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Yesterday, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre took to the conservative, libertarian outfit The Daily Caller to rally his troops to fight back against the perceived threat of the Obama administration. Wayne imagines the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as the sort of dystopian hellscape that "gun prohibitionists" want.

What I find interesting about this gun enthusiast's nightmare is how the NRA's campaign against gun registration has worked to protect criminals, thus ensuring just the kind of threatening environment suitable for ginning up fear -- and, of course, more guns than ever. A good return on investment for gun manufacturers, who have poured millions of dollars into Wayne's campaign of terror.

All right, so maybe that intro will strike the reader as extreme. I hate to oblige anyone to read The Daily Caller. This was reported on yesterday here, as well, so that may be enough of Wayne's invective for anyone to stomach. Nevertheless I feel that this madness of his should be documented.

After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.
Is it enough to show Wayne LaPierre claiming that liberals like me supposedly want the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max? I mean, honestly. If that's the plan, can somebody give me a little advance warning? I need to save up and get some LASIK done beforehand. I do not want to be the chump out of the horror movies who's wearing eyeglasses in the apocalypse, because they always get broken at the worst possible time, and then you die.

Okay, back to the not-snark of the NRA.

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.
This was rabid enough that even the otherwise mild-mannered CBS News made it their headline: NRA CEO: "It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival"

So anyway, to keep score, Wayne laments the impending demise of this country as the President supposedly defies federal law, leaving the southern border unprotected and engineering financial ruin through excessive borrowing, because he's a Democrat and so it matters now.

Now, here in Arizona, I never liked Phoenix much, but Wayne tells us, "Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world," and of course our local politicians are expert whiners when it comes to completing the danged fence. Right, Senator McCain? Good news for you eh?

After painting a dire picture of total societal breakdown, Wayne is still very concerned about Supreme Court appointments, anti-gun legislation, and slanted media news coverage. I found that shift in the argument a bit jarring, but amusing.

Now, the threat is even greater. Michael Bloomberg and George Soros are each, individually, far wealthier than the entire National Rifle Association. When the NRA spends money on political advertising, we have to raise those funds from you—$20, $50, $250, or $1,000 at a time.  In the last election, Bloomberg alone spent $16 million and that doesn’t even count the indirect spending by groups funded by Soros and his fellow billionaires.
Again, your NRA membership dues at work, folks. Be proud! You're enabling this fellow to spout rhetoric the likes of which even Glenn Beck might be somewhat embarrassed to sketch out on his blackboard. Well, that may be a slight overestimation. However, Wayne neglects to mention the millions of dollars the NRA has collected from his true masters, the gun manufacturers.
According to the Violence Policy Center, the gun industry donated up to $38.9 million to the NRA from 2005 to 2011. Gun manufacturers gave millions more in 2012, with one holding a yearlong promotion in which it donated a dollar for each gun sold.
Having followed this topic for a while, I'm aware of these programs, like 'rounding up' for the NRA, where customers round up the total of their orders and give that extra to the NRA. And that's beyond the cash donated directly from gun manufacturer profits into the coffers of the NRA.

Anyway, while Wayne concludes with stirring rhetoric and a final push to, of course, buy more guns...

We will not surrender. We will not appease. We will buy more guns than ever. We will use them for sport and lawful self-defense more than ever. We will grow the NRA more than ever. And we will be prouder than ever to be freedom-loving NRA patriots. And with your help, we will ensure that the Second Amendment remains America’s First Freedom.
...let's get to the part where the NRA's activities can be shown to aid criminals and once again stand in the way of law enforcement, even as they bark at us demanding better law enforcement. This is the story of a gun registry law out of Michigan.

Now, given the news coming out of Michigan lately, with apologies to what few liberal Michiganders have survived (as a Zonie I feel your pain), I don't count that state as being inordinately...progressive. So, it's interesting that they should have a gun registry in that state at all, and that somehow this did not lead to gun confiscation, civil war and mass hysteria.

Still, the NRA sought to kill off this registry last year. The scene is set: Republicans have taken power, which they are more than pleased to use with recklessness ill suiting so-called 'conservatives,' and the NRA chooses this moment to strike at the gun registry law...until reality interrupted and (unfortunately, for the NRA) demonstrated that the law was effective in solving crime.

The requirement, instituted by the legislature in 1927, was targeted by the NRA, although legislation to undo it failed in recent years. It gained momentum last year as Republicans took control of the governor’s office, the state House of Representatives and Senate, said Sgt. Chris Hawkins, legislative liaison for Michigan State Police, which oversees the registry.

The bill passed the House and was awaiting Senate action when police arrested geologist Raulie Casteel and charged him with the October driver shootings, Hawkins said.

Hawkins told lawmakers the database helped lead to the suspect. Both Hawkins and Rick Ector, a Detroit firearms instructor who pushed for the bill, said the arrest saved the database.

Interesting. A gun registry was in place in Michigan for a good eighty years or so -- no mass confiscation, no civil war, no cats and dogs living together presumably; the citizens manage to enjoy their 2nd Amendment rights without resorting to 2nd Amendment remedies, but that's not good enough for the NRA. If it hadn't been for that meddling criminal! And that gun registry, which the police explain allowed them to prioritize the tips they were getting, and to connect a reported license plate number with a registered gun.
The gun registry may have “meant the difference between someone getting killed by gunfire and someone not,” Hawkins said.
Oh my.

And in such ways gun registration proves effective in reducing gun violence, by helping police solve crime; it defies the NRA notion of registration leading inexorably to confiscation and general apocalypse. And, the NRA's lobbying efforts are shown to support criminals against law enforcement.

This story out of Michigan and Wayne LaPierre's rant in the Daily Caller seem of a piece to me. The NRA's paranoia about gun control measures, like background checks and registration, leads to deregulation and proliferation. Wayne lobbies against gun laws, and you can see him begging his membership to buy more guns than ever. This deregulation in turn leads to more crime, as I read yesterday in a rare piece of actual data collection and analysis out of Missouri.

This self-fulfilling prophecy seems clear to me. The NRA works to create a more dangerous society, one which they demand can be resolved only with more guns, which in turn perpetuates the discord and suffering. And all the while, gun manufacturers, the ones pulling Wayne's strings, profit from our suffering.

(Cross-posted at The Tytalan Way on Wordpress.)

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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