The CEO of the National Rifle Association is warning conservatives about a bizarre conspiracy theory he holds: Democrats want to create a cloud database about American parents' spanking habits.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Thursday, Wayne LaPierre made his first comments after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17. He made it clear that the NRA would not support new gun legislation, using his frequent rhetorical argument that any new gun laws will lead to government tyranny and a socialist state.
Specifically, he attacked the idea of national registries that might keep guns out of the hands of certain consumers, arguing that government list-keeping would naturally lead to a universal spanking database stored in the cloud. "This growing socialist state dreams of manipulating schoolchildren to squeeze and squeeze information about their parents," he told the audience. "They will be asking your kids if mom and dad spank them or what they feed them for dinner. They will want to know what TV shows you watch, what magazines or newspapers you read—and do mommy and daddy own a gun? And all that private information will be entered into ultimate list, that cloud of data storage, that could not care less about due process and constitutional freedom and your privacy as an American citizen."
The NRA officially supports the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In practice, the organization opposed the bill that created it and has fought any attempts to expand it. The NRA opposes universal background checks, which would apply to private sales and gun shows, arguing that it would lead to a national gun registry.
Somewhat confusingly, in February 2013, LaPierre came out in favor of one database. On "Fox News Sunday," he expressed frustration that a national registry of the mentally ill had not been created because of health-privacy laws and said that he had been working on it for 20 years. He hasn't been asked if he still favors such a list, or if it might lead to misuse as nefarious as a spanking database.
LaPierre spent quite a bit of time in his CPAC speech decrying socialism. He called rising Democratic leaders like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker "a tidal wave of new European-style socialists" and said, "The elites care not one whit about America's school system and schoolchildren."
"You should be anxious, and you should be frightened," he told the crowd. "If they seize power, if these so-called 'European socialists' take over the House and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our Americans freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever."