National Rifle Association

Tags ››› National Rifle Association
  • Ignoring All Evidence, NRA Decides Gun Policy Determined The 2016 Presidential Election

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association is claiming in a post-election message that the gun issue decided the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump. But all available evidence indicates that voters actually showed a strong preference for gun safety measures and that the election was decided on other grounds.

    In a November 14 video released on NRATV, NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre claimed “Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she’s on permanent political vacation”:

    WAYNE LAPIERRE: On November 8th you, the five million men and women of the National Rifle Association of America, along with the tens of millions of gun owners all over this country who followed your lead, achieved a truly extraordinary, historic, even heroic accomplishment. In northern Florida and Pennsylvania, throughout Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, in small towns and communities all across America, you were the special forces that swung this election and sent Donald Trump and Mike Pence to the White House. You did this. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. In the wake of this historic event, the same disgraced group of so-called experts, talking heads, pundits, and pollsters that got everything wrong before the election are trying to deceive you again. So let me remove all doubt: Gun owners made this election happen. Hillary Clinton made her hatred for the Second Amendment a central issue of this campaign and as a result of that fatal mistake, she’s on permanent political vacation.   

    But the NRA’s framing of the election outcome doesn’t make sense, even assuming the election was decided on policy grounds (which it apparently wasn’t). The pro-gun safety presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, received substantially more votes than NRA-endorsed President-elect Donald Trump.

    Setting that aside, all available data indicates Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters overwhelmingly supported the types of gun safety measures that Clinton advocated for.

    According to polling released just before Election Day, measures including “expanding background checks on gun purchases; barring those convicted of a hate crime from buying a gun; and prohibiting those convicted of stalking or domestic abuse from buying guns” received widespread support among voters polled by Public Policy Polling in Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Center for American Progress noted that the polling shows “anywhere from 80 percent to 93 percent of Democrats in these states support them, along with 58 percent to 86 percent of critical independent voters, and even 64 percent to 80 percent of Republicans.”

    There is no evidence in exit polling that the gun issue was determinative in the election outcome either, as the economy was clearly the top priority for voters. (And as The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza noted, Clinton actually won on the economy, suggesting “people weren't voting on issues. Like, at all.”)

    The results of several ballot initiative votes also debunk the NRA’s attempt to create a false narrative about the election. Three out of four ballot measures where issues of gun policy were directly decided by voters passed. Ballot initiatives in California (requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, among other measures), Nevada (expanding background checks on gun purchases), and Washington (the creation of a legal mechanism to keep guns away from individuals who are a danger to themselves or others) were all victorious. A background check expansion ballot initiative in Maine was narrowly defeated.

    Gun safety advocates were also successful in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race where, unlike other races, gun policy was a significant issue. Proponents of expanded background checks had consistently and loudly expressed their displeasure with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) over her 2013 vote against background check legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. As Politico reported in its recap of Democrat Maggie Hassan’s victory, the race had become “a referendum on gun control.”

    It’s apparent that these are facts the NRA does not want to grapple with. In his video message LaPierre said that anyone claiming that the election was not a rejection of gun safety proposals is trying to “deceive you.” But that’s just another half-baked conspiracy theory from LaPierre. The facts speak for themselves.

  • NRA TV Co-Host: President Obama Is A “Pussy”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Chuck Holton, the co-host of a National Rifle Association web series, reacted to a picture of President-elect Trump and President Obama shaking hands by writing, “Photo finally surfaces of Trump grabbing a pussy.”

    Holton co-hosts the NRA TV series Frontlines alongside Iran-Contra figure and NRA board member Oliver North. According to the NRA, “their coverage ranges from how our military and law enforcement guard against radiological sabotage, counterfeiting and terrorism, to the threat of an unstable economy and cyber warfare.” (In promoting a Frontlines episode, Holton once raised the prospect of people on food stamps “eating each other in the streets” following an EMP attack by North Korea.)

    Holton’s attack on Obama came in response to a widely shared tweet authored by comedian and writer Travon Free where he wrote, “No better summation of being black in America. At the highest level having to be gracious to white people who do nothing but disrespect you.” Free’s tweet included an image of Trump and Obama shaking hands, leading Holton to respond, “Photo finally surfaces of Trump grabbing a pussy":

    Holton’s comment is a reference to a video that showed President-elect Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. In the tape, which was released in October, Trump can be heard saying,“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

    Holton previously made racially charged attacks on the black community while appearing in August on the NRA’s radio show Cam & Company. During the August 19 broadcast, Holton talked about gangs, absent fathers, and welfare, before saying, “And you hear college students complain about white privilege. You know my definition of white privilege? It’s just simply the culture that we have created, that our fathers and grandfathers have worked hard to create.” Holton went on describe white privilege as “a culture of individual responsibility, where you take responsibility for your own actions, a culture that respects authority.” He also positively cited a video about “white privilege” released by “alt right” blogger Stefan Molyneux. The video, which was widely praised in white nationalist circles, pushed the myth of “Irish slavery,” a common white nationalist talking point.

