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“Here’s How To End The NRA’s Stranglehold On Gun Policy”: Dislodging The Current Hard-Line Leadership With A Palace Coup

Supporters of gun control often characterize the National Rifle Association as a permanent obstacle to sensible reform. Many believe that the group will do anything in its power to keep pushing firearms into a free-for-all marketplace.

But there may be a way to short-circuit the NRA’s grasp on Congress: It involves dislodging the current hard-line leadership with a palace coup — a reverse-replay of the same tactic that brought the guns-above-all wing of the organization into power less than 40 years ago.

The NRA has historically been a far more benign organization, mostly concerned with sport hunting, safety and marksmanship contests. In fact, it had been co-founded immediately after the Civil War by a reporter from the New York Times, ex-Union Army lieutenant colonel William Conant Church, who had been worried about the poor aim of the troops under his command.

In 1934 the NRA’s president testified before Congress: “I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” As historian Adam Winkler has noted, the group almost never discussed the Second Amendment in any of its official literature, let alone in its currently strident terms. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the group even favored the end of mail-order rifle sales.

But anxiety about urban crime in the 1970s, combined with gun restrictions enacted out of alarm at the Black Power movement, convinced a subsection of the NRA to make a radical shift in focus. They arrived at the annual meeting on May 21, 1977, at the Cincinnati Convention Center wearing orange hunting caps and, in a parliamentary procedural duel lasting  until 4 a.m., ousted the gun-conservative “Old Guard” from the board.

The insurgents scrapped a plan to move the NRA headquarters from Washington to Colorado Springs, and later built a fortress office in Fairfax, Va. A new executive vice president named Harlon Carter, a Texan with an intolerance for dissent, summed up the new philosophy: “We can win it on a simple concept — no compromise. No gun legislation.” The following year, an ambitious young lobbyist named Wayne LaPierre came on board and made intimidation a business strategy. Today he is executive vice president.

The NRA loves to use the phrase “responsible gun owners” to distinguish their membership from criminals, and indeed, polls from the Pew Research Center show that 74 percent of the membership supports universal background checks. The power of the hard-liners is only reinforced by those members passionate enough to actually show up to NRA conventions and vote in its customarily pro-forma elections.

What’s needed now is for this level-headed majority lurking within the NRA to take over the 76-member board by political force — an exact reversal of what happened to the NRA in Cincinnati.

Any NRA member may put himself or herself forward on the ballot by gathering 250 signatures on a petition. The four-decade reign of darkness that has cost hundreds of thousands of American lives could be put to an end on May 21, 2016, at the next convention in Louisville, Ky.

The leadership is aware that such a move is possible and has acted to squelch challenges through its nominating committee, which endorses its preferred candidates for the board. But an informed rump caucus can still put its candidates forward to a floor vote. All it would take is enough moderates who have grown disgusted with the current regime to make the trip to Kentucky. The annual membership meeting tends to be attended by very few of the actual members, and — even if a coup fails — a vigorous discussion might force some concessions and give hope to those who see the NRA as unbreakable.

There’s another reason for a royal Restoration beyond saving lives, and it has to do with the preservation of the NRA as a legitimate body. Its current path is both reckless and unsustainable. It supports policies that benefit criminals. It gives all gun owners a disreputable name and lumps them in with the zealots.

Should an internal coup be successful, there would, of course, be an immediate regrouping. It’s entirely possible that extremists would form a brand-new organization dedicated to the same bullying tactics or would join already-existing fringe groups. But it would also disrupt the gun rights bloc, which has for too long covered up a long-simmering ideological divide between those who recognize the need for sane regulations and safety precautions and those who cry apocalypse at the slightest twinge of government movement.

Honor and prudence must be restored to gun ownership in the United States before the private ownership of firearms becomes even more disreputable. Instead of continuing its deadly obstructionism, the NRA can purge itself of its Gucci-clad fanatics and practice some genuine leadership.


By: Tom Zoellner, Opinion Page, In Theory, The Washington Post, December 11, 2015

December 12, 2015 Posted by | Gun Control, Guns, Gunsense, National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Down In The NRA Bunker”: NRA TV; A Day In The Life Of An American Gun Nut

Wayne LaPierre stood in front of an artificial backdrop the color of a cartoon midnight sky. He was dressed like a funeral conductor, in a black suit, white shirt and dark purple tie, but he looked like the corpse. Beneath his rimless glasses and permanently-furrowed brow, his face was hollow and his skin was gray, perhaps an effect of the grim topic he was preparing to broach.

“You and I didn’t choose to be targets in the age of terror,” he said.

“But innocents like us will continue to be slaughtered in concert halls, sports stadiums, restaurants and airplanes. No amount of bloodshed will ever satisfy the demons among us.”

As he spoke, an aria fit for a horror movie played in the background, making his message feel all the more dire, like an end-of-days commercial you might see on some far-flung channel in the middle of the night in between ads for Snuggies and home gyms.

“When evil knocks on our doors, Americans have a power no other people on the planet share: the full-throated right to defend our families and ourselves with our Second Amendment,” he said. “Let fate decide if mercy is offered to the demons at our door.”

LaPierre is the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and this one-minute ad, released on November 30, after the Paris terror attacks, is part of the NRA’s effort to attract more members with commonsense fear-mongering as mass shootings—two in the last few weeks alone, in Colorado and California—and one-off, viral gun deaths—like the case of a 9 year old girl who accidentally shot her instructor in the head with an Uzi—threaten to tar the group’s reputation in the eyes of a incessantly-shaken public.

In 2014, the NRA unveiled plans to launch its own television network of sorts—a series of programs available “anytime and anywhere on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, or web-connected TV via browser, YouTube or Roku streaming player” that would allow people to see how empowering, fun and not-murderous gun culture can be.

NRA News, as it’s called, bills itself as “the most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world,” but it doesn’t feel of this world at all. It feels like how TV might be in a dystopian future where citizens hoard weapons inside their chrome hover-trailers, which they leave only to restock on Soylent and return to with a sunburn.

The network is broken up into different categories:

Commentary, from a varied cast including LaPierre, right-wing radio host Dana Loesch and Colion Noir (not his real name), a young black man who wears baseball hats, hates “political correctness and dishonesty” and, before being discovered by NRA News, had achieved minor YouTube fame with his pro-gun rants.

Investigative, which has a familiar-sounding show called “Frontlines” that covers things like how America’s energy infrastructure is vulnerable to terror attacks or, in the frantic words of NRA News, “The Fight For Light: The Coming Catastrophe.”

Lifestyle, which houses a vaguely-porny series called “Love At First Shot” that follows youngish women as they learn to shoot firearms for the first time with the instruction of other youngish women (sample description: “Julie Golob is about to show 21-year-old Kaytlin that with the proper instruction and safety in place, she can shoot large calibers with ease).

Profiles, home of “Armed & Fabulous” which, in episode 4, documented the life of Sandra Sadler, who looks like your average grandma except when she’s holding a dead animal by the antlers. She has, the narrator said, “a deep appreciation for the outdoors.”

Campaigns, another channel for the ads like LaPierre’s.

And History, which airs “The Treasure Collection,” the “Antiques Roadshow” of NRA News.

The videos are beautiful and slick, in the style of modern presidential campaign commercials or global warming documentaries. On YouTube, where over 200 of them are posted, they accumulate thousands of views. The clip of LaPierre has over 100,000. (The number of viewers for the shows on the NRA News website is not available, and the NRA did not immediately reply to a request for that information).

Aesthetics aside, the videos are attractive because in life inside NRA News, there are Good Guys and Bad Guys, Cops and Robbers, Freedom-Lovers Like Us and the godforsaken Them. Things are, apparently, simple when you are packing heat.

To the NRA, everything is black and white—but mostly white. Almost everyone featured on NRA News is white, except for Noir, David A. Clarke, a sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin who became a minor right-wing celebrity by attacking President Obama and Al Sharpton after the Ferguson protests and was featured in a video the NRA posted on 9/11 called “My Honor” (oddly, the NRA didn’t include Clarke’s name in the video, leaving it up to YouTube commenters to identify him), and an elderly woman whose name the NRA also did not include who, in a video titled “My Rights,” said she needed a gun because she lived in government housing where “gang-bangers walk down our halls every day.”

But it’s up against the NRA’s alternative universe of gun-slinging girls and mostly-white patriots in suits who want to preserve your rights that a different narrative is fighting competitively.

On Sunday night, from the Oval Office, Obama used an address about terrorism to condemn gun culture. “We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino,” he said. “I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures. But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies—no matter how effective they are—cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do—and must do—is make it harder for them to kill.”

Obama’s speech came a day after The New York Times ran an editorial on its front page, titled “End the Gun Epidemic in America,” which called for the “outlawing” of “certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition.”

Conservatives reacted in fury. Erick Erickson, the right-wing radio host, sprayed his copy of The Times with 7 bullets and posted a photo of the remains on Twitter, where it currently has over 1,000 retweets.

The Times editorial came a day after The New York Daily News ran a cover with a photo of Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters, above a row of white men: 4 of them mass shooters, one of them LaPierre. Farook was a terrorist, the News conceded, “(But so are these guys…AND this guy).”

On NRA TV on Monday, Cam Edwards, the burly red-headed, bearded host of Cam & Co (sponsored by Nosler, the ammunition manufacturer) nearly filled 3 hours of airtime with talk of the anti-gun elites in the media.

With the Times op-Ed, Edwards said, “they’ve let the mask slip. They’ve let their intentions be known.”

Behind Edwards, there was a sign which read, “KEEP CALM AND EAT BACON.”

Only in the universe of NRA TV does such serenity—punctuated by bouts of paranoia—seem possible.


By: Olivia Nuzzi, The Daily Beast, December 8, 2015

December 9, 2015 Posted by | 2nd Amendment, Gun Violence, National Rifle Association, NRA News, Wayne LaPierre | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Shut Up Or We’ll Shoot You”: Gun Nuts Are A Threat To Democracy: How Open Carry Undermines Open Debate

“Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”

Those were the words of Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president for life at the National Rifle Association and a sputtering rageaholic. NRA leadership has perhaps never stated the aim of the group with more clarity and gusto than when LaPierre produced this gem at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He could have just as easily said might makes right or held up a fasces.

For all the talk about “the Constitution” those on the gun-fondling right like to toss out, that quote betrays the true authoritarian nature of the society he and his henchmen in NRA leadership wish to see us become. One in which the guys who choose to arm up on military weaponry dictate to the rest of us how we conduct ourselves. We can dispense with all the other stuff the founders actually spent most of their time talking about, the rule by majority vote, the right to petition, due process, the security in person and property.

This week was the ghost of Christmas future coming back to warn us, reminding us we need to continue turning back the NRA’s efforts to make guns as ubiquitous in our society as the grain in Ben Carson’s pyramids.

First, counter-protesters, who are alleged to be white supremacists showed up at a Black Lives Matter rally in Minnesota, got into an argument with the protesters, and started shooting. Then of course, on Saturday, a lunatic launched an assault on the women, patients and police guarding a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs (disclosure: I serve on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. I am speaking only for myself in this piece, however), killing three, including a police officer and Iraq veteran.

Finally, the University of Chicago has been shut down due to a gun threat. No debate on campus, no inquiry in the classroom. Held hostage, quite literally, to a potential deranged gunman and whatever his agenda might be.

The proliferation of concealed and open carry and lack of universal background checks means anyone can be a terrorist and carry in public, so how the hell is that not going to make others think twice about what they say? Not shockingly, this has a chilling effect on democratic debate, our republican form of government and the ability to gather peacefully. If you don’t think the gun—the extended phallus of the FoxNews watcher—is about demographic shrinkage and the wish to wield unearned power, so the guys with the guns can still make the rules, let me share a few more examples.

