NRA claims Obama is Orchestrating a Massive Conspiracy… by Doing Nothing

They took our jobs…guns…well not yet but maybe someday.

Big governmental conspiracies always make me chuckle. If working in the Army has taught me anything about the government, it’s that we are far too collectively incompetent to keep a massive secret well…secret for long, especially if that secret is tied to controversial idea. Too many strongly held view points and far too many leaks combined with a large government makes such a conspiracy an impossible endeavor in most situations.

Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, disagrees with me (From Think Progress),

LAPIERRE: They’ll say gun owners — they’ll say they left them alone…In public, the president will remind us that he’s put off calls from his party to renew the old Clinton ban, that 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!…It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country…Before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012.

Now, I am a gun nut in an extended family of gun nuts (read: Texans). My custom Springfield .45 XD is one of my favorite toys, even compared to the 25mm Bushmaster chain gun that the Army lets me play with. My family has assault rifles, a few ranch rifles, and my father has a decent collection of historical weapons (the prize being a still functional Sharps Carbine). However, I still agree with many gun control laws and I am in favor of strengthening the penalties for violations, especially in urban or violence prone areas. My beef being that if you’re planning to commit armed robbery, a dinky gun violation is the least of your concerns. Furthermore, I really dislike how El Paso has become the gun store of choice for the violent cartels in Juarez in their campaign of escalating carnage.

So when I see that gun control has slipped low on Obama’s massive list of priorities, I take that at face value. He probably has more important things to do. I didn’t rush out to the ammo store like so many of my buddies when Obama became President (ok, we were already stocked up) out of baseless fear that he would take away our ammo.

I don’t see shadows in the dark moving to yank my guns out of my warm alive hands. I do see a need for better regulation and control of weapons. Guns should not be impossible to own, but a background check and registration requirements seem logical. And there is still the huge gun show loophole of second hand sales that anyone can exploit if they feel the government is encroaching on their personal freedom.

I don’t see the need for baseless fear mongering.


  1. says

    “My god. President Obama is doing nothing to hurt our cause. We must be through the looking glass here, people!”

    I own several firearms, and I enjoy shooting. but I refuse to give any money or support to the NRA. They might provide some useful training and education programs, but that’s far outweighed by becoming another shrill mouthpiece of the radical right.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    I got the “poll” call from the NRA last week or so; after a minute or so rant from LaPierre on what the UN is doing (I think Ed actually dissected those particular claims back on his old blog months ago), they asked whether I agreed that it was ok for the UN to take away Americans gun rights (the actual wording was more extreme than this, but I do not recall it. I can’t imagine a whole lot of people who would have voted “yes” actually making it though Wayne’s rant to do so, but they stacked the question anyway. I’m sure it will show up, sans question, in an ad claiming support for their position.

  3. unbound says

    NRA – Complaining that the guns will be taken away any day now…for more than 4 decades. NRA has long become the equivalent of the preachers that claim the world is ending very soon. How many times does the NRA have to raise false alarms before they are treated as the boy who cried wolf?

  4. unbound says

    I forgot to add that my father used to be a strong NRA supporter, but my mother made some calls to the NRA regarding her representative (the NRA disapproves of him). She actually talks to him a few times a year, so she knows precisely why he is on the NRA black list (he voted exactly once against an NRA supported issue).

    Yet, when she pressed the NRA on why they continue to talk badly about the representative, the people on the phones can’t answer her questions. I think that has given my father pause regarding supporting NRA as actively as he has in the past.

  5. Nomen Nescio says

    the UN arms trading treaty boogeyman has been floating around for a couple years now, i can’t be bothered to look up its earlier incarnations to see if it’s morphed any in that time.

    when it was brand spanking new, there was a half a grain of truth to it if you squinted hard and were really pessimistic; some of its language could have been interpreted to require signatory countries to regulate civilian sales of ammunition and components that would have impacted folks who reload their own ammunition, or build their own guns from scratch. a small fraction of dedicated hobbyists, that is.

    the chances of any such legislation actually being passed in this country were and are, of course, exactly nil. and in the years since, even the proposed treaty language might have been refined enough to eliminate it entirely — i haven’t looked it up, but that wouldn’t surprise me. anyhow, using this as a stalking horse against the obama administration is transparent scaremongering and always was.