  • NRA “Work Of Fiction” Predicts Syrian Refugees Will Establish “Islamic State In The United States” During Clinton’s First Term

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A conspiratorial screed from the National Rifle Association imagines a future where the presidency of Hillary Clinton causes the rise of a new chapter of ISIS -- ISUS, the “Islamic State in The United States” -- culminating in a nuclear attack on U.S. soil.

    In a November 7 article in its online magazine America’s 1st Freedom, the NRA published “a work of fiction” about what America will look like in 2020 after four years of President Clinton, noting in a disclaimer at the top, “It isn’t true ... yet. But 2020 is only four years away”:

    In the NRA’s imagining, Clinton’s presidency will be filled with “tragedy and turmoil” including Syrian refugees causing the rise of ISIS within the United States and the “9/12 terrorist attacks” involving “cesium-137 bombings”:

    Indeed, much of the criticism leveled against Clinton throughout the campaign has centered on the tragedy and turmoil of the past four years, including the flood of refugees from Syria that some have blamed for the emergence of the Islamic State in the United States (ISUS); skyrocketing violent crime over the past two years that critics say is a direct result of Clinton’s policy of “ending the prison-industrial complex in America”; and, of course, last year’s 9/12 terrorist attacks at the Department of Energy’s Pantex Plant and Hanford facilities, and the cesium-137 bombings that followed.  

    Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope that has been associated with the prospect of a “dirty bomb” attack that spreads radioactive material.  

    The NRA article then approvingly quotes “University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabatico,” an apparent reference to real-life political scientist Larry Sabato, who calls Clinton’s first term “the most harrowing and nationally tragic presidential term since Lincoln’s first.”

    The NRA article imagines an NRA-led march of gun owners on the National Mall to warn that a second Clinton term “could spell the end of the Second Amendment-protected rights that have kept us free and safe since our nation’s birth.”

    Interestingly, in 2008, the NRA predicted that President Obama would destroy the Second Amendment during his first term. When that didn’t happen, the NRA predicted Obama would destroy the Second Amendment during his second term. When that didn’t happen, the NRA pivoted to Clinton and is now predicting that she will destroy the Second Amendment in her first term. For the NRA, baseless fearmongering about Democrats’ threat to the Second Amendment appears to be standard campaign rhetoric, even in their works of fiction.

    The NRA article also casts frequent NRA boogeymen in elevated roles during a Clinton first term, with President Obama serving as chief justice of the Supreme Court, former Attorney General Eric Holder serving as head of the FBI, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg serving as U.N. ambassador, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) serving on the Federal Elections Commission.  

  • All The Times (We Know Of) When Trump Surrogate Ted Nugent Used "The N-Word”

    After Fox News And The Trump Campaign Repeatedly Criticized Jay Z's Lyrics, Trump Campaigned With Nugent

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Conservative media and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign breathlessly condemned rapper Jay Z for  “drop[pping] the n-word” in lyrics during a campaign concert for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday, but they had nothing to say about Trump surrogate Ted Nugent, who repeatedly says “nigger” in contexts that are racist. 

    Following Jay Z’s Friday performance at a Clinton campaign rally, conservative media lost their minds because Jay Z used “the N-word many, many, many times”:

    Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway criticized Clinton for appearing with Jay Z, citing the rapper’s use of “the n-word” in his performance:

    Trump also complained about Jay Z’s performance, saying at a November 5 rally, “He used every word in the book last night. He used language last night that was so bad and then Hillary said, 'I did not like Donald Trump's lewd language.' My lewd language. I tell you what, I've never said what he said in my life.”

    But then the next day, the Trump campaign invited Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member who has appeared in a Trump campaign video, to perform and speak at a Michigan rally. Nugent has a troubling history of making racist commentary, including using “nigger” as a slur.

    In a March 31 post on his Facebook page, Nugent promoted a meme popular on racist websites depicting a fake moving company called “2 niggers and a stolen truck.” The image included racial caricatures of black people:

    In 2015, Nugent devoted his June 24 column at conspiracy website WorldNetDaily to praising the word “nigger,” and defended its use as a racial slur. Citing himself as someone who "continue[s] to use the word nigger at one time or another," Nugent praised the use of the word by several well-known people not bound by “political correctness,” including former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective and current Fox News contributor Mark Fuhrman. (Fuhrman was a detective on the O.J. Simpson murder case. During Simpson's trial, the defense produced tapes of Fuhrman saying “nigger” more than 40 times over a 10-year period. According to the tapes, in his capacity with the LAPD, Fuhrman said things to African-Americans like, "You do what you're told, understand, nigger?")

    Promoting his column on Facebook, Nugent wrote, “When I play my Motown guitar, I niggerup”:

    In April 2015, Nugent wrote a post on Facebook referring to civil rights leader Al Sharpton as a “mongrel.” In the comment section, Nugent “liked” a post where somebody wrote, “Isn't 'mongrel' better than 'nigger'? Can't please some people.”

    In a 1990 interview unearthed by Media Matters in 2014, Nugent told Detroit Free Press Magazine, “I use the word nigger a lot because I hang around with a lot of niggers, and they use the word nigger, and I tend to use words that communicate.” In the same interview, Nugent defended Apartheid in South Africa, arguing that black South Africans are “a different breed of man” because they “still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands.”

