Spend any amount of time talking to a gun proponent who belongs to the National Rifle Association and you will most likely discover that he or she is also an avid conspiracy theorist who believes most outlandish fantasies about government involvement in secret plans to control everyone’s lives.
NRA members, by and large, believe the federal government is out to strip each of them of their overwhelmingly exaggerated “right to bear arms” and claim President Barack Obama is out to “seize our guns” and require national weapons registration.
Many of these same members believe the administration of former President George W. Bush planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon and buy into other outlandish conspiracies like the so-called Bilderberg theat to establish a new world order.
It just shows that too many firearms fanciers are more than gun nuts: They are nuts period.
The chief gun nut, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, sees a conspiracy looming in every corner of the federal government. Uncle Sam, LaPierre claims, is out to take away everyone’s guns and revoke the Second Amendment, which the NRA uses as a reason to arm the nation.
Last fall, LaPierre accused Obama as “plotting to erase the second amendment.”
This brought an angry response from MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who characterized LaPierre’s comments as “another strain of the crazy far right.”
What LaPierre is doing is using fabricated conspiracies to increase his membership and raise money. Former NRA chief Ray Arnet once admitted that “you keep any special interest group alive by nurturing the crisis atmosphere.” Arnet said NRA intentionally “warned that nationwide gun bans and confiscation were right around the corner. These threats made up in hysterical rhetoric for what they lacked in credibility.”
LaPierre is not alone in promoting insane paranoia. We see it here on Capitol Hill Blue nearly every day in comments posted by NRA members.
I’ve known LaPierre for more than 20 years. He is, and always has been, a manipulator of vague statistics riddled with falsehoods. He makes his living misrepresenting the truth and lying outright to his members, elected officials and the public.
He’s a con artist and has refined that con by leading an organization that thrives on lies and conspiracy fantasies.
Like many successful con artists, he has a following who buys into the con and helps promote the insane conspiracy theories that drive the pro-gun movement and complicate any serious effort to so something about the uncontrolled violence that threatens our society.
The irony here is that the NRA’s con is — in itself — a conspiracy theory that is far more threatening to America than any wild idea they conceive and promote.