Paul Helmke Indicts Wayne LaPierre for Mass Murder While Condemning 'Heated Political Rhetoric'


The day after the attack that left six dead and 14 wounded in Tucson, Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, took a (purely rhetorical!) shot at Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. "We…are deeply concerned about the heated political rhetoric that escalates debates and controversies, and sometimes makes it seem as if violence is an acceptable response to honest disagreements," Helmke wrote at The Huffington Post. His leading example: "Shortly after President Obama took office, the head of the NRA crowed that 'the guys with the guns make the rules.'" Helmke hauled out the same quote after a March 2009 shooting rampage in Alabama, writing:

Even by the standards of the Conservative Political Action Committee event where he recently spoke, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre was over the top.

He explained to all of us in America that "the guys with the guns make the rules."

Most of us believe that in a democracy, the voters make the rules.

Two days ago, a deranged man in Alabama killed 10, including women and children, before taking his own life. He had the firepower of assault weapons to execute his plan of mass carnage.

Americans who have lost loved ones to gun violence are tired of the guys with the guns making the rules.

It is clear even from the clip that Helmke uses to make his point that LaPierre was not bragging about the NRA's gun-backed power or threatening violence should Obama support policies the NRA does not like. Here is what LaPierre said:

Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules. Our founding fathers understood that freedom always rides with a firearm by its side. They understood that if the only guys with the guns are the bad guys, we're screwed. Our founding fathers knew that, and it's no different today. That's why we own guns. We're not giving them up. The Constitution says it, we believe it, and that settles it.

This is a standard defense of a well-armed citizenry as a safeguard against tyranny as well as garden-variety crime ("bad guys" in both the public and private sectors). Helmke may consider this idea naive, outdated, or pernicious. He may think it encourages bad gun policies. But his claim that LaPierre was endorsing violence as an "an acceptable response to honest disagreements"—let alone that he was justifying the blind, murderous nihilism of the Alabama and Arizona shooters—tells you exactly how serious Helmke is about avoiding "heated political rhetoric" that dangerously "escalates debates and controversies."

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  1. mao said that power comes outta the barrel of a gun. so angle, lapierre, & mao agree.

    1. Me too!

    2. Yes! Enlighten us with your genius, o majestic troll.

      1. ok, faygo is awful.

        1. Now you’ve shown your true colors – Faygo Orange is the shiz

          1. Faygo, huh? Oh, wait: you are still dwelling on my comment earlier and completely missed the fact that I was implying that you possess a juggalo level of intelligence as opposed to expressing some sort of personal love for ICP? I think see what you tried to do.

            1. well make sure u “think see” that lapierre & mao are on the same page.

              1. Don’t be its porn.

    3. Yes, Mao and LaPierre agree that the right to bear arms is of great importance to maintaining a free society. That is why Mao disarmed the populace when he took power. It’s much easier to run a police state when the people have no means of rising up.

      1. Yes, I have to agree, Montani.

        “In a democracy VOTERS make the rules.” Yes, they do, but only if they have access to arms. If they don’t have access to arms, then the Government can tell them how to “vote”. And the VOTERS won’t have the power to disagree, when the Government decides to put a gun to their heads.

        Just like Mao.

    4. I thought libruhls worshipped Mao.

      1. try to take it ez on the thinking part ok rushtard? >be happy for ur wingnut TP’s.

        1. lol i dont no wat that means
          your wierd lol

    5. Ad hominem. Yawn. l2troll.

  2. What? Paul Helmke is a hyperbolic, disingenuous fucksack?

    Color me shocked.

  3. “the guys with the guns make the rules.”

    The federal government has lots of really big guns.

    1. They decide and then the shotgun sings the song.

    2. No less than Obama’s Manufacturing Czar, Ron Bloom said on October 22, 2009: (refernencing Chairman Mao’s proclamation) “all power comes from the barrel of a gun”.

      Now I wonder, what does the Manufacturing Czar have in mind regarding this comment? Would not we expect a quote from Henry Ford or W. Edwards Deming or Steve Jobs regarding manufacturing?

      1. LOL, like as not the “Manufacturing Czar” has never heard of any of those folks.

  4. Helmke must spend a fortune on Depends.

  5. Shortly after President Obama took office, the head of the NRA crowed that ‘the guys with the guns make the rules.

    And who has more guns at his disposal than the Commander-in-Chief of the United States military?

  6. Apparently a democratic government does not use guns.

  7. Meh. Whatever.

  8. This is not a surprising nor unanticipated comment from groups like the Brady Campaign, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy or the Media. Frankly, they operate on Rahm Emanuel’s philosophy of “Never letting a good crisis go to waste.” I would not be surprised should Rep. McCarthy propose and potentially get a “dream package” of gun control legislation passed through the House and it potentially pass the Senate. Despite Rand Paul’s comment on Fox News yesterday that in his opinion it would not call for alteration of the firearms laws of the US or AZ. Even Chris Coons (D-DE) stated on the same segment that enforcement of existing laws was a first requirement.

    This particular incident is nothing more or less than a psychotically unstable individual exercising their fantasy view of the world. Jared Loughner was mentally unstable, identified as such to supposedly “responsible” adult parents; yet nothing was done. Any great surprise at the outcome?