    In a 1995 interview with Bob Mack of Grand Royal Magazine, Nugent claimed that “real America” is populated by “working hard, playing hard, white motherfucking shit kickers, who are independent and get up in the morning.” When Mack asked Nugent, “Aren't there any blacks?” Nugent responded, “Show me one. Show me one.” Moments later Nugent called James Brown and Wilson Pickett “niggers … spirited, genuine African Americans,” while labeling black rap artists “big uneducated greasy black mongrels”:

    There is strong evidence that Nugent’s use of “nigger” is tied to his racism against blacks. While Nugent notably called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” he has also repeatedly attacked the black community at large.

    An example of these attacks was seen in Nugent’s ongoing reaction to the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered African-American Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Following the acquittal, Nugent called Martin a "dope-smoking, racist gangsta wannabe." Then in the following weeks Nugent claimed that people should profile African-Americans in the same way members of a community might profile a breed of dog that was biting children, that African-Americans could solve “the black problem" if they were more honest and law-abiding, and that the African-American community has a "mindless tendency to violence" and an inability to "read or speak clearly."

    Nugent has also offered inflammatory commentary on Clinton during the presidential campaign, including calling for her to be hanged for treason and promoting a fake video of Clinton being shot.

  • Trump To Campaign With Ted Nugent, Noted Racist Who Said Hillary Clinton Should Be Hanged

    A Week After Calling Clinton A “Devilbitch,” Nugent Will Appear At A Trump Rally

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will campaign tonight with National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, a racist who earlier this year called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and recently described her as a “devilbitch.”

    Nugent will reportedly join Trump at a rally in Michigan tonight.

    As Media Matters has documented:

    Nugent has a long history of making racist and other inflammatory commentary. In 2016 alone, Nugent has promoted anti-Semitic content, used a racial slur against a Latino critic, promoted misogynist reasons why guns are better than women, shared a racist meme advertising the fake moving company “2 niggers and a stolen truck,” and smeared Minnesota police shooting victim Philando Castile as a criminal. In 2015, Nugent devoted an entire column to praising the use of the word “nigger,” even in a racist context.

    Nugent, who has endorsed Trump for president, this year has called for Clinton to be hanged for treason and promoted a fake video of her being shot. In an August post on his Facebook page calling for people to vote for Trump, Nugent termed Clinton a “lying hypocrite bitch.” He has also called the former secretary of state a “toxic cunt.” In a viral 2007 concert video, an assault-rifle-wielding Nugent called Clinton a “worthless bitch” and said that she should ride on his machine gun.

    In August, Bud Light pulled sponsorship of a Nugent concert following reporting from Media Matters about the beer company's association with Nugent. Nugent caused a national controversy in 2014 by campaigning with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. Abbott was slammed -- including by fellow Republicans -- for the association after Nugent called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

    In an October 31 Facebook Live video, Nugent exhorted viewers to “be sure you’re members of the National Rifle Association, and by God, get everybody in your lives to vote for Donald Trump in eight days, or the devilbitch will continue the fundamental transformation of the Barack ‘I Hate America’ Obama suicide death march for America. And if you have a problem with that terminology, move to Cuba, because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s policies are already in play in Cuba.”

     

     

  • NRA: “Terrorists Want You To Elect” Hillary Clinton

    In Fact, There Is Widespread Agreement Among Experts That ISIS Wants Trump To Win

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A commentary video released by the National Rifle Association claims that “terrorists want you to elect” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because of her policies on immigration and guns. In fact, numerous experts agree that ISIS prefers Trump as president.

    In a November 3 NRA News commentary, NRA commentator and former Navy SEAL Dom Raso claimed, “The threat this country faces is real and it will only become worse with the weakened policies Hillary plans to enact. The terrorists want you to elect her. They want weaker immigration and more gun-free zones”:

    DOM RASO: I didn’t put my life on the line God knows how many times, and my brothers didn’t fight and die so a career politician, who has been defended by guns her entire life, could take that fundamental right away from everybody else. The threat this country faces is real and it will only become worse with the weakened policies Hillary plans to enact. The terrorists want you to elect her. They want weaker immigration and more gun-free zones. They want everybody to be caught off guard, just like 9/11. A plane being used as a missile was something that couldn’t happen, and it did.

    Widespread reporting indicates that Trump is the candidate of choice for ISIS:

    • Matt Olsen, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center, wrote at Time that “interviews with ISIS members and analysis of social media” indicate the terrorist organization wants Trump to win because “Trump’s anti-Muslim proposals are likely to inspire and radicalize more violent jihadists in the U.S. and Europe.”
    • Foreign Affairs: “Analysis of ISIS chatter on social media and conversations with 12 current and former supporters of the group do indicate that ISIS strongly prefers Trump over the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.”
    • An ISIS defector told Talking Points Memo that ISIS prefers Trump because he is the “perfect enemy.” TPM quoted a counterterrorism analyst who said, “It’s clear they find his comments, they find his demeanor, they find his approach, in some way serving the goals of ISIS in some manner, whether it be in having a ground war in Syria or weakening the United States."
    • Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism expert who served in Democratic and Republican presidential administrations, wrote that “for ISIS, the election of Trump would help them to validate the group’s contention that the U.S. is at war with Islam. That narrative has been a powerful tool for ISIS in recruiting people to join its ranks and commit terrorist attacks.”

