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View Full Version : Can Someone Explain the NRA to Me?


Don Zeko
09-27-2011, 03:29 PM
via (http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/09/obamas-devious-plot-take-away-your-guns) Kevin Drum. Seriously, what is going through this guy's (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/nra-claims-massive-obama-conspiracy-not-ban-) head?


"[The Obama campaign] will say gun owners -- they'll say they left them alone," LaPierre told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday. "In public, he'll remind us that he's put off calls from his party to renew the Clinton [assault weapons] ban, he hasn't pushed for new gun control laws... The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he's actually been good for the Second Amendment."

"But it's a big fat stinking lie!" the NRA leader exclaimed. "It's all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country."

"Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled," La Pierre declared.

"Sotomayor, Kagan, Fast & Furious, the United Nations, executive orders. Those are the facts we face today... President Obama and his cohorts, yeah, they're going to deny their conspiracy to fool gun owners. Some in the liberal media, they are already probably blogging about it. But we don't care because the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution!"

Sitting outside looking in, it's plain as day to me that the NRA has won the fight on gun control. Even to the most die-hard blue audiences in the middle of a primary, Democratic candidates don't promise anything on gun control, and they certainly don't deliver. Anecdotally speaking, plenty of liberals don't care about the issue any more. So why is the NRA still seeing gun-stealing bureaucrats under the bed?

apple
09-27-2011, 07:45 PM
I am a supporter of the NRA, but this almost sounds like a parody. Even Bush supported the assault weapons ban. The fact that Obama did not push for it when he had huge majorities in Congress is pretty conclusive evidence that the Democrats have thankfully given up on even this very popular piece of gun control.

chiwhisoxx
09-27-2011, 09:41 PM
via (http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/09/obamas-devious-plot-take-away-your-guns) Kevin Drum. Seriously, what is going through this guy's (http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/nra-claims-massive-obama-conspiracy-not-ban-) head?




Sitting outside looking in, it's plain as day to me that the NRA has won the fight on gun control. Even to the most die-hard blue audiences in the middle of a primary, Democratic candidates don't promise anything on gun control, and they certainly don't deliver. Anecdotally speaking, plenty of liberals don't care about the issue any more. So why is the NRA still seeing gun-stealing bureaucrats under the bed?

I don't think you're actually confused about this, because you're too smart for that. organizations attempt to perpetuate themselves by giving reasons for their own existence. that's pretty obviously what's happening here.

sugarkang
09-27-2011, 11:25 PM
organizations attempt to perpetuate themselves by giving reasons for their own existence.

Yeah. The worst thing that could ever happen to the EPA would be emission free fuel like nuclear fusion.

badhatharry
09-28-2011, 01:36 AM
Sitting outside looking in, it's plain as day to me that the NRA has won the fight on gun control. Even to the most die-hard blue audiences in the middle of a primary, Democratic candidates don't promise anything on gun control, and they certainly don't deliver. Anecdotally speaking, plenty of liberals don't care about the issue any more. So why is the NRA still seeing gun-stealing bureaucrats under the bed?

Gotta justify those dues.

kezboard
09-28-2011, 06:26 PM
You've heard of the Great Disappointment? Some time in the mid-nineteenth century, a group of end-times folks in New York were convinced that the world was going to end on a specific date based on some mathematical calculations extrapolated from certain Bible verses. When it didn't happen, instead of realizing that they had been wrong all along and that the world never was going to end, they decided that actually what had happened was that some process that would ultimately lead to Armageddon had begun in heaven. I believe it's the Seventh-Day Adventists who actually still believe this.

I think something similar is going on with this guy. The belief that liberals, Democrats, and black helicopters are coming to take our guns away is so fundamental to certain right wingers' world views that even the fact that this so clearly is not happening confirms that it's true.

miceelf
09-28-2011, 08:43 PM
You've heard of the Great Disappointment? Some time in the mid-nineteenth century, a group of end-times folks in New York were convinced that the world was going to end on a specific date based on some mathematical calculations extrapolated from certain Bible verses. When it didn't happen, instead of realizing that they had been wrong all along and that the world never was going to end, they decided that actually what had happened was that some process that would ultimately lead to Armageddon had begun in heaven. I believe it's the Seventh-Day Adventists who actually still believe this.


Kind of. The Adventists believe that the final process began in heaven at that time, but it's got nothing directly to do with armageddon. Rather, it's what they call investigative judgment, in which the dead (and once that's caught up, the living) are judged by God, and sorted into saved and not saved. Once the living are all caught up, then Jesus comes back, and the judgments get executed. Most adventists understand armageddon to be a spiritual battle (not a physical one the way most people understand it) between God and satan for the souls of the living who would be judged just before the return of Jesus.

Take it or leave it, and I may have left out some subtlety. It's a little more coherent if you understand that adventists believe that when people die they don;t go to heaven or hell, but "sleep" in the ground, awaiting the aforementioned execution of judgment.

