Cliff Scheter: the NRA has created a monster

John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

You could say with the past few months’ events, it’s High Noon for America with the American political system watching a growing number of families grieving for loved ones who are the victims or the perpetrators of gun-related crimes. Only, in this instance, unlike in the movie, you don’t have a brave sheriff walking foward with his head up high, getting ready to get out there and confront those who threaten law and order on High Noon.

America’s sheriff (the political system) remains cowering in hiding due to the financial and voting might of the National Rifle Association.

And The Daily Beast’s Cliff Scheter thinks it’s literally killing us:

It’s been quite a month for the National Rifle Association: Massacres at universities, in restaurants, and at retail stores from South Carolina to Las Vegas. Gun nuts porting assault weapons to dinner from Chili’s to Chipotle. The leaders of the take-no-prisoners gun-rights organization have been witness to the logical outgrowth of its policies and rhetoric. Much as the GOP helped create the lunatic-fringe Tea Party within its midst, the NRA chieftains have helped birth a beast whose black heart now beats strongly among its most radical adherents.

But, Cliff, hey, guns don’t kill people.

Politicians who pander to lobbying and pressure groups because they fear losing their political skins and parrot any talking points of the lobbying and pressure groups and block any kind of measure to make our laws more effective kill people. MORE:

The past month’s mass-shooting death toll is the logical conclusion of the gun group’s leaders’ deluded approach to our safety.

It’s been quite a month for the National Rifle Association: Massacres at universities, in restaurants, and at retail stores from South Carolina to Las Vegas. Gun nuts porting assault weapons to dinner from Chili’s to Chipotle. The leaders of the take-no-prisoners gun-rights organization have been witness to the logical outgrowth of its policies and rhetoric. Much as the GOP helped create the lunatic-fringe Tea Party within its midst, the NRA chieftains have helped birth a beast whose black heart now beats strongly among its most radical adherents.

The NRA’s officials purposefully pipeline propaganda to the most loony-tunes among us. They’ve told these gun cultists that they had best arm themselves with as many weapons and as lethal weaponry as they can get their hands on, because either a black president or a black helicopter will be hunting them down shortly.

Simultaneously, they’ve used every electoral and lobbying tactic to best enable these unstable individuals to have access to the weaponry of war from which they and their arms-dealer cronies so handsomely profit.

Worth boldfacing:

The result: They’ve watched impotently as this witch’s brew of mental illness, far-right politics, propaganda, and heavy weaponry has led to one shocking—yet wholly predictable—massacre after another, with the most recent targets including the execution-style murders of two lunching police officers in Las Vegas. These very same factors have also provided the impetus for a group of lunkheads to share their passion for taking AK-47s to lunch—even though the rest of us have no interest in sharing their emotionally degraded worldview.

It’s quite a con. And it’s killing us.

He rattles up the noteworth resume that political kooks and psychologically dangerous people who easily guns have compiled:

Just over the past few weeks, we’ve seen mass murders in Isla Vista, Seattle, Myrtle Beach, and Las Vegas. A catastrophe was barely averted at a courthouse in Georgia—you know, the place that in its infinite wisdom chose to pass its “guns anywhere” bill, because clearly if there was something daycare centers and airports were lacking, it was guns.

Somehow this didn’t stop this self-styled “sovereign citizen.” These are the kind of guys who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, believe that they get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore. This citizen acted out as his ilk have done across the country, trying to kill local members of law enforcement.

In this case, the shooter entered a Forsyth County, Georgia, courthouse with an assault weapon and explosives and opened fire, hitting a deputy in the leg before he was shot and killed. He had booby-trapped his house to explode, and threw stop sticks in the road to prevent cars from approaching the courthouse while he was to carry out his mass slaughter. Clearly this man didn’t think this up overnight.

But this is America, the NRA leadership’s version, where a man in this mental state was a gun seller and trader (remember how Timothy McVeigh was a gun seller at gun shows?), who got mad because he had—what else?—outstanding firearms charges against him. So yeah, why not kill the authorities and everyone else you can in a blaze of glory? We make it so easy, after all.

In Las Vegas, two shooters, a man and a woman, entered a CiCi’s pizza—right across the street from a gun store, mind you—walked up to two metro cops and shot them at point-blank range, killing them and blathering about “starting a revolution.” They left a swastika and “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on one of the murdered cops’ bodies.
The maniac suspects then killed another person in a Walmart, and then themselves. Did I mention the man had lived on Cliven Bundy’s ranch for a bit (and was kicked off… one wonders what it took for that to happen)?

And he notes, it turns out the revolutionary who butchered two people bragged about his support for Bundy on Facebook.

