Two weeks ago, I wrote a piece on how I'd changed my perception about the National Rifle Association since the Sandy Hook massacre tragedy. I said that, for the longest time, I had respected the NRA as a main stream, meaningful lobbying organization, just one whose goals often went in directions I didn't agree with. I then added:
But now, I believe it's a sham outfit that is really a radical outlier group of vigilantes. Not the membership, to be clear, but the shell organization itself. But the official foundation of the NRA? That now seems to me to be a secretive vigilante cult.
After reading the commentary Wednesday by the NRA's CEO, Wayne LaPierre, about why Americans should be terrified in this fearful world and arm themselves, I will admit that I grasped what he was saying and was, indeed, scared by it. Not scared about the world he was describing, but the NRA.
What Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association and its chief spokesman, wrote was a paranoid, maniacal screed that, if it had come from the Unabomber or Oklahoma City Bomber or John Wilkes Boothe,you wouldn't have been surprised. That it said "NRA" in the byline shouldn't make it palatable. It should make it reprehensible.
You want just one example? That's a fair enough request. The head of the NRA outlier group feverishly wrote --
After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.
Actually, the reality is that for almost five days after Hurricane Sandy...there were NO murders.
Not some sick dream rant by the cult leader of a fringe pack to gin up fear.
It's a numerical fact. And it's according to the NY Police Department -- who I'm guessing have access to more real statistics and actual information than Wayne LaPierre. But then, the barista at my local Starbucks seems to have access to more actual information than Wayne LaPierre.
But let's put it in another perspective. Those same, actual facts in the real world that the NYPD provide show that the actual murder rate in New York City -- rather than being the hellish world painted by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA -- has dropped a remarkable 81.5% in the past 13 years! It's gone from 2,262 murders in 1990 to 419 such deaths last year.
That's still 419 too many, but it's 1,802 fewer. Beelzebub must be beside himself.
But let's even go further, in a way that Wayne LaPierre can appreciate. During that Hurricane Sandy he references, Mr. LaPierre of the NRA did have every reason to fear a hellish world. After all, at least 109 Americans did, in fact, cruelly die during that period. Mind you, all those deaths came as a direct result of the storm itself, but that's all more evidence of a hellish world. The very hellish world Wayne LaPierre and his National Rifle Association want to arm you against. So, I suspect any day for the NRA to mount a major campaign against Climate Change.
When I wrote my initial article, I said that the NRA "seems to me to be a secretive vigilante cult." I don't believe there's any more "seems" like it. In fact, if they continue on this path, they could be considered using the tactics of domestic terrorist groups, like the Branch Davidians, Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan.
This is only borderline hyperbole, because I'm not convinced the NRA is there yet. But the crazy bus is heading in that direction. For those who scoff, consider the definition of the word "terrorism." --
The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
"Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe," that is the fear Mr. LaPierre of the NRA attempts to instill in you, in his call to arms, titled, "Stand and Fight." And he piles it on --"additional threats are growing."
"Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States."
"When the next terrorist attack comes,"
"A heinous act of mass murder—either by terrorists or by some psychotic"
"Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world"
"duped by Obama and the national media"
"We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster."
"Now, the threat is even greater."
Wait, hold on a minute -- greater?!
Greater than hurricanes, riots, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, drug gangs (sorry, I mean "Latin American drug gangs") and psychotics???!! What's greater than that? I mean, we just got past the Mayan's End of Days. Good lord, what can possibly be worse than that?!
What you read, that's Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA. His words. All his words. And there's so much more in his manifesto, and far worse -- go read it all. See how much ghastly, horrifying, gut-wrenching fear he wants to instill in you.
And then, after reading all the fear he wants to instill, now read his threats of violence. Threats that are ideological in nature.
"It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that."
"tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to Stand And Fight"
"We can’t win the political war if we lose the cultural war."
"We’re not going to let the anti-gunners push us into that zone."
"We will not surrender. We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever."
"We will stand and fight."
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association just laid himself open for you. For all to see. The intimidation, instilling fear, the calculated threat of violence to attain goals that are ideological in nature.
His words. His very clear, very calculated words.
Wayne LaPierre and the secret executive board of the NRA are sick, paranoid, hate-filled militants, outliers on the fringe of society. Radical subversives with an actual Enemies List of everyday Americans longer and more bizarre than Richard Nixon could dream of --
League of Women Voters
American Medical Association
National Association of Police Organizations
United States Catholic Conference
Dick Van Dyke
American Federation of Teachers
National Council of Negro Women
St. Louis Rams
American Academy of Pediatrics
These are the "enemies" of the National Rifle Association. Are they your enemies? (Okay, outside of the St. Louis Rams.) Because, remember, this is only a tiny handful of enemies on their list. And you're likely on it somewhere.
The secret NRA executive board and its CEO Wayne LaPierre are not what you might have once thought they were, if you thought they were a mainstream lobby group out to protect the Second Amendment. This is a dangerous hate group of extremists, trying to terrify and threaten you.
In their words.
But then, there's a happy, positive side to all this. After everything he just said, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, wants you to know one other, cheerful thing. "Every year, shooting is becoming more and more popular, with more people engaging in the shooting sports for fun."
Yes, That's what this is about. The NRA is all about engaging in shooting sports for fun!
Just be sure you're not the target.
Stand and fight, indeed. Just be sure to duck. And wear full-body Kevlar.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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