Don Zeko
09-29-2011, 01:06 AM
You've heard of the Great Disappointment? Some time in the mid-nineteenth century, a group of end-times folks in New York were convinced that the world was going to end on a specific date based on some mathematical calculations extrapolated from certain Bible verses. When it didn't happen, instead of realizing that they had been wrong all along and that the world never was going to end, they decided that actually what had happened was that some process that would ultimately lead to Armageddon had begun in heaven. I believe it's the Seventh-Day Adventists who actually still believe this.

I think something similar is going on with this guy. The belief that liberals, Democrats, and black helicopters are coming to take our guns away is so fundamental to certain right wingers' world views that even the fact that this so clearly is not happening confirms that it's true.

This makes them the perfect interest group for a Republican politician, doesn't it? You take their money and get their support on election day, and you don't even have to give them anything because they're guarding against a non-existent threat.

stephanie
09-29-2011, 12:19 PM
Sitting outside looking in, it's plain as day to me that the NRA has won the fight on gun control. Even to the most die-hard blue audiences in the middle of a primary, Democratic candidates don't promise anything on gun control, and they certainly don't deliver. Anecdotally speaking, plenty of liberals don't care about the issue any more. So why is the NRA still seeing gun-stealing bureaucrats under the bed?

This guy is particularly over the top, but isn't this pretty similar to what's going on in US politics on a number of issues. Like with climate change, with the rhetoric about how we must fear any discussion of the issue or traditionally conservative to moderate type things like taxing negative externalities or rules about light blubs or discussion of recycling, because in reality the liberals want to kill industry and send us into some new primitivism?

One example of this is here (http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/green_twilight.html). Read the whole thing, but especially:

It's all irrelevant because green initiatives are not meant to replace anything. They are intended to form the basis of a new, deindustrialized society with minimal power generation, limited air travel (or travel of any sort, for that matter), and local, nonindustrial economies. In a green society, there will be no massive power plants, no private automobiles, no jetliners. There will be no industrial products at all beyond those required by the environmentalist elite. Picture Al Gore, his staff, and a half-million peasants. That is the green United States of the 22nd century.

As I pointed out in Death by Liberalism, environmentalists have in no way been reticent about the type of society they're aiming for -- one as close to that of Neolithic hunter-gatherers as possible. That was the last point in time when human beings were fully integrated into the ecology, when they dominated nothing, and were in large part simply animals that talked.

The goal is not to save resources or to conserve the environment. It is to restore human beings to a point where they are simply another part of the ecology. It will not be purely Neolithic -- however close they may be to Mother Gaia, greens have no desire to spend their nights in caves. Agriculture will be necessary to raise ethanol crops (not to mention arugula) for the green aristocracy. It will be a village culture, poor, primitive, and ignorant of anything other than the fact that humanity has sinned against Gaia and must make amends. Only the green elite will be allowed power, travel, and information.

This is as insane a claim about Dem policy initiatives as your NRA one.

Same for the whole thing about how the Dems are engaging in hardcore, basically Marxist (oh, sorry "Marxant"), class warfare based on the most moderate of policies. Wonderment has said he laughs off the "socialist" accusations as so silly as not to matter or some such (sorry if I'm misremembering, too lazy to look), but of course this kind of rhetoric is significant. You also have the religious right rhetoric about how people are about to mount some persecution of Christians, which is common on RW religious radio programs and TV like Pat Robertson's show. Therefore, there seems to be no necessary connection between the rhetoric and what the government actually does, either because people don't really think about what the government does or because of a willingness to buy into conspiracy theories like this guy's -- it's all to lull us into complacency for this plan we just know they have.

Probably you could find examples on the other side too, although I have a hard time thinking of any that are quite so over the top and without reference to the actual policies.

But in any case, my concern is not that one side or the other does it, but that when the political process is based on rhetoric like this I don't see how it's even possible to have a rational discussion of an issue. I would relate this back to a conversation that Kleiman and McArdle once had (one of the more valuable discussions I recall the latter participating in) about how fear of the extreme tended to prevent any compromise, even compromise that would otherwise not really bother you and seems eminently moderate to most. Their examples were gun rights/control and abortion, although I think subsequent events cast some doubt on both of the examples from a "both sides are the same" perspective and what you are talking about is a slightly different and even more problematic issue, although related.

JonIrenicus
09-29-2011, 05:23 PM
fundraising


/thread

bjkeefe
09-30-2011, 10:14 AM
An interesting set of responses. I think the conservative commenters have part of the answer -- sure, anyone running a group like this is personally motivated to keep things going -- but the reality pointed out by the liberal commenters is one they ought to acknowledge. There is an extensive history of motivating parts of the GOP base by appealing to their sense of victimhood, by telling them that they're always under attack, being persecuted, being conspired against, etc.

