The National Rifle Association's CEO Wayne LaPierre Jr. took the stage at CPAC Friday to angrily attack an America he said had left his organization fighting for its very life.
He blasted a "sinister scheme to wipe the NRA off the political map," fueled largely by "weaponized" state legislatures headed by Democratic governors, most notably former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom he painted as an arch-enemy out to obliterate the association.
Politicians like Cuomo have "wielded the awesome power of the ... government in an attempt to crush and destroy us," said LaPierre.
LaPierre dodged the mention of guns, instead couching the NRA's goals as seeking freedom, most notably the freedom to speak out. The "blatant weaponization of government was formed to silence our collective voice for freedom and [to] cut out our tongues," he insisted.
"Are you ready to saddle up and ride to fight for our freedoms?" he asked at the end of his speech. "By God, let's save the First Amendment."