    The NRA’s claim about Clinton’s position on “gun-free zones” is equally unfounded.

    There is no evidence that places that do not allow guns are more dangerous than places that do, or that mass killers choose their targets depending on whether guns can be carried. Mother Jones reported that a new study from Johns Hopkins University found “From 1966 to 2015, only 12 percent of 111 high-fatality mass shootings in the United States -- at college campuses or elsewhere -- took place in ‘gun free’ zones, and only 5 percent took place in ‘gun restricted’ zones, where security guards were armed but civilians were banned from carrying weapons.” The study also found that civilians carrying concealed weapons have not been an effective deterrent in stopping mass shootings.

    Terrorists, however, have called on supporters to exploit loopholes in weak U.S. gun laws to obtain firearms. In a 2011 video, American-born al-Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn urged al-Qaeda's followers to go to gun shows in order to buy guns without undergoing a background check, asking his audience, "So what are you waiting for?" The NRA staunchly opposes closing loopholes that allow firearms to be purchased without background checks.

  • Donald Trump’s “Second Amendment Coalition" Includes NRA Board Member Who Compared Gun Safety Push To The Holocaust

    Coalition Also Includes Reality Star And Gunmaker Jesse James, Who Likes To Dress Up As A Nazi And Give The Hitler Salute

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s newly announced “Second Amendment Coalition” is filled with National Rifle Association board members and gun industry executives and includes an NRA board member who predicted the “death of millions” while comparing gun violence prevention laws to the Holocaust.

    Breitbart News reported on the launch of the 64-member coalition, writing, “On November 3 Donald Trump launched the ‘Second Amendment Coalition,’ featuring pro-gun U.S. Congressmen, the [National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action’s] Chris Cox, and gun manufacturers like Jesse James and Daniel Defense’s Marty Daniel.”

    The list reported by Breitbart News includes NRA board member Ronnie Barrett, the inventor and manufacturer of the controversial .50-caliber sniper rifle.

    During the debate over gun laws following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Barrett appeared on an NRA News program to compare the push for stronger gun laws to the Nazi movement in Germany.

    Asked by NRA News host Cam Edwards about gun safety proposals in New York, Colorado, and Maryland, Barrett said during a March 1, 2013, broadcast, “In all of history when this kind of stuff has happened before, it's bad news. You know and I hate to be one of these doomsday guys, but in past things like this result in the death of millions.”

    Barrett then referenced a false version of history often repeated by gun activists that claims gun confiscation paved the way for the Holocaust:

    BARRETT: World War II hasn't been 700 years ago, it's only been 70 years ago. And if people don't think that these things don't happen to modern, progressive, Christian nations like Germany was, they're wrong, brother. I mean we're sitting here just nearly repeating the same past of that, the disarming of the citizenry not based on any facts but based on cynical emotions that are put in and rushed through in the middle of the night before anybody has a chance to study the true facts, before their citizenry even knows what's going on. I mean holy smokes, what kind of state government was that? I can't believe that's one of the members of the Union here, one of the members of our republic. It's just unimaginable.

    During a February 5 appearance on NRA News that year, Barrett referenced the Holocaust again, suggesting that gun owners can prevent "socialism" and make it so "you can't round up hoards of armed free people and put them in cattle cars."

    The Anti-Defamation League has repeatedly condemned comparisons between proposals to strengthen gun laws and the Holocaust, calling such claims “historically inaccurate and offensive,” and noting that “gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.”

    In addition, the .50-caliber sniper rifle Barrett manufactures -- “among the most destructive weapons legally available to civilians” -- has raised public safety concerns, and some have attempted to ban the sale of the weapon to civilians. (In most states, the sniper rifle is presently no more regulated than a standard hunting rifle.) Law enforcement has linked the .50-caliber sniper rifle to “terrorism, outlaw motorcycle gangs, international and domestic drug trafficking, and violent crime.” After suspected drug cartel members fired a .50-caliber sniper rifle at U.S. Border Patrol agents in 2014, even Fox News ran multiple segments detailing the danger the “battlefield weapon” poses to law enforcement, with one host noting, “The slugs a .50-caliber weapon fires are so big that body armor really won't do you much good.”

    Other NRA board members joining Trump’s coalition include Jim Gilmore, Dave Butz, Richard Childress, Alan Cors, Carolyn Meadows, Craig Morgan, and Linda Walker. Gun industry executives on the list include Marty Daniel; George Kollitides, who owns the company that made the Sandy Hook massacre gun; and reality TV star-turned-gunmaker Jesse James.

    James, who has endorsed Trump and rose to notoriety for his reality TV show about building custom motorcycles, has been photographed multiple times over the past decade wearing Nazi uniforms and giving the Sieg Heil Nazi salute.

