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America's Merchant Of Death, Wayne LaPierre. (PHOTO: Icarus Blake via Flickr)
To find a perfect portrait of the dystopian nightmare that plagues the otherwise pristine, Aryan dreamscape of the Republican Party, one need look no further than NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre's recent speech at the annual conservative circle-jerk known to the world as CPAC. In Hofstadter's tradition, Mr. LaPierre is the paranoid style in American politics personified. Never squeamish over pandering to the bottom-feeders in his constituency, LaPierre's doomsday prophecies of White America's crumbling supremacy never fail to rake in plenty of blood money from the vast swath of terrified, racist nitwits and gun-toting goons within his Republican Party, hence why he'll never lose his seat at the grownups table while the rest of us compete for scraps. Let's take a gander at a few of the more choice moments of his recent demagoguery, shall we?
"All across America, everywhere I go, people come up to me, and they say, 'Wayne, I've never been worried about this country until now'...We fear for the safety of our families. It's why neighborhood streets that were once filled with bicycles and skateboards and laughter in the air now sit empty and silent. In virtually every way, for the things we care about most, we feel profound loss. We're sad, not because we fear something is going wrong, but because we know something already has gone wrong."
Now, I don't know about you, but there are at least three city parks within a mile or two of where I live, and every time I pass by any one of them, they're full of bicycles and skateboards and laughter. It's pretty fantastic, actually. The kids are happy, their parents are happy...of course, in my neighborhood and a lot of others like it across the country, a lot of those bicycles and skateboards and laughter come from black and brown kids, which is most likely the thing LaPierre feels such “profound loss” over. Something has already gone wrong for the GOP, indeed: fellow conservative knuckle-dragger Ann Coulter's “browning of America” has happened, it's permanent, and there's not a damned thing the Republican Party can do about it. Their indignant outrage over being forced to accommodate people not like them into American society - be they poor, black, brown, gay, or any combination of the above - lies at the heart of every primeval argument they make, every piece of legislation they pass or block, and every lie and fabrication they use to inflame the amygdala of their political base. Without it, they have nothing, because they're wrong about everything. Moving on:
"It's why more and more Americans are buying firearms and ammunition. Not to cause trouble, but because that America is already in trouble. We know that sooner or later reckless government actions and policies have consequences, that when government corrupts the truth and breaks faith with the American people, the entire fabric of society, everything we believe in and count on, is then in jeopardy."
“Reckless government actions,” you say, Mr. LaPierre? Like what, exactly? Obamacare? Raising the minimum wage? Increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires? Scaling back our bloated and corpulent military-industrial complex? Leveling the public education playing field? And exactly what “consequences” will these actions have, other than helping millions of poor, black, and brown people get a leg up? Oh, wait...those are the consequences you're concerned about, aren't they? If America's marginalized people are empowered enough by their government to begin throwing off the yoke of poverty and institutional violence, then yes, the fabric of Mr. LaPierre's so-called 'society', the gun lobby's consumer and donor base, will be in jeopardy. Without fear and false bravado, the NRA is little more than a paper tiger, and they know it. He goes on to say that:
"We don't trust government, because government itself has proven unworthy of our trust. We trust ourselves...We trust our freedom. In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want. We know in the world that surrounds us there are terrorists and there are home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all."
Knockout gamers? Seriously? Sir.

I just want to make note of the relish with which Mr. LaPierre rattles off the above list of all the Things That Go Bump In The Night to the sycophants he faces. This is clearly the high point of his whole speech, and offers the single most revealing insight into not only his belligerent mind, but that of the millions of gun nuts who swallow the NRA's grift: they love this stuff. They eat it up, and throw ridiculous amounts of money at it to keep it alive. Why? Because it's so integral to their identity as individuals and as a party that to do anything less is tantamount to ideological suicide. If you were constantly being confronted by those who oppose you with the knowledge that everything you ever believed in, everything you held dear was a complete lie, a lie fabricated by people smarter than you to part you from your money and your liberty, what would you do?

The “rugged individualism” meme and the white persecution narrative have been played up within the Republican Party to such an absurd degree that, when peddled alongside the fear and the anxiety and the xenophobia over whatever supposed horrors lie just outside their doorstep, it's accompanied by a morbid fascination with what their worst nightmares would actually look like writ large. You see it everywhere, from gun rights to gay rights, from taxation to unionization, in the rhetoric, in the marketing. Together, all of these elements create a paradigm of dangerously self-fulfilling prophecy, one that has all but abandoned the fringes for the limelight.

