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Posts tagged "Gun Confiscation"

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is alleging that a shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada that left two police officers and another victim dead was “absolutely staged” by the federal government.

On June 8, a married couple identified in news reports as Jerad and Amanda Miller ambushed and killed two police officers at a restaurant and killed a third person before taking their own lives in a “suicide pact" at a nearby Walmart. Witnesses say they heard the shooters state “this is the start of a revolution,” after the officers were shot. The slain officers were allegedly draped in Gadsden flags by the shooters, a symbol commonly associated with the Tea Party. Law enforcement officials believe the couple held extreme anti-government views and Jerad Miller reportedly claimed to have participated in the standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

On the June 9 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Jones claimed “the country is being purposefully imploded right now,” before calling the shootings “absolutely staged.” Jones continued stating, “There is so much proof of this being staged yesterday, when I first read about it, and this morning, that my mind exploded with hundreds of data points, and quite frankly it’s conclusive.” He then claimed that the shooting bore out some of the “hundreds of predictions” that he had made “since the Bundy ranch situation,” including a scenario where a shooting is blamed on the Tea Party. Towards the end of the segment, Jones named Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and referenced actions by the Obama administration in purporting to identify the actual parties responsible for the Las Vegas police ambush. He concluded, “I kept telling, they’re getting ready to false flag, and it happens right in Harry Reid’s district, right in his state, right in his city, with his police department”:

Jones, a founding member of the 9-11 conspiracy theories movement, often claims catastrophes — such as high-profile public incidents of violence or even natural disasters — are false flag operations conducted by the government or shadowy globalist figures. Earlier this year, Jones joined other right-wing media in championing the cause of Bundy, who refused the pay the federal government decades of past-due grazing fees. One Bundy-related conspiracy theory advanced by Jones — that the dispute was actually part of a “land grab” involving a Chinese solar company — made its way on Fox News. (Jones also gave Bundy a platform to falsely claim that he was misquoted after Bundy’s racist comments about “the Negro” came to light.)

Jones’ work is also a fixture on popular conservative website Drudge Report, whose operator Matt Drudge declared 2013 “the year of Alex Jones.” During a two-year period started in April 2011, Drudge linked to Jones244 times.

Jerad Miller was a fan of Alex Jones, according to his Facebook page. In a February 2013 posting, Miller told people to read Jones’ website, writing, “infowars.com get informed or get stupid”:

Miller frequently shared content from Jones on Facebook, including conspiracy theories relating to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, FEMA-related gun confiscation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives:

h/t: Timothy Johnson at MMFA

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Conservative website The Daily Caller published in its entirety an over-the-top fundraising pitch from National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre that suggested the only way to save America is to buy an NRA membership.

The March 3 column posted in the Caller’s “Guns and Gear” section included the phone number for an NRA membership hotline and a link to a website where Caller readers can purchase a discounted NRA membership:

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Like other material published by the NRA at the Caller, the fundraising pitch was filled with paranoid rhetoric based on the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is plotting to confiscate privately owned firearms. 

Warning that “2014 could be remembered as the turning point in the loss of your Second Amendment rights,” LaPierre urged readers to buy or upgrade NRA memberships, and wrote, “your NRA membership may be the only thing that can stop the Obama-Biden-Bloomberg gun-ban bulldozer.”

LaPierre continued: “Right now, President Obama is on the verge of putting together a royal flush — an unbeatable, winner-takes-all hand in poker — in his drive to ‘transform’ American society by disarming the American people.”

The fundraising pitch also included one of the NRA’s more outlandish conspiracy theories, the claim that the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty — an effort to crack down on the diversion of weapons to human rights abusers — “could set the stage for a national gun registry, to be shared with foreign governments.”

The reprinting of LaPierre’s fundraising pitch follows what is already an unusual relationship between a supposed journalism outlet and an advocacy group. Since its launch in December 2011, the Caller’s “Guns and Gear” section has frequently republished press releases from the NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, and op-eds from members of NRA leadership. The NRA has also bought advertisements on the site.

