In a profile of the National Rifle Association’s CEO Wayne LaPierre, the New York Times says “he provokes perhaps more debate than ever about who exactly he is. Supporters see him as a steadfast Second Amendment purist; critics cast him as a paranoid figure who believes in “a massive Obama conspiracy” to seize the nation's firearms or as a cynical mouthpiece who is paid nearly $1 million a year to warn of crackdowns and crises he knows will never come.”
NRA members admire LaPierre, 64, who wouldn’t talk to the Times, as “a guy who will never fold,” said Grover Norquist, the antitax crusader who is an NRA board member. “We are so used to electing politicians who go to Washington, D.C., and trim their sails and trade favors and do things they say they would never do,” Norquist said. “If you are going to ask people to write $25 checks, you have to signal to people, 'I'm not folding; don't you think about folding.' And him not folding reminds everybody that we haven't given up.” Gun rights have expanded across the U.S.; 41 states now issue permits to carry concealed weapons “in large part because of Wayne's leadership,” the association's website boasts.