You'd think such people would want to sleep in dry beds once in a while, but apparently, they like them wet. Go figure.

kezboard
09-30-2011, 02:04 PM
Hey, thanks for the clarification. I don't know all that much about the Seventh-Day Adventists or the Millerite movement, so I appreciate it.

miceelf
10-03-2011, 07:17 AM
Hey, thanks for the clarification. I don't know all that much about the Seventh-Day Adventists or the Millerite movement, so I appreciate it.

:-)

eeeeeeeli
10-04-2011, 10:57 AM
This guy is particularly over the top, but isn't this pretty similar to what's going on in US politics on a number of issues. Like with climate change, with the rhetoric about how we must fear any discussion of the issue or traditionally conservative to moderate type things like taxing negative externalities or rules about light blubs or discussion of recycling, because in reality the liberals want to kill industry and send us into some new primitivism?

One example of this is here (http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/green_twilight.html). Read the whole thing, but especially:



This is as insane a claim about Dem policy initiatives as your NRA one.

Same for the whole thing about how the Dems are engaging in hardcore, basically Marxist (oh, sorry "Marxant"), class warfare based on the most moderate of policies. Wonderment has said he laughs off the "socialist" accusations as so silly as not to matter or some such (sorry if I'm misremembering, too lazy to look), but of course this kind of rhetoric is significant. You also have the religious right rhetoric about how people are about to mount some persecution of Christians, which is common on RW religious radio programs and TV like Pat Robertson's show. Therefore, there seems to be no necessary connection between the rhetoric and what the government actually does, either because people don't really think about what the government does or because of a willingness to buy into conspiracy theories like this guy's -- it's all to lull us into complacency for this plan we just know they have.

Probably you could find examples on the other side too, although I have a hard time thinking of any that are quite so over the top and without reference to the actual policies.

But in any case, my concern is not that one side or the other does it, but that when the political process is based on rhetoric like this I don't see how it's even possible to have a rational discussion of an issue. I would relate this back to a conversation that Kleiman and McArdle once had (one of the more valuable discussions I recall the latter participating in) about how fear of the extreme tended to prevent any compromise, even compromise that would otherwise not really bother you and seems eminently moderate to most. Their examples were gun rights/control and abortion, although I think subsequent events cast some doubt on both of the examples from a "both sides are the same" perspective and what you are talking about is a slightly different and even more problematic issue, although related.
Well said. What's weird to me is that on some issues, there are sizeable constituencies that are indeed extreme and advocate radical policies. Though they are often exploited by an opposition with genuine, although probably trumped up fears, there is a seriousness to their claim. However this one, about a desire to take away everyone's guns, seems based on a constituency that simply doesn't exist.

But I also share your concern about the political process getting hijacked by this kind of rhetoric. The right seems to be more brazen on this front, the willingness of average conservatives to go along with outlandish rhetoric on guns, abortion, immigration, gays, banks, the government in general, etc. I wonder if there isn't just a sizeable cohort of conservatives who really believe this stuff, and thus it is incredibly motivating. So you have more reasonable conservatives kind of rolling their eyes and going along with it because A)apparently it wins elections and B)it ultimately gets policies put in place they favor.

I don't see radical rhetoric being at all as effective on the left, either from politicians or towards the base. I think a lot of people are calling for more of it. Yet we're in a neoliberal era, in which something comparable - radical critiques of capitalism - seem like ancient history. Bringing them back, as progressive rhetoric, would require active policy, as opposed to conservative rhetoric, which merely needs to dismantle policy. Breaking things can simply rely on anger and demagoguery. Yet putting things in place requires more complicated argument - not to mention making a target out of anything you build.

miceelf
10-04-2011, 11:03 AM
I don't see radical rhetoric being at all as effective on the left, either from politicians or towards the base. I think a lot of people are calling for more of it. Yet we're in a neoliberal era, in which something comparable - radical critiques of capitalism - seem like ancient history.

Some grounds for optimism. Even some of the capitalists get that there is a problem here.

Read Tim Noah's ongoing series on Wall Street Bolshevism:

http://www.tnr.com/article/trb/94938/wall-street-income-inequality

http://www.tnr.com/blog/timothy-noah/95715/wall-street-bolshies-watch

Ocean
10-04-2011, 04:57 PM
Some grounds for optimism. Even some of the capitalists get that there is a problem here.


Gotcha! ;)

PS: I promise that I won't harass you too much.

miceelf
10-04-2011, 05:50 PM
Gotcha! ;)

PS: I promise that I won't harass you too much.

I couldn't figure out how to put in a wink there just for you. ;-)

eeeeeeeli
10-05-2011, 10:37 AM
Some grounds for optimism. Even some of the capitalists get that there is a problem here.

Read Tim Noah's ongoing series on Wall Street Bolshevism:

http://www.tnr.com/article/trb/94938/wall-street-income-inequality

http://www.tnr.com/blog/timothy-noah/95715/wall-street-bolshies-watch
Good reads.

miceelf
10-05-2011, 11:07 AM
Good reads.

Our bheader tim done good.