Move Over Bannon – The NRA Is Now Leading The Alt-Right.

Sooner or later the NRA was going to forget its traditional role as an organization devoted to gun training, gun safety and sportsmanship and turn itself into an organization that represents the lunatic fringe.  Not only does the NRA want to be part and parcel of the loonies, according to our friends in The Trace, America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ wants to play a leadership role. And their campaign is being kicked off tomorrow with a speech that will be delivered by Wayne-o at the real inauguration of the 45th President, which is the annual CPAC meeting being held just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.

bannon            How the wheels of fame and fortune doth turn.  I remember it was just a few years ago that the CPAC headliner was Sarah Palin – what happened to her?  And while Dana Loesch is on the program, how come there’s no space for Ann Coulter, perhaps because she tweeted  a defense of Milo Yiannopolous whose former Breitbart boss will, of course, spend his appearance burnishing his national security credentials before his boss takes the stage?

I’m not sure if this year’s CPAC meeting is the first time that Wayne-o has appeared at the event, but it certainly marks a decision by the NRA leadership to throw all their energies into a full-fledged effort to move to the forefront of the conservative tide.  Because it’s one thing to dump some cash into the willing laps of pro-gun legislators or lobby for less gun regulations at the federal level or within individual states.  The NRA’s been doing those things for nearly fifty years, but the organization never before presented itself as a self-appointed leader of the lunatic fringe.

And let’s be honest folks about who Trump really represents.  Because the fact is that he won the election because he pulled one-half of one percent more votes in MI, WI and PA than she did and, by the way, Jill Stein outpolled Ms. Clinton by almost two to one in those three states. So Trump can lie from here to high heaven about those ‘millions’ of illegal votes that she got, but the bottom line is that a combination of the worst-managed Presidential campaign of all time (thank you Bill Clinton for waiting until after the votes were counted to say that Mook should have been fired) and the statistical vagaries of the Electoral College allows Trump-o to pander to the lunatic fringe to his heart’s content.

But how come he’s being joined in the decision to institutionalize his hateful and wacko rhetoric by the NRA?  Okay, the gun guys want a national, concealed-carry law, they want to prevent extended background checks, they want more guns and less gun laws as the order of the day. But what does that have to do with the issue of immigration? What does that have to do whether a transgender kid goes into this bathroom or that? Wayne-o claims that his CPAC speech will be an effort to lead the forces that are conspiring to sabotage Donald Trump.

Let me tell you what’s really going to sabotage Trump and it ain’t all these evil forces against which we can protect ourselves by carrying guns.  What’s going to sabotage Trump are the 30 million people who may find themselves without health coverage or the 150 million middle-class Americans who will discover that Trump’s ‘fantastic’ tax plan won’t help them one bit.

There’s a Republican Congressman in Texas, Louis Gohmert, who just cancelled his Town Hall meeting because he was afraid that someone might show up and start banging the way that Jared Loughner shot Gabby Giffords and 17 other folks with, of course, a legally-purchased gun. Gohmert’s rated an ‘A’ legislator by the NRA which means that he supports their nonsense about how everyone should walk around armed. But the real reason Gohmert cancelled is because he knows that representing the loonies won’t replace the ACA. And by the way, Wayne-o, appealing to the loonies won’t sell any more guns -they have as many as they need.

24 thoughts on “Move Over Bannon – The NRA Is Now Leading The Alt-Right.

  1. Don’t disagree with a thing, as someone else recently said on this blog.

    I was on the phone with a GOP staffer yesterday. Somehow the conversation did a segue from a background check bill, which was the point of my call, to a lecture in my ear about illegals and Mooslims. I think the NRA may be painting itself into a corner as Mike described above, and unfortunately, all gun owners may be tarred with that brush as early as 2018. Speaking to gun owners, I would recommend putting some distance between ourselves and this wacko movement. There is a difference between being conservative and being batshit crazy.

