LaPierre, seated at a lengthy table several feet away, appeared to be unsure whether Selvig was being serious or not.
“So I’m asking everyone in this room to think, to pray. To give your thoughts and your prayers. And your thoughts and your prayers and your prayers and your thoughts. And if we give enough of these thoughts and these prayers, these mass shootings will stop. So I want to thank you Wayne LaPierre for all your thoughts and your prayers,” Selvig said.
On that, Selvig thanked a quiet crowd and walked away. Those in the audience burst into applause. LaPierre looked around and the next speaker was invited to take the microphone.
LaPierre, on Monday, was reseated on the NRA’s board after a 54-1 vote. He has been in the role since 1991. LaPierre’s “competition” to lead the gun profiteer’s network was Allen West, a right-wing activist and former Republican congressman for Florida. West garnered just one vote from the board on Monday and according to Reuters, that vote belonged to Phil Journey, a longtime critic of LaPierre.
Journey is also a district court judge in Kansas with aspirations, Reuters reported, to “reform the NRA from within."
In 2021, when the NRA tried to declare bankruptcy, Journey fought—and failed—to have an assessment completed on evidence that he claimed showed LaPierre’s history of reckless spending. He has been racking in donations to “restore” his vision for the NRA ever since.
A year earlier, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA citing LaPierre’s “lavish lifestyle.” She accused LaPierre and several other NRA officials of fraudulently funneling millions into their own pockets. The NRA operates as a not-for-profit, meaning that it must operate like a charitable corporation, and according to James, only use its funding to further the NRA’s so-called “charitable missions.”
In March, a judge in New York, Joel Cohen, dashed the attorney general’s hopes of dissolving the NRA altogether, saying he wouldn’t dole out what amounted to a “corporate death penalty.”
But Cohen did allow the attorney general’s lawsuit featuring claims of LaPierre’s financial abuses to continue and to date, LaPierre has been forced to pay back $300,000 after admitting in tax filings from 2019 that he and other NRA officials received “excess benefits,” The Washington Post was first to report. The NRA at the time said the expenses were tied to LaPierre’s traveling.
During LaPierre’s remarks at the convention on Saturday, according to Rolling Stone, the NRA CEO was business as usual. He crowed about lawmakers who have “weaponized government power against us” and painted the NRA as something of an “underdog.”
Public records show that the NRA had roughly $50 million in assets in 2021. This year, the NRA spent an excess of $600,000 just on lobbying in its first quarter.
While LaPierre enjoyed his weekend convention, family members of some of the shooting victims in Uvalde, Texas, began preparations for funeral services.
On Tuesday, funerals will be held for Amerie Jo Garza and Maite Rodriguez. They were 10 years old when they were brutally murdered at Robb Elementary School.
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