  • Days After He Talked About Gun Owners Shooting Hillary Clinton, NRA Cuts Ad For Sen. Richard Burr

    NRA Has Spent More On NC Senate Race -- $6 Million -- Than Any Other Congressional Contest

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Days after CNN obtained audio of Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) talking about gun owners shooting Hillary Clinton, the National Rifle Association (NRA) released an ad claiming that the only way to “save the Second Amendment” is to reelect Burr and other Republican senators.

    According to an October 31 CNN report, Burr, while speaking to campaign volunteers, said that “nothing made me feel better” than to see a gun magazine with a picture of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s face on the cover. Burr added, “I was a little bit shocked at that -- it didn't have a bullseye on it,” drawing laughter from his audience. Burr, who has since apologized for his remarks, was apparently referencing NRA magazine American Rifleman:

    Burr’s remark, which recalled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Clinton if she is elected president, was condemned by gun safety groups and addressed by President Barack Obama, who said, “You don’t talk about violence against public officials, even in a joke.”

    The NRA’s November 3 ad touting Burr falsely claims that “if Hillary Clinton is president your right to keep a gun in your home for self-defense will be in jeopardy like never before.” PolitiFact previously rated the NRA’s claim Clinton “doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense” as “False.”

    It is unclear how much the NRA will spend to air the ad on television. FEC filings can be delayed for several days and the latest NRA filing for spending in the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina was submitted on October 31. The NRA has spent more on the North Carolina senate race than any other congressional race, spending $5,586,930 against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross and $663,765 in favor of Burr.

    By comparison, the NRA has spent $3.1 million on its next-biggest target, the Florida U.S. Senate race. The bulk of NRA election spending is focused on electing Trump as president. The NRA has spent nearly $30 million on that race.

  • NRA Repurposes Kids Board Game Candy Land As Shooting Target

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association released a spoof shooting target of the board game Candy Land called “Target Land” where shooters can fire on targets throughout a fantasy landscape containing the Peppermint Stick Forest, the Crooked Old Peanut Brittle House, Lollypop Woods, and other locations from the iconic kids game.

    A November 2 article from NRABlog suggests reinvigorating “boring” board games, including Battleship, Checkers, and Candy Land by turning them into targets for the shooting range:

    Here is the full “Target Land” target released by the NRA:

    The NRA previously appropriated children's fairy tales for pro-gun purposes, releasing Little Red Riding Hood (Has A Gun) and Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns) at its NRA Family website, leading to widespread condemnation and ridicule.

  • NRA Furiously Tries To Attack Senate Candidate Who Assembled A Gun Blindfolded

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A National Rifle Association attack ad targeting Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Jason Kander features a narrator who falsely claims Kander “voted against letting me defend myself at my apartment with a gun if I choose.” But the bill in question had nothing to do with whether people are allowed to defend themselves in the home with a gun.

    The NRA has spent nearly $3 million on the Senate race in Missouri, including almost $2.5 million in spending against Kander, and nearly $500,000 in spending supporting Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt. Gun policy has played a significant role in the campaign since the release of a viral ad where Kander assembles a gun blindfolded while describing his experiences as a combat veteran in Afghanistan and explaining the need for background checks to keep guns away from terrorists.

    In an October 31 NRA ad, a woman identified as Jessica from Ballwin, MO, claims that “Jason Kander voted against letting me defend myself at my apartment with a gun if I choose.” The NRA ad cites a vote Kander made on House Bill 668 in 2009 while serving in the Missouri House of Representatives as evidence of this claim:

    JESSICA: If you’re like most people, you just want this election to end. So how do we decide? For me, it’s about respect. Jason Kander does not respect my right to self-defense. Jason Kander voted against letting me defend myself at my apartment with a gun if I choose. It should be my choice, because it’s my right. Don’t let Jason Kander take your rights away.

    H.B. 668 wasn’t about self-defense inside the home. Instead, it was legislation that expanded the scope of permissible self-defense outside the home in a way similar to controversial “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws. This fact is explained in a since-deleted 2009 notice on the NRA’s website urging NRA supporters to advocate for the bill’s passage, where the NRA explained H.B. 668 “would expand Missouri’s Castle Doctrine to now include your private property boundaries” -- meaning it would have expanded the self-defense protections already available in the home to outdoor property.

    Both before and after the passage of H.B. 668, Missouri has been considered a “Castle Doctrine” state, meaning that people do not have a duty to retreat when employing deadly force in defense of the home. Voting for or against H.B. 668 has no bearing on this fact.

    It is unlikely even that the kind legislation described by the ad -- a bill that would allow or disallow people to use a gun in the home for self-defense -- would be proposed or voted on by anyone. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion in the landmark 2008 decision District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding people to keep a gun in the home for self-defense -- meaning that the type of legislation imagined by the NRA in their anti-Kander ad would be a non-starter.

  • NRA Smears Maine Congressional Candidate By Distorting What She Said About Background Checks On Gun Sales

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A National Rifle Association attack ad targeting Maine congressional candidate Emily Cain falsely claims that Cain called “restricting our rights” “the right thing to do.” But according to the newspaper article the NRA cites, Cain was speaking about expanded background checks, a policy that doesn’t infringe upon the Second Amendment. The article in question also explicitly notes that Cain “didn’t say she would restrict rights, saying she supports” the Second Amendment.

