Hemingway would weep

Wayne LaPierre is under fire.

The head of the National Rifle Association used to lead America’s most powerful and well-funded lobby group. He  still does, despite using the NRA as his ‘personal piggy bank’, which forced New York’s Attorney General to move to dissolve the NRA, and for it to declare bankruptcy in January. Oh, and let’s not forget GQ Magazine’s report that LaPierre spent $300,000 on bespoke suits.

What’s different is, the NRA’s power has shrunk. What used to be implacable is now looking distinctly replaceable.

Speaking of shrivelled, LaPierre’s reputation as a manly-man running a ‘fraid o’ nuthin’ organization was shot full of holes last week when the New Yorker revealed a video made in 2013 of LaPierre and his wife on safari in Botswana.

Its 10 cringeworthy minutes are worth watching, if only to see a belief-system, a race, a nation and a man all flicker before your very eyes. If ever the phrase The Ugly American applied, it’s here.

I covered my gaze, not just having to watch the slaughter of an African Bush Elephant (now endangered), nor just because of LaPierre’s laughable marksmanship, but because of how his friends and trackers worked so hard to convince him he really was a big game hunter.

A guide spots an elephant standing behind a tree. He tells LaPierre repeatedly to wait before firing. LaPierre fires anyway. The elephant drops. But the animal is still breathing. Let’s pick up the New Yorker’s report there:

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