There was Irving, Texas, just after the Paris attack, where a bunch of gun-wielding white guys surrounded a mosque. There was November of 2013, also in Texas, when a group of 40 or so gun fetishists showed up at a restaurant where members of Moms Demand Action just happened to be meeting, displaying their weapons and waiting outside the door of the joint. Anna Sarkesian, the victim of harassment at the hands of a bunch of atavistic cavemen in the gamer world, had to cancel a lecture at Utah State University because of anonymous threats and the reality that guns are allowed on campus. And there was The Virginia Citizens Defense League, who decided to make sure they’d intimidate their way to victory over their opposition to a gun store being put next to an elementary school in McLean, Virginia, by showing up at a public debate of the McLean Citizens Association with “armed individuals and a customized RV depicting a threatening image of Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui-Cho.”

The message is clear: Shut up or we’ll shoot you.

My friend Joan Peterson, president of the board of Protect Minnesota, shared a personal story about the 2013 legislative session in Minnesota when “hundreds of open carriers” showed up in the Capitol to intimidate those testifying for gun safety inside, and one of them tweeted directly at her, to ask “how she liked being surrounded by guys with guns.” They also “stared at her” for long periods of time and “took photos,” all while openly carrying their weapons.

In Texas (once again, not a surprise), this reached the point of farce when a loony-tunes group of gun nuts mad at Democratic State Rep. Poncho Nevarez because he opposed an open-carry bill, showed up at his office, and filmed themselves calling him a “tyrant to the Constitution,” saying “You won’t be here for very long” and refusing to leave after being asked to numerous times. So the Texas Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, responded by passing the open-carry bill and installing “panic buttons” the legislators’ offices. Panic buttons! What’s next, an ejector seat?

This absurdity reminds me of nothing so much as what sage comedian George Carlin once said about the danger of kids being shot because they had toy guns that looked real: “And now they’re thinking about banning toy guns, and they’re gonna keep the fucking real ones!”

All of this is part of the NRA’s plan, remember: the guys with the guns making the rules.

We can have our democracy replete with free expression, free assembly, and open debate, which our Constitution clearly prescribes. Or we can allow the angry, the unhinged, domestic terrorists, to purchase weapons of war. We can’t have both.


By: Cliff Schecter, The Daily Beast, December 2, 2015

December 3, 2015 Posted by | Gun Violence, National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“When The President Was White And Male”: Will Someone Tell Wayne LaPierre ‘Normal’ Is Gone For Good?

Maybe conservatives are done with dog-whistle politics.

After all, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre traded his dog whistle for an air horn at a recent gathering of the gun faithful in Washington, D.C. “I have to tell you,” he said, “eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

Subtle, it was not.

Still, as insults go, it was a rather neatly crafted twofer. On one hand, it demeaned the nation’s first African-American president and welcomed the day the White House is, well… de-Negro-fied. On the other hand, it also demeaned the candidate seeking to become the nation’s first female-American president and promised to save the White House from, well… woman-ification. Evidently, LaPierre wants America to get back to normal; “normal” being defined as “the president is white and male.”

So out come the air horns, blatting Woman! Woman! Woman! seeking to reduce a former senator and Secretary of State to the sum of her chromosomes. Now the race is apparently on to see who will be first to tag the former law professor, senator, and Secretary of State with which crude, sexist epithet. Oh, the suspense.

The blazing irony is that conservatives have at least two “demographically symbolic” candidates vying for their favor: Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American senator from Florida and Ted Cruz (does no one else see Joe McCarthy staring back when they look at this guy?), a senator from Texas whose father was born in Cuba.

So the “normal” LaPierre seeks is threatened, regardless.

Not that he is the only one tripped up by Clinton’s woman-ness. Consider, a recent piece from Time magazine which argued that Clinton is “the perfect age to be president” because, at 67, she is “postmenopausal.” Granted, the essay, by a doctor named Julie Holland, flatters Clinton and women of her age, assuring us that, having been freed from the “cyclical forces” that “dominated” the first half of her life, she emerges with the “experience and self-assurance” to be president.

Still, could you not have happily gone the rest of your days without contemplating Hillary Clinton’s “cyclical forces”? More to the point, can you imagine such an essay being written about a male candidate? Marco Rubio is 43, which means he’s probably already had his first digital prostate exam. Will anyone analyze how that factors into his readiness for the presidency? Rick Perry is 65. If he jumps in, will anyone speculate on how possible issues of erectile dysfunction might inform his foreign policy?