  2. I noticed that the NYTs produced an editorial in support of the recent appeals court affirmation of Marylands new AWB.
    I am willing to accept that it was meant in good faith. That is, I can accept that they actually believe in the validity of the arguments they were putting out there.
    I mean, I have always gotten along well, on a personal level, with the New Yorkers I have crossed paths with. Good people, in my estimation.
    However, the almost uncross-able gap in the understandings of the world between places like New England and places like Texas has to do with a lot of things that may not be not obvious but are nonetheless implacable.
    NYC is densely occupied. Cops are always minutes away. Rules can be enforced if the will is there. (Go Rudy!).
    In Texas, not so much. Law Enforcement has always been very thin on the ground and has always been basically bluffing in the average confrontation… “Back up” will never arrive. Everybody knows this. The good will and cooperation of ordinary citizens has always been about 95% of why Law Enforcement is so effective in Texas. 95%.
    Fun facts: The University of Texas System owns 80,000 square miles of land.
    The part of Texas that was disputed, quite violently, in regard to ownership with Mexico for 70 years is larger than all of England, Scotland, and Wales put together.
    Like I said. “Back-up” will never arrive.

    What I am trying to say is that banning something that the mass of the most law-abiding people in a place do not want banned is just a recipe for burning things down. Nothing good can come of it. The 19th amendment – prohibition would be a walk in the park compared to criminalizing the most popular firearm in American History.
    If the guys at the NYTs are so smart, why can’t they see this?
    Simple. In their wildest imaginings, they cannot see their own selves being the owns going out there to enforce it. In places where “back up” will never arrive.

    • Agree, Dr. Rum. We are finding that out in New Mexico right now as Everytown tries to force feed a bill though the legislature. I actually re-wrote part of the bill to solve some of the criticisms of rural New Mexicans because my legislator is a co-sponsor, but that went nowhere so far. But the sausage is still being made.

      This is a good place for Federalism to step in. What works in Maryland will not work in Texas or probably New Mexico. For that matter, NYS’s SAFE Act polarized Upstate v Downstate (I am an Upstate boy) and most sheriffs opposed it, as Mike has discussed elsewhere in a similar context. We need to work with our neighbors on this stuff, not be getting into regional and philosophical arguments with New Yorkers v Texans. But discussing gun policy would make Sisyphus think he had an easy job.

  3. “appealing to the loonies won’t sell any more guns -they have as many as they need.” But not as many as they want. Not NEARLY as many. Which is, as you’ve noted, a key reason that the personal firearms industry can rattle on.

  4. I took my favorite AR 15 to the range today. I looked around and noticed that very few rifles at that busy public range that day were not the kind that New York State, Maryland, etc. wants to anathamatize. They were almost all of them black-mass-killing-machine-assault weapons. In other words.
    Since this was a long distance range, they were all geared up with expensive optics, which one almost always needs to print well at extended ranges.
    Then it occurred to me. If you are serious about accuracy, you will get high quality optical sights. If you are really serious, you will get one so good that it is, in effect, “light gathering”. If you fire a rifle with such a high quality scope, your vision will be instantly impaired by any muzzle flash. So you need a flash suppressor.
    A really high quality scope requires a lot of spacial/linear adjustment range to be optimized ergonomically. That is, the stock length needs to be adjustable (that is, if you are too old to have perfect 20/20 vision).
    Optimal ergonomics for accurate shooting requires a pure “in line” stock configuration. All competitive target rifles are designed that way. With that, you have to have a “pistol grip” thing to put your trigger hand on. Because how do you grip a straight in-line stock without a downward extension-grip?

    The features I just described are the same ones that the NYTs just told us reasonably defined what should make an ordinary semi-automatic rifle into a felony conviction.
    To a sane person, these are the features that make long range accuracy possible.
    To the NYTs, long range accuracy is the crime that should be punished. Having a gun that is brilliant at being able to slaughter whole rooms full of helpless people in a nightclub is fine, as long as it is useless beyond 100 meters — because of it evil pistol grip, satanic adjustable stock, and diabolical flash suppressor.

