For Lindsey Graham, it was “marauding gangs” “raping” the women of Koreatown during the Rodney King riots in 1992.
For Wayne LaPierre, it’s the “hellish” world of looters running “wild in south Brooklyn” in superstorm Sandy’s aftermath.
“There was no food, water or electricity,” the NRA chief executive wrote in a racially charged and factually challenged Daily Caller op-ed. “And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.”
LaPierre’s specter of a lawless America—and the need for an at-home arsenal—is a fresh take on the same fear-mongering the South Carolina senator rolled out before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 30.
During that hearing on gun violence in America, at which LaPierre testified, Graham invoked the riots in Los Angeles to justify his need for an AR-15. He specifically cited gangs in the streets “raping” women, evidence of which is hard to find, and may not exist at all.
According to New York Police Department statistics, post-Sandy murders dropped 86% year-over-year citywide; robberies were down; grand larcenies, auto thefts and felony assaults—all down. Only burglaries saw a slight uptick.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the New York Daily News in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that a decrease in violent crime was not unexpected.
“After a natural disaster or large-scale catastrophe like 9/11, we see conventional crime come down,” Browne said. “A lot of people are indoors. Taverns are closed. You have less people out late at night and getting into disputes.”
Of course, in LaPierre’s dystopian vision of America, President Obama’s economic policies will have bankrupted the nation, forcing cities to shutter police stations.
“Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection,” LaPierre writes. “And the American people know it.”
LaPierre will deliver his response to the State of the Union, in which the president said that victims of gun violence “deserve a vote” on gun safety measures, at the annual convention of the National Wild Turkey Federation this evening.