    In the October 31 ad released by NRA lobbying arm Institute for Legislative Action, a narrator says, “Politician Emily Cain called restricting our rights ‘the right thing to do,’” citing the October 15, 2014, edition of the Kennebec Journal:

    According to a review of the article in Nexis, Cain was speaking about her support for expanding background checks on gun sales:

    But on gun issues, they diverged, with [Emily] Cain supporting mandatory background checks on private gun purchases. [Rep. Bruce] Poliquin, who is endorsed by the pro-gun National Rifle Association, opposes that, saying Maine has a high rate of gun ownership and a low level of crime.

    "We need to protect our gun rights, not whittle away at them, as Ms. Cain says she will do," he said.

    Cain didn't say she would restrict rights, saying she supports the Constitution's 2nd Amendment, but called expanding background checks "the right thing to do" to reduce gun violence.

    There is no “right” to purchase a gun without undergoing a background check. In the 2008 landmark Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia described the Second Amendment as encompassing the right for law-abiding people to own a gun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. After describing the Second Amendment right, Scalia wrote that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on … laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    During the Senate’s consideration of expanded background check legislation in 2013, a group of 50 constitutional law experts wrote that expanded background check legislation passed constitutional muster under D.C. v. Heller, noting, “Universal background checks, especially those conducted instantaneously through the National Instant Background Check System, do not impose a significant burden on law-abiding citizens.” In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, constitutional law expert and law professor Lawrence Tribe stated, “There is no serious doubt that requiring ... a universal background check would comply with the Second Amendment.”

    The NRA has spent more than $50 million on the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, in many instances on ads that are premised on serious factual falsehoods.

  • Host Of NRA's New Pro-Trump Show: "Blame Minorities" For Gun Violence

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Grant Stinchfield, the host of a new venture from the National Rifle Association called NRATV, has written on social media that minorities should be blamed for gun violence and promoted conspiracy theories that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that “maybe Israelis” shot down a Russian passenger aircraft.

    Launched earlier this month, NRATV plays material from the NRA’s video archive 24 hours a day, with Stinchfield breaking in to give live updates. Many of the updates involve promoting the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and are branded with a graphic that says, “ELECTION COUNTDOWN: SAVE THE 2ND.” (Though Stinchfield, a conservative Texas-based radio host and former Republican candidate for Congress, previously authored a column in which he said he regretted voting for Trump during the GOP primary.)

    Commenting in October 2015 on a New York Times article about the 30-plus gun homicides that occur on an average day in America, Stinchfield wrote on Twitter, “Blame minorities killing each other not law abiding conservatives. Let's look harder at broken families not gun laws.”

    Stinchfield also suggested that Justice Scalia, who died in February, was murdered by President Obama:

    In November 2015, Stinchfield speculated about whether Israel, MI6 or the CIA may have been involved in downing Metrojet Flight 9268, a Russian passenger plane that exploded over Egypt in October 2015. ISIS has claimed credit for placing a bomb on the plane.

    Stinchfield has also asked on Twitter, “Does #ISIS have Tranny Jihadis?”:

  • Trump Surrogate Ted Nugent: Hillary Clinton Is A “Devilbitch,” “VOTE TRUMP!”

    Nugent, A Member Of The NRA’s Board, Has Called For Clinton To Be Hanged

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent called Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a “devilbitch” moments after promoting a Donald Trump presidential campaign video that he appears in.

    In an October 27 post on his Facebook page, Nugent wrote of Clinton, “The devilbitch hates everything good about America! VOTE TRUMP!” while promoting an NRA attack on the Democratic nominee. The post came moments after Nugent shared a Trump campaign video, which he is featured in, that discusses hunting and the Second Amendment:

    In the Trump campaign video, which features a message from Trump and statements from a variety of gun regulation opponents, Nugent claims Clinton “will destroy the freedom that is uniquely American. Donald Trump will safeguard the things that make America the greatest place in the world.” Nugent has frequently called Clinton a bitch. Here is footage from an August concert where he said of Clinton, “That’s one toxic bitch, now why isn’t that bitch in jail?”:

    Earlier this year Nugent called for Clinton, as well as President Obama, to be hanged for treason. During primary season, Nugent promoted a fake video of Sen. Bernie Sanders graphically shooting Clinton, and added his own message, “I got your gun control right here bitch!” He has also called the former secretary of state a “toxic cunt.” In a 2007 concert video, an assault-rifle-wielding Nugent called Clinton a “worthless bitch” and said that she should "ride" on his machine gun.

    Nugent is associated with the Trump campaign despite his long history of making racist and inflammatory commentary. In 2016 alone, Nugent has promoted anti-Semitic content, used a racial slur against a Latino critic, promoted misogynist reasons why guns are better than women, and shared a racist meme advertising the fake moving company “2 niggers and a stolen truck.” In 2015, Nugent devoted an entire column to praising the use of the word “nigger,” even in a racist context.