  5. Excuse me, but I went antelope hunting in your state, closest shot I got was 380 yards (missed by about 2 feet) and I used a 6mm Blaser R93 with a standard stock and a Swarovski scope – don’t remember the scope size. If I had shown up with a black gun, regardless of caliber and no matter what kind of scope, I would have been laughed out of participating. I never met a serious hunter, and I have hunted every big game animal in North America and Canada, who ever hunted with the kind of gun you’re describing. Not once. It’s a nice toy but sorry, if you’re serious about shooting as a sport, a black gun doesn’t cut the mustard.

  6. Thanks for responding
    My point was not that ARs are the ultimate in accuracy. My point was that the definitions in the various laws banning “assault” weapons are entirely mis-directed.
    Start with the fact that Mini 14s and MI carbines, etc. are not, as far as I am aware, described by any law as dangerous AWs despite having equivalent short range firepower (which is all that matters for committing crimes and atrocities) as the ones with the banned features. My point was that all of the banned features do no more than improve long range accuracy, and that seems to me to be a very silly thing to ban.
    Modern ARs tend to look alien and sinister to people who do not know the inside story. For example, many high end ARs today have free floating barrels, that is, the forend guard is engineered to not contact the barrel at any point. So, they look quite different than what folks are used to. Thus, they want to ban “barrel shrouds”.
    The receivers of modern ARs are more or less box shaped – that improves rigidity. Likewise, the multi-lug rotating bolts provide great symmetry of lock up. These features always improve accuracy. But together, they present an image that is nothing like what your grand dad owned.
    In the banned guns, the optic mounting slots are milled into the top of the receiver itself – which is flat out brilliant for sighting stability but scrambles the aesthetic of the traditional pattern and looks “military style.” (Crime) Every new gun would be made that way today if not for aesthetics. Actually, its likely that they soon will be, anyway.
    Every serious gun person knows that good optics are the key to accuracy downrange. So, how best to mount a variety of top quality optics? As rigidly as possible and with as much range of positioning as possible = a Gilley Rail milled integral within the receiver itself. (Military style=crime))
    The straighter the stock the less the muzzle rise. Competitive bench rest rifles have in-line stocks with a pistol grip and tune-able stocks.. Just like an AR. (Crime)
    If you have an in-line stock, your sights/optics need to be well above the barrel – and be highly rigidly mounted. How to engineer this? Say hello to a modern AR with an elevated, fully integrated Gilley Rail.
    Anyone who has shot anything above a .22LR with a modern suppressor would not want to go back. So now you have the evil, “threaded barrel” to mount your evil “silencer” ( still 135 db). (Mine is FFA cleared). By the way, folks at the range tend to come over and thank you for showing up your evil suppressor.
    Night vision scopes, or even an ACOG, do not like muzzle flash in low light conditions. So, fixing that with a “flash suppressor” will get you arrested. Twice; because you threaded your barrel to attach it.

    I am still in search of those “reasonable gun laws” I keep hearing rumors about.

