NRA head Wayne LaPierre will accept Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly’s #IceBucketChallenge

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, then followed it up by challenging three others, including NRA President Wayne LaPierre. (Americans for Responsible Solutions via YouTube)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has created some amusing bedfellows in the weeks since it swept social media.

But Thursday, Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, the latest in a long line of public officials and celebrities to accept the challenge, made the most interesting nomination we’ve seen yet: the head of National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre. And he’s going to do it.

Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt by a gunman in 2011, has ever since been a leader in the effort to strengthen gun control laws. LaPierre has dedicated his life to making sure that doesn’t happen.

So it was quite a statement when Kelly, with Giffords standing by his side, named LaPierre as one of the people he nominated to take an ice bath.

“And finally Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, who we do hope one day we can agree upon more than just supporting ALS and Lou Gehrig disease research,” Kelly said in a video posted to Facebook just before he was doused in ice water as his wife giggled.

This week also saw former President George W. Bush take the challenge and nominate “my friend” Bill Clinton. President Obama was also nominated by Ethel Kennedy, but declined the ice part of the dare and made a donation to the ALS Association.

UPDATE: LaPierre has accepted the Giffords/Kelly nomination.

“Wayne will be doing the ice bucket challenge for ALS. He will also be sending a check,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam let us know. “He will do it when he returns from being on the road.”

We await the video.

(Correction: An earlier version of this post said Giffords’s husband’s name was Mike. It is Mark.)

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.



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Colby Itkowitz · August 20, 2014