We know this to be true: Wayne LaPierre, the face of the National Rifle Association, is, by any measure on any scale, a corrupt, cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved liar. I’m not going to discuss his corruption or lying. I’m just going to focus on his cruelty, callousness, immorality, self-promotion, and depravity. He’s also, it turns out, an astonishingly bad shot.
In 2013, Wayne went with a film crew to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to kill an elephant. That in itself falls squarely into the cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting and depraved category. Why would anybody want to kill an elephant? I mean, sure, maybe you’d want to kill one in self-defense. Or maybe if the elephant was about to trample a nun, you’d want to take a shot at it. But basically there’s absolutely no point whatsoever to kill an elephant except to prove you’re cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting and depraved.
But that’s Wayne, and he wanted a film crew to record him killing an elephant. So he hired some professional elephant-killing guides. Men who make a living knowing where to find elephants to kill, and taking cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved, rich assholes there to kill them.
One of the guides finds an elephant, just standing around in the bush, minding its own business, and he points it out to Wayne. He tells Wayne NOT to shoot just yet, to hold fire because the elephant is partially hidden by the tree and brush. But Wayne is wearing earplugs…you know, to protect his tender ears from the noise made by the rifle…and doesn’t hear the guide. So he does what rich, cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved assholes do. He shot anyway.
And hey, the elephant collapsed. Wayne is delighted. He’s a happy cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved asshole. Until the guide points out the elephant isn’t dead. It’s just lying there, bleeding out, suffering. He brings Wayne to within a few feet of the elephant and tells him, “I’m going to show you where to shoot.” He points to a spot on the elephant’s head that will put the poor creature out of its misery.
Wayne shoots the elephant again. And misses the spot. The guide tells Wayne to reload. He physically moves Wayne to a position where it’s almost impossible to miss. He tells Wayne to stay there, tells him again exactly where to shoot the elephant. Wayne says, “Same spot?” And he shoots the elephant for the third time. And again, fails to kill the poor animal.
At this point the guide walks up to the elephant, points directly at the spot that will end its misery. Wayne says, “Okay, alright, I can shoot there.” And he shoots the elephant for the fourth time. Misses. The poor elephant is still alive.
The guide tells one of Wayne’s companions to kill the elephant, and he does. The companion then turns to Wayne and says, “You dropped him like no tomorrow.” Wayne is pleased by the praise. He laughs modestly, like a cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved asshole, and says, “Maybe I had a little luck.”
Wayne’s wife–also rich and cruel and callous and immoral and depraved, but less self-promoting although still an asshole–also killed an elephant that day. Only took her two shots.
The film of the LaPierre’s elephant-slaughtering expedition was never shown. Not because it depicted them as rich, cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved assholes. But because it showed Wayne as an incompetent rich, cruel, callous, immoral, self-promoting, depraved asshole. Guy has an image to maintain, after all.
The front feet of the two elephants were later made into stools to decorate the LaPierre home.
EDITORIAL NOTE: I’m not going to link to the video of Wayne LaPierre trying and failing to kill an elephant because it’s awful. If you want to see it, you can find it on YouTube.