The special membership price offered for Caller readers is also evidence of the NRA’s never-ending use of fearmongering about manufactured Second Amendment crises for fundraising purposes. The current offer includes the exact same language from a 2012 membership special for Caller readers: “There has never been a more important time to join the NRA! … Remember: NRA is the ONLY firewall standing between your firearm freedoms and those who would take them away.”

h/t: Timothy Johnson at MMFA

In a blog post this week, former Florida congressman Allen West gets behind a conspiracy theory that holds that the Environmental Protection Agency is launching a “clandestine” and “backdoor” assault on the Second Amendment. The gist of the theory is that President Obama used the EPA to shut down a Missouri smelter that refused to comply with anti-pollution regulations, thereby creating a scarcity of bullets and, in West’s words, “destroy[ing] the Second Amendment.”

Of course, there is no actual evidence to support West’s claim. In fact, the EPA first went after the smelter in question in 2008, the year before Obama became president. Steve Benen notes: “If enforcement of environmental safeguards was used to secretly undermine access to ammunition, the plot was launched by the notorious gun-grabbers in the Bush/Cheney administration.”

Despite the lack of evidence and the fact that the smelter was targeted before Obama even took office, now Gun Owners of America is also embracing the patently bogus conspiracy.

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

Early this morning, before the official opening of the Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right legal and advocacy group Liberty Counsel hosted “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a breakfast panel on threats to the Second Amendment.  On the menu: conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and the United Nations plotting to disarm Americans, and rhetoric of resistance.

In addition to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the speakers were the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell (also a board member of the National Rifle Association) and gun-rights advocate Jan Morgan, who also appeared at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference earlier this year.

Morgan portrayed a United Nations treaty meant to restrict the illegal international trade in weapons as a UN plot to take Americans’ guns (false), and the Obama administration’s decision to sign the treaty as an ominous step.  Blackwell portrayed the “assault” on the Second Amendment as an assault on the Constitution and on God himself, warning that nations that fall to tyranny or big-government socialism first must destroy the family, silence the church, and disarm their citizens.  The Obama administration, he said, thinks it has replaced God in people’s lives. Asked how Americans should respond to the signing of the treaty, he said, “resist, resist, resist.”

Morgan celebrated the Colorado recall of two state senators who had supported the state’s new gun law, and she praised southern governors who she said are looking to put the “Firearm Freedom Act” into law in their states, which would threaten the arrest and prosecution of federal agents who try to enforce federal gun regulations in their state. She ended with a dramatic call for conservatives to “pull ourselves out of this pity party” and channel the fighting spirit of the founding fathers.

h/t: Peter Montgomery at RWW

In his WorldNetDaily column today, Joseph Farah hints at what you might call a false-flag lite theory on last week’s Navy Yard shooting. While stopping short of saying that the Obama administration deliberately staged the attack, as Fox News regular Erik Rush quickly did on Twitter, Farah speculates that the mass shooting was all part of President Obama’s plan to “disarm Americans” and “control the population from the top-down.”

“This is going to sound brutishly harsh and judgmental,” Farah writes, “but, I believe, he is consciously using the escalation of violence his anti-gun policies knowingly and predictably cause to render the population helpless before a government with a monopoly on force.”

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

(via GOoA’s Pratt Suggests Defunding VA in Retaliation For Imaginary Nazi/Soviet Gun Confiscation | Right Wing Watch)

It seems that Gun Owners of America head Larry Pratt never meets an anti-Obama conspiracy theory that he doesn’t like. So, when an InfoWars host last month told Pratt about a conspiracy theory that the Department of Veterans Affairs is arbitrarily disarming veterans and throwing them into psychiatric hospitals – a chain-email driven rumor that has been strongly debunked by a number of conservative bloggers – Pratt declared it “a return to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia” and suggested that Congress defund the VA in retaliation.

Earlier in the interview, Pratt discussed his theory that President Obama is using health care reform as part of a communist plot to destroy America: “The communist understands that you have to destroy the existing system before you can rebuild paradise on the rubble that they have created in their revolution.”