Here’s the thing about “demographically symbolic” presidents and candidates: They tend to function like Rorschach inkblots. Meaning that what we see in them reveals more about us than them. Where Barack Obama is concerned, the right-wing panic over birth certificates and fist bumps and the left-wing tendency to idealize and canonize his every exhalation revealed the rank bigotry and messy irresolution beneath our “post-racial” happy talk. Where Clinton is concerned, these very early indications suggest her woman-ness will likewise be a minefield for friend, foe and media — even more, perhaps, than in 2008.

And that’s not to mention Cruz and Rubio. Who do you think will be the first to wear a sombrero to a Cruz rally in misguided solidarity, or to tell the Miami-born Rubio to go back where he came from?

Point being that in America, markers of identity — gender, race, ethnicity — have a way of becoming identity itself, of blinding us to the singular, individual one in front of us. And campaigns tend to magnify that failing. To put that another way: Strap in. It’s going to be a very long 19 months until the 2016 election. Even so, one thing is already clear, and it should please the rest of us, if not Wayne LaPierre.

“Normal” is gone for good.


By: Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist for The Miami Herald; The National Memo, April 20,2015

April 21, 2015 Posted by | Misogyny, Racism, Wayne LaPierre | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The NRA Has Declared War On America”: A Bleak Vision Of Exaggerated Dystopianism In Service Of Sedition

As the annual meeting of National Rifle Association members started here this weekend, the gentleman seated next to me said to settle in: “It’s mostly administrative stuff. We vote on things.” He paused for emphasis: “It’s the law.”

He’s somewhat mistaken, of course. The NRA doesn’t have any state-mandated obligation to hold an annual meeting. What’s more, the NRA has very little respect for the law. A half an hour later, at that very meeting, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre exhorted the crowd to a morally obligated vigilantism. He drew a vivid picture of a United States in utter decay and fragmented beyond repair, Mad Max-meets-Hunger Games, divided by Soylent Green:

We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping-mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all.

LaPierre’s bleak vision is exaggerated dystopianism in service of sedition, a wide-ranging survey of targets that put justice against the intrusions of the IRS on a continuum with (as an advertisement he ran during his speech put it) workplace “bullies and liars”.

Talk about mission creep. At its convention in 1977, the NRA rejected its history as a club for hunters and marksmen and embraced activism on behalf Second Amendment absolutism. Rejecting background checks and allowing “convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics” easier access to guns was, said the executive vice president that year, “a price we pay for freedom.” In 2014, 500 days after Newtown and after a year of repeated legislative and judicial victories, the NRA has explicitly expanded its scope to the culture at large.

The NRA is no longer concerned with merely protecting the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms – the gun lobby wants to use those arms on its fellow citizens. Or, as the NRA thinks of them: “the bad guys”.

It is useless to argue that the NRA is only targeting criminals with that line, because the NRA has defined “good guys” so narrowly as to only include the NRA itself. What does that make everyone else?

“I ask you,” LaPierre grimaced at the end of his litany of doom. “Do you trust this government to protect you?”

This is not one of the items the membership voted upon. Indeed, Wayne LaPierre’s confidence in making this question rhetorical is one of its most frightening aspects, though of course it’s his prescription that truly alarmed me:

We are on our own. That is a certainty, no less certain than the absolute truth – a fact the powerful political and media elites continue to deny, just as sure as they would deny our right to save our very lives. The life or death truth that when you’re on your own, the surest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!

You cannot defend this as anything other than the dangerous ravings of a madman. LaPierre’s description of the world is demonstrably untrue, and not just in concrete, objective terms. To cite just one example: crime rates in the US have been falling for 20 years – a statistic that some gun rights advocates brandish as proof of the selectively defined cliché, “more guns, less crime.” Just as troubling is LaPierre’s internal inconsistency about what it means for NRA members to be “on their own”.