    Nugent often uses his Facebook page to write testimonials for Trump that have sometimes included inflammatory commentary. For example, in an August post he called for “federal agents” to “coordinate the mass arrest they know they are sworn to make” -- presumably in reference to politicians he doesn’t favor -- and added, “When will America be America again? Trump November 2016 & WE THE PEOPLE raising hell onward!”

  • As Election Approaches, NRA Hypes Horrific, America-Destroying ISIS Attack Scenarios

    NRA Tactics Include Showing Images Of Dead Children Before Calling For Leaders Who Will Say “Radical Islamic Terror”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    In the lead-up to the presidential election, the National Rifle Association is releasing a series of videos predicting increasingly deadly terror attacks, including one scenario that culminates with “urban street gangs” and Mexican drug cartels taking “control" of the United States.

    That hypothetical was described in an October 18 NRA Commentator video, with NRA News commentator Dom Raso saying he was going to “think like ISIS” before suggesting that the terror group could take down the United States’ entire power grid.

    According to Raso, as time passes after the power goes out, “food and water would be almost impossible to find and whatever stockpiles were left would become war zone. … I guarantee police would abandon their duty, to protect their own families. … Sewage would pile up in homes and run out into the streets. There would be no safe water for showers, and disease would inevitably start to spread. With their ruthless methods and superior organization, Mexican cartels and urban street gangs take advantage of everyone and take control.”

    Raso then said, “At this point, ISIS doesn’t have to kill anyone; they’ve already won”:

    In an October 11 video, Raso described another doomsday scenario, pre-emptively blaming President Obama for ISIS setting off a hypothetical nuclear device in Times Square. In this scenario, ISIS would smuggle the nuclear device across the U.S.-Mexico border.

    While showing images of Obama, Raso intoned, “If, God forbid, a massive attack is carried out on our own soil by terrorists who gained entry by crossing that border, it will be exactly because we decided to put the feelings and opinions of those politicians whose closest interaction with ISIS is watching the Paris attacks happen on CNN over the safety of the American people”:

    In an October 4 video, Raso claimed that Obama “talks about universal values we all share as if Islamic terrorists are just like us,” before predicting an ISIS terror attack against a school in the U.S. similar to the 2004 Beslan, Russia, hostage crisis that left hundreds dead.

    Without mentioning Trump by name, the video demanded that we elect federal leaders who will say “radical Islamic terror.”

    The NRA video is graphic and includes footage of dead and wounded children:

    The NRA most recently amped up its fearmongering with an “urgent message” to members from the group’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, in which he described the U.S. as an unlivable hellscape following eight years of Obama as president.

    Before the 2014 elections, the NRA’s election edition of its magazine fearmongered about terrorist attacks and "angry mobs" rioting "just for the sheer hell of it" in the U.S. before calling on supporters to "vote our guns" on Election Day. That magazine cover suggested that ISIS is at “our door”:

     
  • At His Most Unhinged, NRA’s LaPierre Sends “Urgent” Message To Members Describing America As A Hellscape

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The leader of the National Rifle Association insisted he wasn’t “crazy,” “paranoid,” or “nuts” before ranting to NRA members in an “urgent” video message where he made claims at odds with reality, including claiming that his widely ridiculed prediction that President Obama would come for Americans’ guns “came true.”

    During a six-minute get out the vote video, NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre described America after eight years of Obama as president in hellish terms unrecognizable to anyone who actually lives here, claiming that the president has “laid waste to the America we remember” causing the country to “completely unravel.”

    After describing a calamitous America, LaPierre claimed, “I told you exactly what [Obama] would do. The media said I was nuts. But in the end, America knows I was right.” You decide whether LaPierre was right:

    • LaPierre said his prediction that Obama “would come for our guns and do everything in his power to sabotage the Second Amendment” “came true” following the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, when Obama “exploited a horrible tragedy to launch a blizzard of gun bans, magazine restrictions, and gun registration schemes against law abiding gun owners all across the country.” (Nothing proposed by Obama would have violated the Second Amendment as understood in the Antonin Scalia-authored Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller. The background check bill that was voted on in the Senate after the massacre specifically prohibited the creation of registries.)

    • Following terror attacks carried out by ISIS, LaPierre claimed Obama “attacked you harder than he attacked ISIS. He used the terrorism his own weaknesses and failures made possible to try to gut your right to shoot back at the terrorists he refused to kill.” (As commander-in-chief, Obama is actually carrying out a military campaign against ISIS which routinely kills the group’s leaders and fighters. Nothing Obama has ever proposed would bar citizens from shooting back at terrorists.)

    • LaPierre claimed that Obama “has transformed America into a sanctuary nation for felons, criminal gangbangers, drug dealers, repeat offenders, and illegal aliens” and that “our inner cities now rank among the most dangerous places in the world.” (Although there have been upticks as well as dips, violent crime has continued to fall under President Obama.)

    • LaPierre said Obama “handed nuclear bombs to the Iranian mullahs who dream of killing us all.” (In fact, the deal negotiated with Iran will make it much more difficult for that country to make a nuclear bomb.)

