National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre sees a lot of haters out there, from President Barack Obama's administration to the media, who "scheme to destroy our country."
Speaking at his group's annual meeting in Indianapolis Friday, LaPierre stoked fear of an erosion not just of Second Amendment rights, but of other values too, according to a transcript released by the NRA:
Freedom has never needed our defense more than now. Almost everywhere you look, something has gone wrong. You feel it in your heart, you know it in your gut. Something has gone wrong. The core values we believe in, the things we care about most, are changing. Eroding. Our right to speak. Our right to gather. Our right to privacy. The freedom to work, and practice our religion, and raise and protect our families the way we see fit. Those aren't old values. They aren't new values. They are core freedoms, the core values that have always defined us as a nation. And we feel them -- we feel them -- slipping away.
LaPierre laid out a spectrum ranging from "terrorists" to "haters," all of whom could presumably be stopped with guns:
We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and carjackers and knockout gamers and rapers [sic], haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all. I ask you. Do you trust this government to protect you? We are on our own.
Without specifically mentioning Democrats, LaPierre pledged defiance against those whom he says would strip away individual rights.
This election is going to be a bare-knuckled street fight. They're going after every House and Senate seat, governor's chair and statehouse they can get their hands on -- laying the groundwork to put a Clinton back in the White House. They intend to finish the job, to fulfill their commitment -- their dream -- of fundamentally transforming America into an America you won't recognize. But mark my words: The NRA will not go quietly into the night. We will fight.
A new coalition of gun control groups called Everytown for Gun Safety released a new ad Friday, just a week after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $50 million campaign aimed at beating the NRA in policy battles across the country.
Several prominent Republicans appeared at the NRA event Friday, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Read the full text of LaPierre's speech here.