He rattled the audience with a listicle of abuses of power that included Solyndra and and Benghazi (those are Second Amendment issues now, I guess!), but consoled those gathered with the factoid that there are 100m gun owners in America – a third of the country. He railed against “the elites'” rejection of the NRA’s “more guns in schools” solution to Sandy Hook, but reassured his listeners that “city after county after school board after statehouse” adopted the strategy anyway.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot be both winning and losing, alone but united, the minority but the majority. It is almost (almost!) as if Wayne LaPierre intended to mislead his audience with this whiplash oratory, intended to dizzy them into acceptance of his underlying message, which is almost disappointingly mundane: give us money. Give the NRA money. Give us money so we can create the legal environment that allows gun manufacturers to make more money so that they can give us more money.

Conspicuously absent from LaPierre’s list of grievances was any serious consideration of the economic system that might have a role destabilizing the society for which he pantomimes such concern. He referenced losing jobs to “hypocrites”–the kind of immediate and tangible grievance about which one can imagine an immediate and tangible retaliation. (And one of the reasons waiting periods for gun ownership are such a good idea.) He did not indict the powerful machinations of capital and power that limit people’s ideas about their future to only the immediate and tangible, the system that has turned the gap between rich and poor into an ever-widening gyre. (If there’s an apocalypse coming, look in that direction.)

The members of the NRA who cheered LaPierre, I’m quite sure, don’t think that they’ve turned against their country; they believe the country has turned on them – a distinction that the seceding states of the south made as well, but the distinction only really matters after the war is over and someone gets to write the history.

I could scare you with a sketch of what America might look like in a world where LaPierre’s urging leads to concrete and lasting political change. I think it would be grim and dangerous, though not as dangerous to LaPierre’s allies as it would be to everyone else. But that dystopia is beside the point, because I don’t believe LaPierre and his cronies actually want an armed uprising, or complete political supremacy. Arms dealers are never interested in victory, just eternal war.

On some level, the NRA is correct when it turns the problem of gun violence into the schoolyard litmus test of good guys and bad guys. Maybe firearms, as objects, aren’t the problem, or they’re not the problem with the NRA. Anyone backing with full faith the argument made by LaPierre likely made up their minds long before they ever stepped on a target range or fired a round. The problem with the NRA lies with the people who lead it.

I was somewhat undercover at the convention this weekend. And being among people who believe they are surrounded by other members of their tribe does mean that they say things they might not otherwise say – but to be unguarded, to be vulnerable, doesn’t always reveal the worst in people. It can reveal the best.

I’m not sure if I opened any door other than the one to my room the entire weekend. People smiled and scooted over to make room on seats. Strangers said “howdy.” I was instructed in the proper stance for shooting a Glock by a former police officer that saw my interest (and ignorance): “Just so you don’t look like a beginner once you get to the range.” One middle-aged woman let me take a picture of her garter belt holster, an act of the kind of stunning bravery and intimacy one usually only sees on the battlefield.

And throughout, I marvelled: these are friendly, apparently prosperous people, surrounded by physical evidence that their belief system is thriving – Over 9 Acres of Guns and Gear! – both economically and culturally. Why are they so incredibly frightened?

I sat in on a lecture on home defense, expecting a more localized version of LaPierre’s speech. (HOME INVASIONS!) But the instructor was impressively subdued and sober about his subject, emphasizing that he taught defense, which ideally does not include using a gun. Evasion is an honorable outcome, he told us. Have a safe room. Know the routes out of the house. “Legally and morally,” he said, “Shooting someone is always the last resort.”

Afterward, I told one of the sponsoring company’s instructors how impressed I was by the conservativism of the presentation. I admitted I hadn’t expected that; I thought anyone teaching a home defense workshop would probably rattle off as many scary scenarios as possible. He disagreed. People who are really paranoid about home invasions aren’t going to take a class, he observed. They’ll just buy a gun. “And who knows if they ever learn to use it.” If they do take a class, he continued, they won’t absorb the lessons very well – they’re too busy being afraid.

“Of course, there is such a thing as just the right amount of paranoia,” he smiled. “But any instructor who tries to scare people into taking his class is just trying to ramp up business … or pump up his ego.”

I don’t think he realized he was describing the business model that surrounded us that very minute.


By: Ana Marie Cox, The Guardian, April 29, 2014

April 30, 2014 Posted by | Gun Violence, National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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