The Graphic Video Raises More Questions About LaPierre’s Leadership While NRA in Midst of Damaging Bankruptcy Trial
Today, The New Yorker and The Trace published previously unseen footage of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre hunting an elephant in Botswana and repeatedly wounding it, filmed in 2013 for a scrapped segment of an NRA-sponsored television show. The segment was reportedly cut from the episode for fear that it would be embarrassing for LaPierre. The species of elephant was later declared to be endangered.
The footage shows LaPierre shooting the elephant several times in the wrong spot, with the host eventually firing the fatal shot after LaPierre is unable to do so. The footage also showed LaPierre’s wife, Susan LaPierre, shooting and killing an elephant, and then cutting off its tail and holding it over her head while shouting, “Victory!” Parts of the animals were allegedly surreptitiously shipped to the LaPierres, including the front feet, which were reportedly turned into stools for their home.
Mike Spies of The Trace wrote, “the footage, as well as newly uncovered legal records, suggest that behind his carefully constructed everyman image, LaPierre is a coddled executive who is clumsy with a firearm, and fearful of the violent political climate he has helped to create.”
In response, Everytown and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements:
“This heartbreaking video captures the two hallmarks of Wayne LaPierre’s leadership of the NRA: needless death and costly incompetence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “You’d be hard pressed to find a more accurate illustration of the casual cruelty that is a trademark of the NRA’s top ranks.”
“While they’re currently in bankruptcy court, this just further proves what we’ve always known: the NRA leadership is morally bankrupt,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “I wonder if this video was hidden because they were more worried about the optics of the senseless killing of elephants, or to hide the fact that Wayne LaPierre can’t shoot. My guess would be the latter.”
The revelation comes as the NRA is mired in an ongoing bankruptcy trial taking place in Dallas, which has been filled with new embarrassing revelations about financial mismanagement, including allegations of shredding and burning documents ahead of a subpoena. LaPierre is set to take the stand for the second time on Thursday. Read a recap of the NRA bankruptcy trial revelations here.