  6. Tiktaalik says

    Even odder, Obama did not exactly do nothing. He signed the Credit Card Reform Act, which included a rider overturning the Reagan-era restrictions on carrying firearms in National Parks, making it legal to carry firearms in units of the National Park system in accordance with state laws – in some cases thus allowing open-carry and loaded firearms in vehicles in parks.

    When I pointed that out to someone who was griping about “Obama’s going to take away our firearms!”, after a moment of silence, he replied, “Well, he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.” Though that’s not speaking, that’s an actual action.

  7. Mommiest says

    “I didn’t rush out to the ammo store like so many of my buddies when Obama became President (ok, we were already stocked up) out of baseless fear that he would take away our ammo.”

    It happened the day after Clinton was elected, too. Several of my husbands coworkers rushed out at lunchtime to buy ammo.

    Honestly, you want a good stock tip? Buy into a domestic gun-related company if you think a Democrat is about to win a major election, or if they are about to win a congressional majority. Sell immediately after the quarterly stock bump.

    Industry insiders might be able to profit this way. Come to think of it, there may even be a conspiracy…

  8. Art says

    The NRA, and many right-wing organizations have a policy that if you go against their recommendations even once you get placed on their naughty list forever. The lack of nuance served them well when they were backing the political party out of power, they live by maintaining a strong front, but it hurts them once they move to being the majority party. One result is that the GOP is a party of insurgents who can’t run things because ideological purity isn’t effective or practical.

    The NRA has adopted absolutist pro-gun and a bunker mentality as it has become clear that neither guns nor bunkers will save us.

    Of course the kicker is that city dwellers see guns as a big potential problem, whereas rural people see guns as savior. Between the two are the people who see guns as tools.

    In the long run, as people move to cities because of their efficiencies and economic benefits, the aggregate view will shift ever more in favor of gun control. The bottom line is that pro-gun fundamentalists are dying out, having their views restructured as they get older and more urban, and the NRA is facing long term problems.

    In a wider view I see a lot of the right-wing victories of the last four years as quite likely to be at or near the high-water mark of the right-wing. They captured the regulators, the political offices from dogcatcher to everything short of the POTUS, the media, and the vast majority of the money in politics, and yet, they can’t get to the promised land. God, guns, and gays, forty years of dedicated work, and billions of dollars have not been enough. The free-market, pro-oligarchy/kleptocracy, right-wing, Galtian nightmare/paradise is still on the other side of the river. And the whole media centered, political/religious/free-market ambush and putsch has pretty much shot its load.

  9. drlake says

    I get calls from the NRA periodically, warning me about the dastardly UN plot. When I have the time, I wait for a live person to come back on the line and read them the riot act about their lies. It does no good, but it can be satisfying.

  10. Dunc says

    See, I tend to assume that the NRA is basically just an astroturf group for the international arms trade. What they’re really worried about is international arms control, because that’s bad for the real business – military hardware (and lots of it) to anybody with the cash, no questions asked. They keep bringing up UN treaties, not because they’re really worried that it will affect the 2nd Amendment rights of American citizens, but because opposing UN restrictions on the international arms trade is their real purpose. They’re just using paranoid American “gun nuts” as stooges to that end. Quite successfully, it appears.

    Or am I just being paranoid? 😉

  11. Nomen Nescio says

    See, I tend to assume that the NRA is basically just an astroturf group for the international arms trade.

    that would be wrong, i think. the lobbying they do and the political pressure they exert lines up quite well with the conservative (reactionary) wing of U.S. domestic politics, but i don’t really see how it benefits anything international, or even benefits arms trading in particular.

    i’ve been catching myself expanding their TLA as the “national republican association”, because that’s what their political stances seem to paint them as, with few if any exceptions. if they truly wanted “military hardware for all no questions asked” then there are U.S. federal laws they could try overturning that they have conspicuously avoided even going near, such as the 1986 FOPA or even the original NFA. they don’t; instead, they seem to focus hard on getting republicans elected. scaremongering about U.N. treaties is just a tool towards that end, to them.

  12. Dunc says

    “i don’t really see how it benefits anything international, or even benefits arms trading in particular.”

    No UN restrictions on arms trading can be passed without US assent, and no US government will assent as long as the NRA are stoking paranoia about US restrictions.

    I’m not saying they want to be able to sell military hardware to US citizens, I’m saying they want to prevent the closure of the loopholes which make it child’s play to circumvent UN embargoes, which are supposed to prevent people selling massive quantities of military hardware to various despotic regimes and into active war zones. They’ve particularly fought all proposed measures on traceablity, which would actually make those embargoes enforceable in practice. I’m not talking about the “retail” side of the arms trade at all.

