National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre criticized President Obama for saying that Americans should disregard those who say “tyranny is always lurking just around the corner,” before warning that the administration is attempting to “disarm citizens on multiple fronts -- a step at a time -- not only of their firearms, but of their free speech”
The NRA often engages in hyperbolic language to suggest that Obama wishes to form a tyrannical government and destroy the Second Amendment. From LaPierre's July 30 op-ed appearing on conservative news website The Daily Caller:
Specifically, Obama signaled what he sees as dangerous political speech in his May, 2013 [Ohio University commencement] address:
“Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate sinister entity that's at the root of our problems. Some of these voices also do their best to gum up the works. They warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
As members of the oldest civil rights organization in the nation, NRA members know tyranny when we see it. Five million strong, we proudly “gum up the works” when those “works” are designed to destroy American liberty, be it attacks on rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment or the First Amendment.
“Tyranny.” That's Obama's word. The president is right about one thing: Many people are, indeed, warning about tyranny “lurking just around the corner.”
Referencing controversy over the Internal Revenue Service's use of improper screening methods when reviewing tax-exempt status for some non-profit groups, LaPierre wrote, “Obama cannot erase the Second Amendment without crippling or controlling exercise of the First Amendment. And that's exactly what is at the heart of the ongoing scandals involving the vindictive assault on conservative Americans by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).”
In fact, this characterization is overblown. There is no evidence of White House involvement in the use of improper screening methods by the IRS. Furthermore, despite initial reports that only conservative non-profits were targeted, it was later revealed that the IRS also used improper screening techniques on liberal organizations as well.
Still, in his opinion piece LaPierre described the IRS as “the president's thug arm” and implored readers to elect candidates who will “root out and prosecute what has morphed from the corruption of the 'Chicago way,' into the much more sinister Obama way,” adding that he hopes “Obama's 'transformation' of our nation and our culture” can be stopped.
The NRA routinely baselessly fearmongers about perceived threats to the Second Amendment; often for the purpose of fundraising.
At the same time it warns about a tyrannical federal government, the NRA also stokes fears of widespread chaos in the event that the government collapses and can no longer provide security to its citizens.
In a widely criticized and unhinged February op-ed for The Daily Caller, LaPierre suggested that Americans need to buy firearms in order to ensure their “survival” in the face of “Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals.”
While warning of a “fiscal collapse” and the prospect of “Euro-style debt riots” and the possibility that “if the country is broke, there likely won't be enough money to pay for police protection,” LaPierre also suggested that the federal government was too powerful and would use “a heinous act of mass murder” as “the pretext to unleash a tsunami of gun control.” According to LaPierre, to protect themselves from future calamity, Americans should “buy more guns than ever” and “grow the NRA more than ever.”
LaPierre, who popularized the idea of a “massive Obama conspiracy ... to destroy the Second Amendment,” is no stranger to hyperbole, as evidenced by his pre-election warning that “Obama is leading our country straight to the dependence, lawlessness, unchecked government power -- and the tyranny it invariably leads to -- from which our Founding Fathers fled.”
The NRA frequently suggests that a United Nations treaty to prohibit arms trafficking to human rights abusers and a botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun trafficking sting are further evidence of plots by the Obama administration to abolish the Second Amendment.