National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre will visit campus April 7 to deliver a speech titled “The 2016 Election and Future Challenges” at a luncheon in the Searle Center.
Students are welcome to attend, but they must RSVP through a link provided in this week’s student activities newsletters by Friday becuase of limited seating.
“LaPierre knows that Hillsdale is a staunch defender of traditional liberties and traditional rights, and appreciates that,” said Professor of History David Raney, who is introducing LaPierre during the event. “In recent years, with the addition of the John A. Halter Shooting Sports Center, he understands that level of devotion has been enhanced and there’s no doubt that he’s supportive of that and thankful we’re doing it.”
Raney — who is also the Halter chair in American history, the Constitution, and the Second Amendment — said he has known LaPierre since 1989 when he met him at an NRA annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Raney has been an NRA member since he was 14 and worked as a summer intern at the association in 1989.
“LaPierre is a very effective communicator, very soft spoken, and very mellow but also tenacious when it comes to lobbying effort,” Raney said. “He has boundless energy and is a tireless defender of the Second Amendment, which he has put into play in his current position.”
Raney said LaPierre is effective at increasing membership in the association and placing the NRA on the offensive. One of the association’s best forces for lobbying is its extensive grassroots membership throughout the United States. Campaign finance laws limit how much the NRA can contribute to politicians, so the association relies on its political clout resulting from large groups of members in electoral districts.
“Their members are in some cases single-mindedly devoted to protecting the right to keep and bear arms,” Raney said. “LaPierre has been very effective at building membership.”