    • Sorry, but you’re trying to split hairs on something that doesn’t have any hair at all. The AR was developed by Gene Stoner to give a soldier the kind of flexibility and firepower that wasn’t possible with the M-14, which was the full-auto upgrade of the M-1. Stoner also wanted to incorporate advances that had been developed for the AK, namely, a shorter stock (which meant less overall weight) and a detachable magazine, hence more firepower.
      The AR isn’t being banned because you can attach a nice scope to it or because of the inline stock design (which was not done in order for ‘competitive’ shooters to hit higher scores at matches, btw.) It is banned because it is the only commercially-available firearm which allows the shooter a reasonable degree of concealment (with a short barrel and a folding stock) and also allows the shooter to discharge 100 rounds or more in under one minute, The Sandy Hook shooter discharged more than 50 rounds with his AR in less than 5 minutes, of which 4 1/2 minutes were spent walking from one classroom to another; in other words, he discharged almost two, full 30-round mags (taped together for easier and quicker deployment) in less than 40 seconds.
      None of the points you raise respond to what I have said above and while you are technically correct, it’s an entirely false argument. The Mini-14 is simply a civilian version of the M-1 carbine, and while it will take 20-round mags, switching and reloading mags cannot be done anywhere as quickly as it can be done with an AR, and the stock doesn’t allow for quick target acquisition like the AR. It’s the size and deployment of the AR which makes it so lethal and which makes it an ‘assault’ weapon, I don’t care what Gun-nut Nation wants you to believe.
      Know where the term ‘modern sporting rifle’ came from? The current usage came from a campaign started by the NSSF in 2010 because the gun industry was afraid that families wouldn’t shop in ‘destination’ sporting goods stores if the stores (like Cabela’s) stocked ‘assault rifles.’ So they changed the terminology. I understand why any industry will try to create a marketing strategy to sell its products. I just can’t abide by the lying.

  7. Mike. The latest Glaser designs feature a straighter stock, with a thumb hole and a pistol grip. Along with a threaded barrel for the suppressor you are expected to have (in civilized countries).
    When Glaser makes these logical improvements for the sake of better accuracy, it is called progress. When a semi-auto design makes the same accuracy enhancements, it is called jail-time.

    I am still waiting to meet my first “reasonable gun law.”

  8. “Switching and reloading mags cannot be done anywhere as quickly as it can be done with an AR, and the stock does not allow for quick target acquisition like an AR.”
    I would love to see a source to back up either assertion. No one has ever designed a small light detachable magazine fed rifle to have a notably slower mag change routine than any other. There is simply no point. They are all very much the same in the way they work. Go on Youtube and type in “rapid mag change with a mini 14.” Seeing is believing, I thought. With a bit of practice, it is the same small number of seconds as an AR or an AK. The side mounted mag release on an AR is only a few inches different than a release mounted on the mag well like nearly everything else. A little practice and its the same. If you can convince me this is incorrect, I would value the new and improved knowledge. I might even change my opinion about the laws.
    Mags have been ducted taped into pairs since WW1.

    If your claim about AR 15s having exceptional mag-change-times is faulty, then I cannot see any remaining reason to put them into a special category in the law.

    I will ignore that bit about stocks and rapid target acquisition. Skeet guns do not look like ARs and practice trumps minor stock variations 100 to 1.

  9. There is no other weapon that can be purchased by civilians that can shoot 60 rounds in 30 seconds. Period. I love your phrase, “with a little bit of practice.” And the “few inches” difference in the location of the mag release is a very big difference in terms of time. The fact that you think my explanation is faulty – good for you.
    Let me ask you a question. Since the current battle rifle can be set either for semi-auto or 3-shot bursts, when a trooper sets it for semi-auto, why doesn’t the military say that the trooper is now going into battle with a ‘modern sporting gun?’

  10. The US military does not call anything either a “modern sporting rifle” or an “assault weapon.” It is just an M4 carbine.
    Go on youtube. Look up “Heather Thureon Defense.”
    You should see this, because everyone else has.

  11. Jerry Miculek happens to be probably the most skilled combat handgun shooter in the world and if you are using him as an example of how the ‘average’ person could use a gun other than an AR to deliver a lot of firepower as quickly as one can deliver firepower in an AR, let’s stop this discussion right here, okay? I don’t mind exchanging opinions, but I’m not going to indulge myself or you or anyone else who wants to support a particular point of view with such nonsense. And with all due respect, your comment about Miculek is nonsense.

  12. My modest goal here was simiply to acquaint our host regarding the easily attainable – at very low costs, newer gun systems that can blow right past the punch of the 60 yr old m16.

