A video, believed to be eight years old, reportedly shows Wayne LaPierre – the head of the National Rifle Association – and his wife Susan, on an elephant hunt in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
The ‘secret’ video that was obtained by The Trace and The New Yorker, shows that when guides tracked down an elephant for LaPierre, the NRA boss couldn’t prove his gun-shot skills. He, however, managed to injure the elephant and then fired at the animal that was lying on the ground immobilised from point-blank range, and still, LaPierre shot the animal three times in the wrong place. Finally, the host of ‘Under Wild Skies’ fired the shot that killed the elephant. Unlike her husband, LaPierre’s wife took a better shot killing an elephant and cut off its tail and shouted Victory! That’s my elephant tail. Way cool.”
For LaPierre, who has for the last three decades, raised funds for the NRA by selling himself as an authentic champion of American self-reliance and the unfettered right to protect oneself with a gun, the video was quite an embarrassment.
The trip was filmed by a crew from ‘Under Wild Skies,’ an NRA-sponsored television series that was meant to boost the organization’s profile among hunters—a key element of its donor base. But the program never aired.
The NRA has not commented on the purported video, so far.
But the video footage, which has gone viral on social platforms, suggests that behind the scenes LaPierre lacks shooting skills and is fearful of the violent political climate he has helped to create.
LaPierre, who has built an image as a paragon of American gun culture, had famously told Americans agitating for new gun regulations, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Maybe, but only if you know how to use it properly.