There is “no greater freedom” for old, white Republican men like Mr. LaPierre than the right to do whatever they want to whomever they want without restrictions or penalties, up to and including arming themselves for (and occasionally acting upon) an apocalypse that exists only in their imagination. If anyone is going to bring that apocalypse to life, it's them, clinging tightly to their stockpiles, huddled blindly, fearfully in the darkness of their ignorance and superstition.

To see the Mr. LaPierre's ugly display for yourself, check out the video below:

Originally posted to Randle Aubrey on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:23 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anecdote: In the 1980's I interviewed.. (9+ / 0-)

    Wayne as a primary source for my Master's thesis on NRA as a non-profit.  It was an hour interview and he was fairly rational back then, although I did not get into the politics but rather the structure and goals.  

    Fast forward to a couple years ago, when one of my neighbors was chatting with Wayne.  I reminded him of our interview, and he went into a nutty harangue about something or other.  I abruptly departed.

  •  Black groups with guns (9+ / 0-)

    I cannot help but wonder what would be the reaction if black citizens legally carrying guns began appearing at political rallies (perhaps carrying signs saying "We came in peace - this time"), or in groups outside restaurants where republican groups are meeting?

    Of course we know what would happen: the police would quickly appear and demand to see the ID and gun licenses for every black or brown-skinned person with a gun.  Anyone who could be arrested on any minor pretense would immediately be arrested and taken away.

    If these kinds of public gatherings of black and brown-skinned people with guns continued, law-makers would start debating changes in the gun laws.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 09:57:26 AM PDT

    •  What would happen is near instantaneous (4+ / 0-)

      gun control laws.
      I particularly like the open carry in statehouses idea. I think that would be a splendid place for a bunch of Panthers to appear, you know, going to meet their representatives, you know, to have a little chat. Oh, the AK? Just making sure I'm safe.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what happens. (3+ / 0-)

      Gun Control Act Of 1968

      This legislation was a pretty direct repsponse to the Black Panther Party beginning to unabashedly arm itself in response to the assassinations of MLK and Malcolm X. You want more gun control? Start arming blacks and Mexicans. The hammer will drop before you can say 'Jack Robinson'.

      I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

      by Randle Aubrey on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:19:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gun control has a well-established racist history. (0+ / 0-)

        I fail to see how that is an argument that supports gun control.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:04:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's why. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i saw an old tree today

          The gun nuts are really only in favor of unfettered access for white people, all the better to keep black and brown people in line with an unspoken threat of violence. But those same gun nuts have shown themselves to be more than amenable to restricting firearm access once black and brown people realize they have just as much of a right to stockpile as anyone else. They'll gladly sacrifice their own liberty if it means reducing the liberty of people not like them. See also: the Southern Strategy.

          I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

          by Randle Aubrey on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:27:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hardly. (0+ / 0-)

            Gun Control is based in fear.
            In any case gun control is based entirely upon denying 'them' of current liberties despite the fact they have done nothing wrong.

            There is a name for suggesting others want to take liberties away from innocent people because 'they are afraid of them', when you want to take liberties away from people because you are afraid of 'them'.
            That word is 'projection'.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:46:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm still failing to see.... (0+ / 0-)

     this doesn't support my argument. Would white people somehow not be scared if black and brown people began arming themselves en masse, and then in turn propose legislation to prevent their access, even if it mean reducing access for all? Because that's pretty much what already happened.

              I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

              by Randle Aubrey on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:09:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ignoring the fact that your contention is based (0+ / 0-)

                solely upon your own biases:
                Your argument is based exclusively on people supporting gun control because of an ignorant fear of 'the other'.

                What does that say about your support of gun control?
                Particularly when taking into account your displayed & unsupported biases?

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:40:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Great opportunity for street theater! (3+ / 0-)

      Get a group of people together with their guns and divide them up into 'white' and 'other' groups, and have both of them appear at a public location with inflammatory signage.  Opposite side of the street sort of thing.  Not acting or implying threats, just 'free speech'.

      Be sure to choose a location/event and signage types that the gun nuts have already used in the past.

      Personal recording devices, and discreet video recording should capture the ensuing events.

      I predict the results will be quite varied.  And newsworthy.