    • Under Obama, LaPierre claimed, “Our economy is on life support. Health care is an utter failure. Our schools have never been worse. You can see the despair in every parent's eyes.” (The economy is growing, the uninsured rate is an all-time low, and the high school graduation rate is at a record high.)

    • LaPierre claimed Clinton “will come for your guns, she will attack your right to carry, she will attack your most basic right to defend your family with a firearm in your home.” (Independent fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked the claim that Clinton opposes gun ownership or that she has indicated she would abolish the Second Amendment.)

    If the present-day America described by LaPierre is frightening, the scenario he describes if Clinton were to be elected is outright terrifying. According to LaPierre, Clinton’s election would harken “the creation of a new, post-freedom America that you won’t even recognize” as Clinton twists “a knife into the heart of the one freedom that separates us from the rest of the world.”

    Displaying his trademark paranoia, LaPierre -- irresponsibly and without evidence -- claims that guns would be “forcibly” confiscated during Clinton’s presidency and “if you refuse to witness the self-destruction of the greatest nation the world has ever known” then NRA voters must ensure Clinton’s defeat so that America “will be great again.”

    LaPierre offered one more falsehood in his video message: He said that NRA supporters “are the Special Forces that swing elections.” The idea that the NRA has the ability to determine election outcomes has actually been vastly overstated.

    LaPierre’s entire paranoid rant:

    WAYNE LAPIERRE: I spent my entire life fighting for the Second Amendment and I’ve got the scars to prove it. The media and many in the political class have reserved some of their most vicious, nasty insults for me. Because they truly hate the freedom that I stand for and they hate that I tell the truth. They’ve called me crazy, paranoid, evil, and far worse. But the media is so focused on me, they forgot about you, the tens of millions of gun owners all over America. The men and women who come up to me at guns shows in places like Tulsa and Harrisburg, the mechanics and taxi drivers and Waffle House waitresses who tell me, “Never ever back down.” You give me the strength to speak the plain honest truth in the face of all the hate.

    When I said Barack Obama would come for our guns and do everything in his power to sabotage the Second Amendment, they savaged me. They called me a liar. But every one of those predictions came true. As soon as it was politically convenient, he exploited a horrible tragedy to launch a blizzard of gun bans, magazine restrictions, and gun registration schemes against law-abiding gun owners all across the country.

    I stood in front of the country and said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I said our children deserve at least the same level of protection that surrounds our jewelry stores, banks, office buildings, celebrities, and the political and media elite. They attacked me like never before. But you stood your ground, and you told me to stand mine.

    While radical Islamic terrorists shot, bombed, and butchered innocent Americans on our own soil, Barack Obama attacked you harder than he attacked ISIS. He used the terrorism his own weaknesses and failures made possible to try to gut your right to shoot back at the terrorists he refused to kill. Thank God we stopped him in his tracks. But while his term ends in a matter of months, his two Supreme Court appointees, easily among the worst justices to ever sit on that bench, will come after our guns for the rest of their lives. Eight years of his policies have laid waste to the America we remember. Through a deliberate lack of prosecution, he has transformed America into a sanctuary nation for felons, criminal gangbangers, drug dealers, repeat offenders, and illegal aliens. Our inner cities now rank among the most dangerous places in the world. Teenage girls are trafficked in sex trade that begins south of our porous border and ends up right under the noses of the elites in cities like Washington, D.C.

    His foreign policy enabled and inspired ISIS, handed nuclear bombs to the Iranian mullahs who dream of killing us all, emboldened Russia, China and North Korea, and left Europe on the brink of absolute implosion. Even the weakest leaders of third-rate countries feel free to publicly mock and disrespect our president while the world’s most cunning, power-hungry negotiators played him for a fool.

    Our economy is on life support. Health care is an utter failure. Our schools have never been worse. You can see the despair in every parent's eyes. Eight years; that's all it took for our country to completely unravel. I told you exactly what he would do. The media said I was nuts. But in the end, America knows I was right.

    So feel free to mark my words: If, God forbid, Hillary Clinton is elected, she will launch an all-out war on the Second Amendment. She will come for your guns, she will attack your right to carry, she will attack your most basic right to defend your family with a firearm in your home. And she will continue the disastrous policies of this administration to their inevitable conclusion: the creation of a new, post-freedom America that you won’t even recognize.

    There is no red line President Hillary Clinton will not cross when it comes to attacking your rights and forcibly taking your guns. She dreams of twisting a knife into the heart of the one freedom that separates us from the rest of the world. The only thing that can stop her is you. The NRA's 5 million members are history’s most committed, most elite defenders of freedom. You are the Special Forces that swing elections, and I need you now more than ever.

    Fight with me; stand by my side like you have at all these years. If you cherish the freedom that was won for you at Lexington and Concord and on the shores of Normandy, if you believe that this freedom makes America better and stronger than every other country, if you refuse to witness the self-destruction of the greatest nation the world has ever known, then join me: Arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, we will fight for each other, for our children and for future generations, and for our shared dream that American can and will be great again. On November 8th, you are freedom's safest place.