  13. Aliasalpha says

    Silly silly obama, he’s fallen into an inescapable trap. If he says he’s done nothing not only does it validate the paranoid ranting but everyone knows that when it comes to conspiracy, denial equals proof. Of course if he admits it then he simply admits it…

  14. jamessweet says

    I don’t see the need for baseless fear mongering.

    Well, there’s your problem! And you call yourself an American?? Look, I appreciate that you are out there risking your life every day to serve our military, but if you are against baseless fear-mongering, you obviously hate everything our country stands for.

    • says

      Wow, that’s a bleak statement. America may not be perfect and there are things about how we conduct ourselves that at times infuriates me, but to toss all of America’s unique accomplishments under the rug in one breath is just as dumb, the county is so much more than that. A democracy, by its very nature, means there are a lot of things that happen that any individual disagrees with but, the process is infinitely fairer than other forms of government.
      We remain a “City on a hill”, in my experience the 3rd world plain sucks. There is little justice, no hope, and life is full of pain. Yes, America strays from its ideals constantly, yet when we rise to fulfill those ideals the whole planet takes notice. Even a miserable existence in America is leaps and bounds better than such an existence in most other nations in the world. I consider myself extremely lucky that I was raised in the U.S.
      Baseless fear mongering is as American as apple pie, but to be against it is not a slight against America; it’s a slight against ignorance. I remain a realist, fully aware of the hypocrisies of my chosen profession and the terrible necessity of it. Did I want to help kill the handful of insurgents last night? Morally no, but hey, they were trying to kill some of my buddies so we sure as shit did, so realistically, yes I did.
      The same realistic view applies to the U.S. as a whole (though thankfully killing does not come into the equation), I cherish my freedom to voice my opinion so I must cherish the freedom of assholes to voice theirs. But I have the liberty to voice my concerns without the fear of having my life ended or tossed in prison, something relatively new in human history. We largely don’t kill each other over ideological arguments within western society, which is a huge sustain in our advanced modern cultures.
      And that is one of the many reasons I am proud to be an American. It’s like family, sometimes they do things that make your head spin but, you suck it up and move on. You don’t hate them, rather you love them even if what they do makes you disappointed.

  15. Nomen Nescio says

    I’m not saying they want to be able to sell military hardware to US citizens, I’m saying they want to prevent the closure of the loopholes which make it child’s play to circumvent UN embargoes, which are supposed to prevent people selling massive quantities of military hardware to various despotic regimes and into active war zones.

    perhaps you’re right, but i don’t see how the NRA would benefit from that. i do see how they would benefit from just plain getting more republicans elected; they’re part of that entire lobbying machine, they get most of their money from donations drummed up by scaremongering about whatever has the republicans in a lather at the moment, and their political and membership bases are both derived from those same weedlot roots. however, as far as i know anyway, none of their major income sources are derived from arms trading.

    i could be misinformed, i suppose; checking up on the NRA’s income statements (which are bound to be public information) isn’t something i bother doing regularly. maybe i should, before i go shooting my mouth off on other people’s blogs, but i’m lazy.

  16. Dunc says

    perhaps you’re right, but i don’t see how the NRA would benefit from that.

    I’m not saying the NRA would benefit, I’m saying that I strongly suspect there are corporate interests behind the NRA which would benefit. Just like how your average Tea Partier won’t actually benefit from from the policies they advocate, but Koch Industries would.

    • Nomen Nescio says

      i had one a year and a half ago, when the UN-will-take-our-guns meme was new, but of course i’ve lost it since then. besides, i don’t expect the text of back then is still the relevant draft today.

      the closest i could find was — but i’m not 100% certain that it’s the same treaty as is being discussed here. wikipedia does claim Obama has been urging the ratification of this one, and that the opposition has been using arguments i saw being used back then as well, so it likely is the text you’re looking for.

  17. DaveL says

    I don’t think that’s the same treaty. Not that the NRA wouldn’t use the same overheated rhetoric in opposing it, but that one looks like it deals with international cooperation in combatting the manufacture and trafficking of illicit arms, and was signed by the US in 1997 but never ratified. There’s a new bogeyman in town that would establish uniform regulations for international trade in lawfully produced and distributed weapons, that according to Wikipedia has not yet even been drafted.

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