It didn’t take Wayne-o 48 hours to respond to Obama’s remarkable SOTU speech, and his response really points up both the success of the GVP movement to date, along with the challenge faced by GVP going forward. The fact that LaPierre felt compelled to call the President a ‘liar,’ ‘narcissist,’ ‘dishonest,’ ‘long-winded,’ ‘gas bag’ and basically a shill for the Hillary campaign, reveals the degree to which Gun Nation and Trump-ist political rhetoric have merged; i.e., if you insult your opponent enough times, you can avoid any serious talk. What’s the difference between Trump bellowing ‘Make America Great Again’ and LaPierre saying that Obama has “laid waste to the America we remember?” No difference. And that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because the GVP strategy shouldn’t be based on trying to convince 2nd-Amendment nihilists that there are sensible solutions to the problems caused by guns. Obama’s attempt to push a small percentage of gun transfers into the ATF-FBI-NICS framework by requiring individuals who make a ‘continuous’ profit from gun sales is hardly an attack on gun-owning rights, and LaPierre’s totally false description of this effort obliterates even the slightest possibility that his video message was an attempt to engage in an honest exchange.
We like to say that Obama has been the gun industry’s best salesman because gun revenues have soared over the past seven years. But he’s also been a magnet for the NRA’s attempts to expand its own ranks. According to Advertising Age, the circulation of the American Rifleman magazine surged by nearly 30% from 2012 to 2013, although the total circulation of all NRA membership magazines still doesn’t nearly add up to the 5 million members that the NRA now claims to represent. But numbers are one thing, the message going out is something else. If you take the time to watch Wayne-o’s video (quoting don Corleone, “Keep your friends close but your enemies….”) you’ll quickly realize that the organization which claims to speak for America’s gun owners has abandoned even the slightest pretense for anything remotely connected to reality, facts or common sense.
Take the alleged ‘failure’ of the Obama Administration to prosecute gun crimes. According to LaPierre, the President could simply pick up the phone and direct his Justice Department to mount a scorched-earth campaign to rid Chicago of every drug dealer, violent felon and gangbanger currently prowling the Windy City’s streets. This statement, incidentally, is made less than one minute after Wayne-o accused Obama of using his executive authority to destroy the Constitution, as if one can find anywhere in the Constitution the legal grounds for using a federal agency to deal with local crime.
You may recall that back in 1995, Wayne-o sent out a fundraising letter referring to ATF agents as ‘jack-booted thugs’ who were the shock troops in the “final assault to eliminate firearms ownership forever,” rhetoric that caused President George H. W. Bush to resign from the NRA. Now he’s at it again, claiming in this video that Obama is creating a ‘federal gun force’ that will be four times larger than the number of Special Forces currently leading operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. I don’t think that combat against ISIS has cost the lives of more than a handful of our beloved and heroic troops but gun violence kills more than 80 Americans every day. More resources to respond to domestic gun violence as opposed to overseas terror attacks? Doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.
Watch the entire video because Wayne-o saves the best for last. After referring to the President in the most indecorous and insulting terms, he then flips and obsequiously asks Obama to engage in a one-on-one debate. I can see it now – Wayne LaPierre in the Oval Office lecturing the President on the 2nd Amendment and why Michelle should be walking around with a gun. If the NRA thinks that such amateurish grandstanding appeals to anyone beyond their most devoted members, they better think again.