      The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

      by No one gets out alive on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:24:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  O we know EXACTLY what would happen; (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randle Aubrey

      and how fast it would happen.
      To get an idea, think about what's happening to Marissa Alexander. The prosecutor is now seeking a 60 year sentence for a frightened woman who shot in the ceiling so as to scare off her abusive husband.
      Sixty years for firing a shot even as people are firing shots every day...sometimes actually connecting and killing innocent people. Just an idea of how your scenario of armed black people would be viewed.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:24:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like this? (0+ / 0-)


      It would appear that your thesis is incorrect.

      Do you not see the irony of insisting that 'they' need to lose their liberties because 'they wrongly find those different than them scary', when it is actually you that is insisting that others lose their liberties because you find those that are different from you scary?

      There is a word for this behavior: Projection.

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:06:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An assumptive answer: (0+ / 0-)
    "“Reckless government actions" you say, Mr. LaPierre? Like what, exactly?"
    Like the gun ban proposed by the President, the gun confiscations from the NYSafe Act, like the mag ban in Colorado, I would assume.
    He is the head of a group whose stated purpose is protecting the rights and liberties of the 2nd Amendment, like it or not (and there is plenty not to like about the NRA), he is opposing policies the NRA membership is expecting the NRA to oppose.

    To expect anything different is ludicrous.

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:17:25 AM PDT

  •  " . . . and campus killers, airport killers, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randle Aubrey

    shopping mall killers"

    Um, weren't those people able to kill and maim so many BECAUSE they had a gun?

    " . . . and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all."

    So, you're going to prevent cyber attacks against the power grid with a pistol?  Can shooting a shotgun stop the spread of poison gas?  Shooting which firearm will cure you of a contagious disease?  Or do they make microscopic guns that shoot through individual viruses?

    I'm reminded of that phrase, when the only thing you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.  Except as spoken by a totally deranged person in dire need of anti-psychotic medication.

  •  Follow the money. The NRA's primary source (0+ / 0-)

    of funding is gun manufacturers.

    The percentage of Americans who own guns isn't going up, which is a problem if you're a manufacturer wanting to sell more guns.  

    The best way to sell more guns is to convince existing gun owners to buy more guns.  And buy several more guns, not just one gun.

    The best way to get them to buy many more guns is to convince them that A) you must buy now because the gubmint is about to make it impossible to buy them, and B) there's so much danger all around you that you must have a large number of guns so you'll be safe.

    LaPierre is just using Plan B.

    •  Follow the money? OK. (0+ / 0-)

      From 2005-2011 manufacturers gave $14.8 million.
      That is an average of $2,114,285/year for that 7 year period.

      Membership dues for 2010 alone totaled $100,500,000.
      Donations for 2010 alone: $71,100,000
      Source: Bloomberg.

      That is eighty times more from their members than from manufacturers.
      Further, judging by the fact that the NRA gained a million new members in the aftermath of the President's gun control proposals, it seems that their members support the tact the NRA is taking.

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 06:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NRA funding: 1/2 members, 1/2 other (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i saw an old tree today, TheFern
      The NRA [is] a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year and intends to help unseat the incumbent president. From 2004 to 2010, the group’s revenue from fundraising -- including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism -- grew twice as fast as its income from members’ dues, according to NRA tax returns.

      More than 50 firearms-related companies have given at least $14.8 million... That same year, NRA lobbyists helped win passage of a federal law that limited liability claims against gun makers. Former NRA President Sandy Froman wrote that it “saved the American gun industry from bankruptcy.”

      Combined, sources such as fundraising, sales, advertising and royalties produced about $115 million in 2010, just over half the NRA’s $227.8 million in income, according to the group’s tax return. Most of the rest, about $100.5 million, came from membership dues. Other sources included program fees, sales of assets, investment income and subscriptions. ...

      While the association established a legislative affairs division in 1934, it didn’t begin lobbying until the mid-1970s as gun-control laws emerged after the political assassinations of the 1960s.

      •  Frank is lying again? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        Color me shocked. The thing is,  this very fact has been pointed out to him before and he even acknowledged it.  Of course Frank is deliberately deceptive, and serves no purpose here except to disseminate misinformation to as many people as he can.  Why it is tolerated here is beyond me.


        I especially like how he intentionally left the corporate sponsorship numbers out of it this time.  It learns.

        “The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow.” – Buckminster Fuller

        by TheFern on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:07:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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