The leader of the National Rifle Association (NRA), Wayne LaPierre, was filmed ineptly and chaotically trying to shoot a bush elephant to death in Botswana. The shooting was an attempt to boost the NRA’s standing among hunters according to The New Yorker, which published the footage. The funding for the film came from the NRA and the camera crew came from the NRA-sponsored TV series Under Wild Skies. The episode was not broadcast as it is too embarrassing.
WARNING THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC. I HAVE NOT WATCHED IT. MY THANKS TO THE NEW YORKER.
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The film footage shows LaPierre’s wife shooting an elephant in the head and chest. It opens with LaPierre stalking through the bush. He is accompanied by professional hunting guides and the host of the series, Tony Makris. A guide spots an elephant behind a tree. LaPierre prepares to take a shot but the guide tells him to wait. He does not hear him because he’s wearing earplugs and takes a shot at the elephant which falls to the ground. He asks whether he’s been successful and the guide response affirmatively.
But the elephant is still alive so the guide repositions LaPierre within a few metres oF the elephant to take a final, killing shot. He fails to kill the elephant again and takes three shots in all, under the direction of his guide who tells him where to aim. The guide is unsure where he is shooting, however. Ultimately, the guide asks Makris to end the animal’s suffering.
Makris praises LaPierre’s skill and commends him for dropping the elephant “like no tomorrow”. LaPierre acknowledges that his initial shot was imperfect but the guide responds by saying that he went down which is what counts. LaPierre looks sheepish and admitts that it may have been luck.
Of course there has been outrage about the video. Tanya Sanerib from the Centre for Biological Diversity in the US said: “It’s sickening to see LaPierre’s brutal, clumsy slaughter of this beautiful creature. No animal should suffer like this. We are in the middle of a poaching epidemic and rich trophy hunters like the NRA chief are blasting away at elephants while the international community calls for stiffer penalties for poachers-what message does that send?”
That sums it up nicely. What an idiot. He has been chief of the NRA for donkey’s years. The NRA has filed for bankruptcy protection after it was claimed that top executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips and other questionable expenditures.
Source: The Times.