A Thought or Two re: the NRA Convention Speeches

This Politico piece is pretty interesting in that it reminds us again how completely batshit crazy this organization has become. Now as its president we meet one James Porter, a barely literate character from the backwoods of Georgia who’s somehow risen to the head of this good-ol’-boys’ club but for obvious reasons it looks like he’s going to be much less public than his predecessor. I wouldn’t want him to be the face of anything in which I was involved, that much is sure. He’s a drooling idiot, nothing more. LaPierre, however, is another story. He’s a snake-oil salesman, sure, slick and greasy, but give him this much credit: he’s effective at what he does.

In the excerpts from the speeches, consider how gun-control supporters get marginalized in the same way the Right always does re: the Left. “Oh, you don’t count. You don’t matter. Only our opinions matter because, naturally, we’re right. Not you.”

That’s a schoolyard insult. The NRA, like the Right in general, steadfastly refuses to grow up. In the process, the nation continues on pause instead of getting down to solving its problems.

I was also struck by the words of Ollie North of Iran/Contra infamy. He actually still believes people lied about what was clearly his program in fact. What did the media say that wasn’t true? They could’ve pushed harder, of course, and followed the clues that finally led to the Oval Office and the President who should rightly have been impeached. He was no great President. He was an unindicted co-conspirator.

Notice how LaPierre posits there’s a “terrorist in every community.” Wow. How does he know that? Every community, every last one? Come on, folks. We all know what he’s trying to do here—crank up the fear to eleven. It should be transparently obvious, but the thousands of people who attended most certainly believed the snake-oil sale and they met at the point of purchase.

This is dangerous rhetoric, and thinking people should recognize it for what it is. The NRA’s reach has grown to monstrous proportions as we see from the group’s efforts to stop gun-control movements beyond the U.S.; to repeat, truly I think this must constitute a charter violation if not criminal activity. What many on the Right fail to realize is how the NRA’s mission has devolved over time. They’re a shill for the gun industry, not gun owners. That’s been the case for a long while now, but the leadership would never admit that. Instead, they invite the incurious to their conventions and ply them with merchandise—as well as “information” about the gathering threats to their God-given right to own military-grade weaponry. This is a grotesque development; until the organization is utterly abolished and its leadership is jailed, the situation’s unlikely to change.

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About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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