April 29 2021 Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association (NRA), has repeatedly shot and killed elephants in Botswana, according to a video released by U.S. media. This has sparked outrage from animal rights groups and the public.
The New Yorker and The Trace first released video of LaPierre and his wife Susan shooting elephants in Botswana in 2013, the BBC reported Tuesday. The video, from the American Rifle Association-sponsored documentary “Under the Wild Sky,” has not been shown to the public.
In the video, after LaPierre shot and wounded an elephant three times, his adviser and “Under the Wild Sky” host Markris fired a fatal shot, killing the elephant and turning to LaPierre to congratulate him. In the second half of the video, LaPierre’s wife, Susan, kills another elephant and cuts off its tail, lifting it up in the air to celebrate “victory.”
The LaPierres’ bad behavior sparked an outcry from animal rights groups and the public. Newkirk, president of peta, an animal rights group, condemned the video and called on the U.S. Congress to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. “Behind the Machismo of the National Rifle Association is a group of scared dwarves who spend tens of thousands of dollars to get others to follow the elephant so they can shoot it at close range.”
Arulan Nandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, defended the hunt, saying it complies with local regulations and benefits local communities and elephant habitats. Hunting elephants in Botswana was not illegal in 2013 and was not restricted until later.
The National Rifle Association, which filed for bankruptcy in January 2020 after a recent scandal, filed for bankruptcy in January 2020 for financial mismanagement. Mass shootings are frequent in the United States, but the National Rifle Association and LaPierre support gun ownership, LaPierre claims: “To stop a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun.”