made it a class argument. The rich, the elites.
WALLACE: They have bodyguards. They have security.
LAPIERRE: Sure. Sure. And Mayor Bloomberg has it. Bloomberg has bodyguards.
WALLACE: I'll tell you somebody else who has security. You do.
LAPIERRE: Sometimes. Without a, uh, there's a...
WALLACE: On Capitol Hill you had security. Today you have security.
LAPIERRE: Ah … yeah, but you talk about hypocrisy right in the open, we've had all kinds of threats come in, okay.
WALLACE: Does that make you an elite, an out of touch elite? Because you have security?
LAPIERRE: I don't deny anybody the right to security when they need it. What I'm saying is, it is ridiculous, Chris, for all the elites, and all the powerful and privileged, the titans of industry, to send their kids to schools where there’s armed security.
Throughout the show, LaPierre maintained that universal background checks or restrictions on assault weaponry would be ineffective at protecting children and infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of Americans. Instead, he argued that only armed guards such as the ones protecting the First Family and increased prosecution of criminal firearms possession could reduce gun violence.
By taking an "absolutist" position to guns, LaPierre appears to have isolated himself far enough in the corner that even Fox News hosts feel comfortable giving him a rough time. It also seems that by calling the president a hypocrite for providing armed security to his kids, he may have inadvertently earned the ire of the D.C. establishment on a more personal level.
Now, it appears he has little choice but to double down on his previous statements and hope that the NRA can win the fight.
Watch the ad in question below: