When I was growing up the NRA was all about guns. Oh, they were political, but more along geographical lines (red state/blue state, urban/rural) than political parties. And while we still see this today there’s change in the air – and that change is being driven by the NRA.
There was a time when being a gun owner was the only ideology one needed to be an NRA member. Republican/Democrat/Independent/Liberal/Conservative didn’t matter. If you liked guns, the NRA was the group for you.
But liking guns isn’t enough anymore. Today, the NRA has dropped any attempt at being a nonpartisan group of gun owners. They have gone full Tea Party. If you’re a gun owning Dem or liberal the NRA has made it clear you’re not welcome. Of course, any sane person is no longer welcome because the NRA has finally revealed their crazy in stunning, splendid glory.
Many of us have always known the crazy was there, but the NRA use to be somewhat politically savvy. They spoke about the 2nd Amendment, protecting yourself, hunting and responsible gun ownership – they wore a mask of reasonableness. That mask has been ripped off.
If you thought Wayne Lapierre was crazy – and who doesn’t? – meet the NRA’s new President, Boss Hogg… I mean, Jim Porter.
The NRA was started, 1871, right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the “War of Northern Aggression.” Now, y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the War of Northern Aggression down south.
But that was the very reason that they started the National Rifle Association, was to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm. And I am one who still feels very strongly that that is one of our most greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm, so that when they have to fight for their country they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it.
Isn’t he a charmer? He’s also called President Barack Obama a “fake president,” and Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American”. Notice, also, how he uses the word when, not if: “so that when they have to fight for their country they’re ready to do it.” How is this not a call to arms – a declaration of war? If the NRA believes the President is not legitimate and the Attorney General is rabidly un-American then… what? What is the NRA’s plan of action? What exactly are they expecting people to do? Buy guns? Sure, but for what purpose? This is no longer about hunting or home protection or culture.
What’s a sane person to do? It really isn’t healthy to indulge crazy people’s fantasies. And that’s what all this talk of overthrowing the government is – fantasy. And people are getting killed over these delusions.
This talk of tyranny and overthrowing the government is also catching a lot of people by surprise. Many people who viewed the NRA as merely a club for gun enthusiasts are shocked by the violent, anti-government rhetoric and rabid political statements. Conservative and NRA have become synonymous, which will probably lead certain Dems and blue state Republicans to no longer court their endorsement. In fact, receiving a bad rating from the NRA and not taking their money/endorsement might turn into a winning campaign strategy. And that’s how you lose a war.
Although… I’m not sure if that’s the war the NRA is even fighting anymore. Like the Republican Party, the NRA is on a purge mission. RINOs will be ousted, but they’ll pick up some other crazies… like Adam Kokesh.
Libertarian activist and radio host Adam Kokesh is hoping to get 1,000 people to march on Washington on July 4 — armed with loaded rifles. The plan, launched with a Facebook group today, is to gather on the Virginia side of the Potomac, where gun laws are lax, and then march across the bridge with loaded rifles slung over their shoulders into the District, where openly carrying weapons is generally prohibited.
“This will be a non-violent event,” the Facebook group warns, “unless the government chooses to make it violent.” [...]
“Unless the government chooses to make it violent.” Chew on that for a minute, and then tell me why better mental health care isn’t this nation’s number one priority? And what the hell is it with all this gun flashing? Seriously, what is the point they are making? That they have a right to intimidate and frighten people? And people have a right to be frightened given their safety track record. There’s no other form of killing or injuring people that gets away with being labeled as a “tragic accident” like shooting someone. And I’m beginning to wonder how many “accidental” spousal shootings were truly accidental.
Back to the crazy talk. Adam Kokesh goes on to tweet:
When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.
— Adam Kokesh (@adamkokesh) May 3, 2013
All this talk is highly irresponsible. We’ve had a census worker shot at. We’ve had a Glenn Beck inspired shoot out with police. We’ve had a Pittsburgh man kill three police officers because he believed Obama was going to take his guns. And there’s plenty more, but we’ll move on to…
On March 10th, Middlefield, Ohio police made what appeared to be a routine traffic stop of a man who had run a stop sign. But then James Gilkerson emerged from his stopped car firing 37 rounds from an AK-47 rifle. Amazingly the two officers in the cruiser sustained only relatively minor injuries and fired off 54 rounds of their own, eventually killing Gilkerson.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer released photographs of the different books and pamphlets. And here’s where it gets even more interesting and, yes, more disturbing. TPM Reader JL notes that the 7th slide in the slideshow shows what appears to be a course manual for the Fighting Rifle course taught by a Tennessee outfit called Tactical Response.
Hmm… Tactical Response sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah!
Well, remember back not long after the Newtown massacre, a crazy gun guy down in Tennessee who was the CEO of a ‘tactical’ firearms training operation said he was “gonna start killing people” if President Obama issued an executive order on guns. Well, that was James Yeager, CEO of, yep, Tactical Response. If you don’t remember, here’s the initial video.
A short time later, Yeager clarified that he wouldn’t murder anybody “unless it’s necessary.”
I’ll let Josh Marshall sum it up:
Needless to say, one can’t lay any direct responsibility on Tactical Response for what Gilkerson did. But when you make it a habit of giving urban combat training on automatic weapons to civilians in a climate of gonzo threats to start civil wars or start blowing away government officials, it’s hard to say something like this is entirely unexpected.
So let’s see what we end up with…
1. New NRA President doesn’t acknowledge President Obama as legitimate. He calls our Attorney General rabidly un-American. The Civil War is the War of Northern Aggression. He wants civilians armed and trained for when, not if, they have to fight tyranny.
2. We have Adam Kokesh organizing a take your gun to Washington event and saying, “This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.” And then adding, “When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.”
3. We have James Yeager saying, “”I’m not fucking putting up with this. I am not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I’m not letting anybody take my guns. If it goes one inch further, I’m gonna start killing people.”
4. And we have more than a few events where people obviously took up arms with the ease they took up these messages.
So yeah, they do mean when, not if… and given everything the NRA and the rest of these guys (and there are plenty more than the ones I’ve listed above) are saying, I’d say that, according to the bar they’ve set, that when is now.