Saul Alinsky‘s Rule Number 5 states, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”
Mike Spies of The Trace understands this very well and just unleased a torrent of ridicule upon Wayne LaPierre. Somehow – and I have my suspicions – he obtained the lost and unaired footage from a 2013 African safari that Wayne and Susan LaPierre took that was to have aired on Under Wild Skies. That show was hosted by Wayne’s former BFF Tony Makris and was sponsored by the NRA. I have been told that Makris and Wayne used the show to reward LaPierre loyalists with a paid-for safari in Africa.
The footage is part of an article that is running in both The Trace and The New Yorker.
The footage of LaPierre in Botswana first shows him walking through the bush dressed in loose-fitting safari attire and an NRA Sports baseball cap. He is accompanied by several professional guides and his longtime adviser, Tony Makris, a top executive at the N.R.A.’s former public-relations firm, Ackerman McQueen, and the host of “Under Wild Skies.” The heat, at times, causes LaPierre to sweat. As he walks, his wire-framed glasses slide down his nose. After a guide spots an elephant standing behind a tree, LaPierre takes aim with a rifle. As LaPierre peers through the weapon’s scope, the guide repeatedly tells him to wait before firing. LaPierre is wearing earplugs, doesn’t hear the instructions, and pulls the trigger. The elephant drops. “Did we get him?” LaPierre asks.
The guide at first says yes, but then, as he approaches the elephant, it appears that the animal is still breathing. The guide brings LaPierre within a few strides of the elephant, which lays motionless on the ground. He tells LaPierre that another bullet is needed. “I’m going to show you where to shoot,” the guide says. “Listen, hold your rifle—I’m going to tell you when. Just hold it up.” The guide pushes the rifle’s barrel skyward as other men involved in the expedition move around in the distance. “I’m going to point for you where to shoot. Just waiting for these guys.”
Needless to say, Bwana Wayne botches this and two more shots. Tony Makris is the one who has to deliver the final shot.
It appears that both Wayne and Susan are using custom Blaser rifles with engraved actions and beautiful wood that I was told a while back were billed to the NRA. I wonder what ever happened to them.
As the video makes clear, Susan is the better hunter and much better shot than Wayne. She is also much more excited by her trophy than is Wayne who looks kind of befuddled. You wonder if he isn’t just looking for a place to go and throw up.
The whole episode brings to mind that classic Hemingway short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. While Wayne didn’t run in the face of the elephant like Macomber did in the face of the lion, it took someone else to finish the job. Moreover, Wayne comes off as a bumbling incompetent and not the great white hunter in charge of an organization dedicated to preserving hunting and the Second Amendment.
I know this is coming from the Bloomberg supported The Trace. As I’ve said in the past, just because you don’t like the source doesn’t mean it isn’t accurate. Spies gets his information right because he knows he will be sued every which way if he doesn’t.
I hope to go to Africa in a couple of years to hunt plains game. Unlike Wayne, I will be paying for the trip myself. Also, unlike Wayne, I plan to get in a lot of shooting practice in advance especially from sticks. It appears that Wayne was not that familiar with his rifle and it shows. When you are given the chance for the hunt of a lifetime, you damn well ought to be ready.
5 thoughts on “Ridicule Is Man’s Most Potent Weapon”
A very impactful video, that is for sure. And your commentary on WLP and his wife, and the differences is spot on. I don’t like the idea that the NRA spends however much money on those guns that they did, for them not to go to either a major benefactor, at the NRA convention, as a thank you for 30-40 years of strong support for the mission of the NRA, or to be placed into the NRA museum or sold for charity to use the money to start some school shooting groups, or for scholarships for gunsmiths, engineers with an eye to the gun building business, etc.
That being said, I had never seen a real elephant hunt before, and it was interesting to actually see it, in video, how it goes down, the age of the animals that they choose to cull, and the respect that the PH’s have for the elephants. You could tell that the PH with WLP was disgusted with his client’s poor behavior, poor shooting skills, and lack of discipline. I think that the PH was also angry that the elephant was made to suffer for the several minutes it took to finally put the majestic creature down.
The expense of the hunt, which with the killing of 2 elephants had to be enormous, could possibly be justified, if it was done for a purpose, and some use was made of the footage, but to bury it because it makes WLP look foolish at best, just makes the money spent, probably over a quarter of a million dollars, one more reason that the leadership and their judgement must be gone.
Pathetic is the word that comes to mind… No question he was out of his depth!
Ack-Mc could have done an impressive editing job from that raw footage. They could have told the story of Susan’s hunt (eliminating Wayne’s) in order to promote Women’s Leadership Group. She did many things very well in this video: not using ear pro so she could whisper back and forth with her PH, good breathing techniques, attentive to instructions, good muzzle discipline, good trigger discipline.
I have always thought Susan seemed smart and successful on her own. She did not need to marry someone to achieve success. History did not have to turn out the way it has.
“When you are given the chance for the hunt of a lifetime, you damn well ought to be ready.”
That’s the key right there. It was given, not earned, and the raging assclown didn’t respect the opportunity he had.
Ridicule can work in a variety of ways. I’m guessing Mike Spies’ ridicule of WLP is calculated to be be harmful overall to the NRA. But I also see a trend in the firearms right community to channel all blame for the NRA’s failings onto WLP, and to mostly ignore that far more reform of a fundamentally corrupt organization is required, than the elimination of just one guy. Organized crime has never suffered very much with the passing of just one or two godfathers. So, by jumping on the pile to ridicule WLP, Spies and The Trace may be shooting themselves in the foot. But, maybe they don’t want to see the NRA reformed. Its continued long term self destruction may be their strategy.
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