The New York Times:
What his critics often overlook is the iron relationship Mr. LaPierre has forged with many N.R.A. members.
Week after week, year after year, he is on the road, traveling to gun shows and hotel ballroom fund-raisers, where he dispenses affirmation and absolution, telling firearms enthusiasts that their N.R.A. ties have nothing to do with violence and everything to do with freedom.
The attendees form a ready-made base that Mr. LaPierre can draw on whenever he sees a threat to gun rights, and after spending much of his career building the membership—now nearly five million, the group says—he knows it well.