But, hey, nutcases who can get guns who support Clive Bundy and believe murdering people will somehow start a revolution don’t kill people. (R-i-g-h-t).

A bit more:

Put simply, the NRA’s leaders have demonized anyone whose job it is to enforce our laws and protect the United States in its pamphlets, emails, speeches, TV ads, Web shows, radio programming, and anywhere else they can unleash this cancer on the American public. So is it then shocking when their more unstable allies and adherents use the same language when planning or executing the mass killing of policemen, judges or other government officials?

If Wayne LaPierre were instead named Wayne Mohammed, do you think we’d still be hearing from him? Or would he be in a black site in Romania somewhere?

Then there are the others who take the NRA official line to heart, the open-carry movement. In an America where gun rights for three decades were constantly expanded, where one can wear a handgun in a holster in many states quite openly, these geniuses feel a need to bring their long guns with them to restaurants and other places where families like to gather, generally without the presence of AK-47s. It has nothing to do with gun rights, but a lot to do with intimidating others and making the rest of us not only accept their guns, but have as irrational an attachment to their weapons, or property if you will, as they do.

Read in its entirety.

In reality, Scheter’s comments and the incidents he points out are self-evident.

As is the self-evident cowardice of elected officials who value their perks, Senate Bean soup, cars, staff, excellent government health care more than they do the anguhised tears of those who abruptly lost love ones.

So they keep mouthing the transparently rote talking points of those who resist any kind of gun regulation — and the reality that when it comes to the rest of the world the United States is an international anti-role model.

9 Comments

  1. There will no doubt be a moment of silence from LaPierre and the NRA over this incident, but not out of respect for the victims.

    Once the initial dust has settled, there may be a statement, but no opportunity to ask questions.

    If there were, I think I’ve got one…

    “So, Mr. LaPierre, would you care to clarify your previous assertion that ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,’ and can you please direct your answer to the families of the two armed, trained, professional ‘good guys with guns’ who were murdered as they had lunch?”

  2. This is such a farce. The NRA is nothing more than a lobbing organization for gun manufactures. LaPierre ‘s six figure salary depends on colt et al. He really doesn’t care how many people die .

  3. None of this is news to the NRA. It isn’t as though they don’t know there are unbalanced people out there. People who should not be allowed to have guns in the first place. People who are angry,and crazy and don’[t need an excuse to shoot up people.
    The sole purpose of the NRA is to sell guns. Period. It is a business enterprise they are involved in. To that end, they will say any stupid and asinine thing to rationalize their existence.

    The REAL villains here are the legislators! We have allowed these people to accept bribes and favors and money from the gun manufacturers through the NRA for decades.

    It is a waste of our time reading about …pr even writing about what the NRA says or does….Who cares?? They aren’t the problem. They are just doing what sharks do…killing and eating..nothing personal.

    It is personal when our elected officials turn a blind eye refuse to close the beach though!

  4. More catering to the lowest elements for profit, with (as Ron points out) zero concern for what is right or wrong. The NRA is just one manifestation of that cancer, but there are others more widespread and insidious.

    Cjj, your question is a good one but WP would never address it in any genuine way, I doubt he is even capable of it.

  5. Funny and sad… how these major organizations have been hijacked by the extremists they have used to stoke hatred for their opponents. I am not sure how this will play out for the NRA. Probably not as bad as it did for the Republican party. I dont see many members leaving the NRA because they choose to support wackos carrying weapons into fast food restaurants.

  6. The NRA had a slogan (I don’t know if it is still in vogue) “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” I think it’s time for reasonable people to respond “Guns just make it much easier for people to kill people.”

  7. Or there’s the snarky version, “Guns don’t kill people. People from Texas kill people.”

  8. The NRA and the Koch brothers are just doing their thing – advocating for their individual industries. If the NRA would give $25 million to the UNCF, it would mean just as much to those students – and to the rest of us.

    But make no mistake – more Americans will die from their actions than would be the case without their advocacy. One just kills faster than the other.

    CAUSE < ---> EFFECT

  9. Comment

    “So, Mr. LaPierre, would you care to clarify your previous assertion that ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,’ and can you please direct your answer to the families of the two armed, trained, professional ‘good guys with guns’ who were murdered as they had lunch?”

    Excellent point ccjack. Although, in this case one of the bad guys, the wife, ended up shooting her husband during the standoff. So apparently one of the things that stops a bad guy with a gun is a bad woman with a gun. Basically, I don’t think LaPierre knows what he is talking about. The world must be like a Clint Eastwood movie to him in his head I think.

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