  13. I referred to Heather the Slide Fire Queen of Youtube and J. Miculek mostly as a joke.
    What is not a joke are the plethora of Youtube videos demonstrating the rapid fire and rapid mag changes possible with ordinary, non listed semi autos like a mini 14.
    Assertions have been made that these guns are not comparable to an AR in terms of mag change-ability.
    I would like a source for this. It would also be nice for someone to show this visually: Make a video on Youtube showing off sustained firepower, greater concealability, and greater anything else than a Mini 14, an M1 carbine, or a Glock 19 for that matter. If such sources or demonstrations actually existed, they would do a lot to overturn one of the assumptions in the gun rights community – that the AWB was never anything more than a version of the tactics espoused by S. Alinskys book, “Rules for Radicals”.
    In other words, instead of a person, do it to a class of firearms: Separate, isolate, personalize, demonize – until you win.
    Then pick another, then repeat.

  14. There are videos all over YouTube and everywhere else which show that the firepower of the AR is far beyond the firepower of a Mini-14. Why? Because it’s not just a question of having to take a little more time to release the mag, it’s something much more generic to the design of the gun.
    What Bill Ruger did with the Mini-14 was to ‘sporterize’ the M-1 carbine. He took the carbine, changed the caliber which made the Mini-14 an ideal gun for varmints, pests, and so forth. Ruger himself briefly had a big ranch in CO (or WY, I forget which) and it was when he was riding around on the ranch that he got the idea for the Mini-14 gun.
    But the Mini-14, like the M1 carbine, has a classic, sporter stock, which means that in order to acquire the target, you have to rest your cheek against the stock so that you can acquire the target through the rear sight, which means that in order to reload the gun you have to drop the stock away from your cheek and shoulder, switch mags and then put the gun back into firing position and re-acquire the target. Which becomes pretty difficult to do easily or quickly if the target is moving about.
    Which is exactly what you don’t have to do with an AR because you can drop an empty mag and replace it with a new mag without ever taking the gun away from where it rests when you shoot it, hence, you don’t lose point of aim. This is what makes the gun so much more lethal because if you deliver multiple mags of ammunition, you do it much more quickly and more accurately than with any sporting-stock gun.
    Sorry, but your attempt to equate all semi-auto rifles as being equally lethal simply isn’t true. I don’t care what the AWB says or whether the gun-control folks get it correct or don’t. And I’m not about to base my understanding of gun lethality on what is said either by Dianne Feinstein or the NRA. I have sold hundreds of Mini-14s and hundreds of ARs, and I have shot thousands of rounds out of my Mini-14 and my Colt H-Bar. I was also in USRA at Fort Ord in 1966 when we tested the first M-16s, we were carrying the M-14 at the time.
    So I know what I’m talking about. The AR is a much more lethal gun.,

  15. Regardless what happened to be the thoughts rattling around inside of the brain of Bill Ruger when he conjured up the Mini 14, the gun he actually built and sold is configured and works like virtually every other mag-fed auto-loader; in particular, like a (semi auto) AK 47/74. Dimensionally, and in every other way, they are within a few % of each other.
    Under the AWB law, one is perfectly OK, the other is a life-ruining felony.

    If the stock configuration ie, straight-adjustable, of the AR is so much better that it should be illegal, maybe the designers of all other stocks should be sued for incompetence.

  16. I enjoy your comments – they are literate, intelligent and have nothing to do with any evidence-based information at all. Sorry, but Bill Ruger specifically designed the Mini-14 to be the ‘sporting’ counterpart of the M-1 carbine, even down to the configuration of the original sights on the Mini. What made the AK-47 different from previous battle guns? The handgun grip. Again, you keep talking about how all these guns are the same because they are all semi-auto guns but you refuse to admit that the difference is in how the gun is deployed to fire, not the firing mechanism itself. No wonder you switched from medicine to IT; in IT you can code it any way you want.

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