Why The NRA Is Different From You And Me

I finally saw the new National Rifle Association ad essentially attacking President Obama’s kids, Sasha and Malia, in what Lawrence O’Donnell said was,”the ugliest and profoundly stupidest thing” he has heard the NRA say.  Of course, after it dawned on them how ugly and stupid it was, the NRA backed off and said it was withdrawing the ad (Update: it turns out the NRA is not withdrawing the ad, more evidence that “ugly and stupid” is something the NRA embraces).

Too late. We know what the NRA is. Watch it and see how unhinged these people who run that reactionary organization are:



  1. writer89

     /  January 15, 2013

    It’s amazing that the NRA used to be an organization devoted to gun safety. It’s as if the NAACP suddenly became the Ku Klux Klan! They are now so unpopular that it’s time to start focusing attention on the gun control “moderates,” who favor everything except actually banning any weapons. They want to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. How about if we define “crazy people” as people who want to own guns but aren’t soldiers, hunters, or police officers?


  2. I strongly recommend reading writer89’s link above. It’s about the surprising history of the NRA and how it came to be the reactionary, libertarian political juggernaut it is today. It’s stuff I didn’t know. One sentence in the article struck me as particularly germane to the discussion:

    The cowboy towns that Hollywood lionized as the ‘Wild West’ actually required all guns be turned in to sheriffs while people were within local city limits.

    Just shows how memes can differ from reality, eh? But it hits at the nugget of the controversy, I think. The NRA sees the firearms landscape as one in which it’s every man for himself, armed to the teeth, whereas many of the rest of us want to live in a world where we can trust the Marshal and not have to dress our kids in Kevlar.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  January 16, 2013

    I have and continue to support rather rigorously gun control laws. I saw this morning that NY State just did so and posted a supportive blog on that action by NY State.

    An hour or so later, this morning again I now see the “breaking news” over Obama’s actions. I have merely scanned the AOL news on the issue, but at first glance I support both the 23 administrative actions and the proposed legislation, again only a “first brush” form of support. Most certainly more will be revealed and the NRA will be leading the pack in such reaction.

    To me and considering my particular politics, an independent conservative, I see the NRA acting and speaking on gun control matters in the same tone and manner acting and speaking by Pro-life supporters in the abortion issues. I oppose both of them, politically.

    On the other hand, I have friends, even neighbors, that want to ban abortion and leave gun control as a matter of personal choice as well. How do you hold a conversation with such people and still remain “human” and “friendly”?

    Obama said it correctly. Ultimately the American people will decide, on gun control and abortion, maybe. But it will require real votes by members of Congress to make such “will of the people” to be clearly expressed. I can only imagine some jerks in Congress writing a broad and single peace of legislation, parts of which i might well disagree with, strongly, however. Then the question becomes …… on such “broad” legislation.

    Debt ceiling, gun control, abortion, essentially any contencisous issue, how do we “eat the elephant”. Solution? One bite at a time, democratically, in my view and BZ to the State of NY and probably Obama, depending on how Obama tries to legislate the matter.



    • Rare agreement. And I suppose we should celebrate that fact. And maybe we can take away from this moment of rare agreement that something important will get done this time on this issue.


  4. Duane,

    The problem with the ad isn’t just that it’s factually incorrect – thousands of schools across the country have armed security protecting kids, including kids of NRA members – it’s that millions, mostly Obama-haters, will believe it and think it’s a gotcha. (Can you spell “strawman”, boys and girls?)

    The NRA and related pro-gun groups, in the fight to protect gun ownership, have managed to create a mass hysteria through their fear-mongering that any control over firearms is a gross violation of the Constitution, if not the end of civilization as we know it.

    I won’t rehash my arguments showing how the 2nd amendment does not apply to gun ownership, much less gun control. But the pro-gun lobby might learn something from history, especially the history of the “wild west.” in the last half of the 19th century.

    In most towns west of the Mississippi, gun control was the rule, not the exception. If you were a gun-toting, quick-draw McGraw, then, in most towns you would have to check your guns with the local Marshall/Sheriff. The famous Shootout and the OK Corral was in large part because the Clanton gang refused to turn their guns in to the local marshal, Wyatt Earp, thus violating the town’s “gun control” ordinance.

    Interestingly, back then, nobody complained about their 2nd amendment right being violated (See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-have-mo_b_956035.html for more on guns in the wild west.)

    I think it all boils down to the conflict between the rights of those who wish to own guns versus the rights of those who believe there is a compelling government interest in public safety. We have to wear seat belts when we drive, and take our damn shoes off at the airport, so why can’t we insist on a few common sense rules regarding the manufacture, sale, and use of guns and related accouterments, and thorough background checks for gun owners?



    • Yep, I know the NRA produced the thing to gin up more dough to be used to support the gun manufacturers, using the money of dupes who think liberals want to take all their guns away from them.

      Speaking of seat belts, we have to have a damn license to drive on the road. Why is that? Because the state has an interest in making sure that people know how to bleeping drive. Yet in many places you can get a gun without having to prove you know which end of it to hold. It is so unreal.

      And by the way, thanks for the OK Corral lesson. I had forgotten all about that.



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