    I have noted a river of blame since this incident from the Progressives that they intend to wash away law abiding gun owners, Tea Partiers and those who criticize the Government legitimately in bounds of First Amendment protections. Yet no linkage with any one political philosophy has been ascribed to this massacre. Why then blame conservative and libertarian oriented media? Because it serves the purposes of the ruling class. Don’t let the art of governance interfere with rule by force and decree.

    There was a time when politicians served the constituents of their districts with respect for the views of those constituents. No longer; they seem to believe that their superior intellect and philosophy “knows intuitivley” what is good for us (and we dare not object to their views and actions). When the vehement objection to Obamacare, TARP, Porkulus I & II, Credit Reform and ad nauseatum arose from the public the ruling class was both frightened and dismayed. Yes, I saw it with my own “elected representatives” who tried to “educate and placate” me when I e-mailed my request to honor my views and vote against those bills. New York politicans were in the lead to ram this legislation through Congress, let nothing stand in their way; the opinions of their constituents be damned. Now, they fear the electorate for they must walk among us to get re-elected. Yet,strangely enough, other than isolated incidents partisan beatings (fists and feet); the last election passed without any violence worse than heated verbal exchanges. As some media sites have succicently pointed out, the pols themselves delivered the vitriol, can we then blaim their followers for repeating their sales pitches?

    What all should remember is that there were 4 blameless civilians who came to this event to either honor or share discourse with Rep. Giffords; including a 9 year old girl. I am not so jaded in my opinions that I would consider a 9 year-old partisan in any respect. 3 were elderly citizens. 1 was a staffer and 1 was a Federal judge. Our prayers and thoughts should be focused on Rep. Giffords recovery and the families of the slain. Forget the partisan motivation and rhetoric as it serves no useful purpose.

    1. No, your representative is not there to represent the views of his constituents. There is no way, short of polling every constituent on every proposed bill, to “know” what 50.1% of his constituents want. Also, per Barry Goldwater, “And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
      Every two years, the voters will tell the congressperson how he or she is
      doing vis a vis their interests.

  9. A crazy guy didn’t like John Lennon. In response, we should all be compelled to listen to John Lennon’s music all the time, without end.

  10. They probably figure that if they fling enough of this monkey poo that soon nobody will remember that nobody actually knows what the shooter’s motive was. (Likely we’ll never really know.)

  11. “No, Wayne: In A Democracy, The VOTERS Make The Rules”

    This year’s winner of the Political Naivete Prize.

    1. I deleted 3 of my own comments about that statement because I wasn’t sure how to do justice to such absurdity.

    2. In a democracy, the rulemakers make the rules.

      1. Surely you meant “bureaucrat”, yes?

    1. Strange, that sounds more like Crist to me.

    2. well he won,and he`s going to help us out with our gun laws so normal people like me have more access and while hopefully you have less!

  12. “the guys with the guns make the rules”

    How is this not tautology? Just ask anybody that Radley Balko has ever written about.

  13. I think there is a lesson we can all learn from this Arizona shooting. A slower, heavier bullet does a lot more damge than a faster, lighter round.

    1. … at close range.

    2. Yeppers. That’s why I prefer the .45 for my handgun rounds.


    For Immediate Release

    DNC press spokesperson Lennie Wryfin-Stalled issued a press clarification on earlier statements by Democrats blaming the Arizona tragedy on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and people who refuse to watch MSNBC.

    “In light of new evidence that accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner had been obsessed with Congresswoman Giffords since 2007, we wish to apologize for saying a graphic used by Sarah Palin’s PAC led to the tragedy.

    “Clearly it was instead Sarah Palin’s inaugural speech as president of the Wasila, Alaska PTA that is responsible.”


    Lennie Wryfin-Stalled
    Ass. Dir. Communications
    Democratic National Committee
    430 S Capitol St SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 479-5100
    (202) 863-8000
    (202) 224-2447…..IN+BARRETT

  15. See, the problem is when those “honest disagreements” are over the wielding of state power, which always comes with the implicit threat of violence built in. So, the point is, it is always OK for the state to use force, and all you get to do if you disagree is whine about it with the utmost in decorum and civility, even as the truncheons come down on your head.

  16. Helmke is on the Ed Show.

    What a pair of retards.

  17. Helmke has never been honest in anything. Freaking ghoul.

  18. What amazes me Mr. Jacob Sullman and Mr. Paul Melmke is your lack of focus and your attention to this one event. While your article attacks The NRA and its leader, where is your attention to the greater problems facing the U.S. every day. Department of Justice statistics demonstrate today in America, 15 to 25 Americans are killed everyday by illegals aliens in this country. Point of facts, 15,000+ a year by illegals through automobile accidents and usually unlicensed drivers, many thousands of drivers not able to speak English. There are an additional 10,000+ Americans killed by illegal immigrants during the commission of crimes. This is easy to locate information yet always the like of you Sullum and Helmke ignore this information. You report the Americans death in Iraq over the last five years, last I heard around 4,000…in that same time frame illegals in America have killed in excess of 125,000 Americans and still you provide no coverage to that information.

    I find your reportage mi-optic at best and at its worse less than news worthy and probably at best simplistic political aggrandizing at is worse…and naive. This is less reportage and not honorable in a trying time for America.

  19. Moa, Hitler and Stalin are just a couple of the so called “Anti Gun Heroes” out there looking for greater control by suppressing and killing their people as well as others. Just imagine how things would have went if those people would have kept their firearms.

  20. typing over the video and trying to make people think what he said was unclear is what all the anti-gun people always do when they can`t force their will on you otherwise!



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