The National Rifle Association will not budge. Indeed, its ideology is more firmly buttressed by fear and hyperbole than it’s ever been.
The organization’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, with spittle literally frothing at the corners of his mouth in a recent interview on Meet the Press, has been frantically defending the NRA in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, all while spewing an astonishing miasma of falsities.
In the gun lobby’s new video, which premiered this week, one is left to wonder: Is the NRA aware of the nonsensicality of the propagandist tool, or did they think their followers were so lacking in cognitive thinking skills and basic knowledge of the Secret Service that they wouldn’t question it?
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney released a statement. “Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight,” he said. “But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.”
And worse — it’s nonsensical. Never mind that the Secret Service protects White House residents who have very little say in the matter. And forget for a moment that the kidnapping, or worse, of a member of the first family could become a national security threat; this is not unlike stomping your feet because the president lives in the White House while you’re still trying to tile your own kitchen. And that argument is a perfect segue to the baffling non-sequitur about how the president is an “elitist hypocrite” for wanting the rich to “pay their fair share of taxes,” to which the president is actually subject, by the way.
The video is a prime example of reducing a message to irrationality, rhetoric, and name-calling to fire up the base, while hoping their supporters are too ignorant or too angry to notice a glaring paucity of common sense.
The president’s comment during his recent press conference, where he announced his plans for gun control, delivered a not-so-veiled comment regarding the powerful gun lobby and the Congressmen and women who are so well-niche’d in their pockets. “There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty,” Obama said. “Not because that’s true, but because they want to gin up fear for higher ratings, or revenue for themselves.” (See press conference coverage.)
It should be noted that the video was an illogical response to LaPierre’s solution to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut: to install armed guards at every school in the U.S. — conveniently withholding the fact that the armed security at Columbine, Colorado, did not prevent the deaths of twelve students and one teacher in 1999.
But there’s a reason why LaPierre wants guns in schools and it has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. The purchasing of the firearms needed for the nearly 140,000 schools in the U.S., would result in a tremendous jump in gun sales and the people who profit from the sales are naturally gun manufacturers and dealers — who are of course all members of the NRA. And those factory and shop owners give money to the organization, which in turn pays LaPierre $970,000 annually. It’s a patently transparent paper trail — one the NRA spokesman has built his career upon: the ignorance of those who fill his coffers.
It’s hard to hear reason when you’re screaming in fear