Daniel Hernandez Jr., the former intern credited with helping to save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life when she was shot in 2011 and now an elected member of a Tucson-area school board, is facing a nasty recall election in which his opponents are attacking him for being openly gay and for his advocacy on behalf of gun violence prevention.

The story behind the recall is the kind of byzantine saga found only in local politics. Four of the five members of the Sunnyside Unified School District, which includes parts of Tucson and surrounding areas, are now facing recall petitions – two members who faced recall for their support of an embattled schools superintendent turned around and filed recall petitions on two members, including Hernandez, who opposed the superintendent.

But the tactics being used against Hernandez are clear as day. A source in the district sends us two flyers that Hernandez’s opponents are reportedly handing out to parents dropping their children off at schools in the district. Right Wing Watch repeatedly tried to contact Marcus Castro, the manager of the effort to recall Hernandez and brother in law of school board president Louie Gonzalez, to discover whether the flyers came from his campaign, but Castro refused to take our calls.

The first attacks Hernandez for being openly gay, imploring, “Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board…Daniel Hernandez is LGBT…We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values.”

The second flyer attacks Hernandez’s work on behalf of gun violence prevention in the wake of the Giffords shooting, claiming (punctuation and spelling are a direct quote), “Daniel Hernandez cares about only one things taking your guns away”:

Hernandez’s opponents must gather 1,300 signatures by December 14 in order to put the recall on the ballot.

 

-h/t: Miranda Blue at Right Wing Watch

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre baselessly warned that proponents of stronger gun laws could implement a firearm “confiscation scheme” in his latest unhinged column for The Daily Caller.

Despite LaPierre’s warnings of a draconian gun registration and confiscation scheme that he wrote “could happen to us if we fail to stand and fight,” the plot LaPierre described is illegal under current federal law, has not been proposed by the supporters of stronger gun laws LaPierre singled out in his column, and would likely violate the United States Constitution. 

LaPierre’s column was published on August 19, the day before BuzzFeedreported that the NRA itself uses a variety of data collection methods to gather information on gun owners. In an article that described myriad ways the NRA collects data on gun owners, BuzzFeed contributor Steve Friess noted the tension between the NRA’s warnings about government gun owner databases and the gun rights organization’s own actions:

The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.

But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself. The country’s largest privately held database of current, former, and prospective gun owners is one of the powerful lobby’s secret weapons, expanding its influence well beyond its estimated 3 million members and bolstering its political supremacy.

That database has been built through years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, gathering names of new owners from the thousands of gun-safety classes taught by NRA-certified instructors and by buying lists of attendees of gun shows, subscribers to gun magazines, and more, BuzzFeed has learned.

LaPierre’s Daily Caller column is demonstrative of the outlandish gun registration and confiscation plots the NRA warns of while apparently simultaneously collecting information on gun owners for its own purposes. 

[…]

The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 provides that it is illegal for the federal government to create a database of gun owners. In order to enforce this provision, the federal government destroys within 24 hoursinformation it collects about gun owners in order to perform background checks. Despite the NRA’s misinformation, a failed Senate proposal to expand background checks would not have changed how the federal government handles and disposes of gun owner information. 

The scenario LaPierre describes, where membership in the NRA could serve as grounds to deny gun ownership, would also almost certainly be unconstitutional under the 2008 Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, which guarantees the right of individuals — who are not subject to “longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms” — to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense.

Rand Paul: UN has secret plot to ‘CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL’ of America’s guns (via Raw Story )

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Saturday warned President Barack Obama was working on behalf of “anti-American globalists” in the United Nations who were plotting against the U.S. Constitution. In a fundraising email sent on behalf of the National Association on Gun Rights, Paul alleged the U.N. Arms…


 

(via AFA asshat Fischer on Focal Point: “Obama Plans to Forcibly Disarm Christians” | Right Wing Watch)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer is convinced that President Obama’s pledge to “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” a remark he made while speaking in Mexico City, is actually a veiled attempt to lay the groundwork to forcibly “disarm people of the Christian faith.”

Fischer said that Obama is “setting up the stage to take guns away from evangelicals” and classify them as terrorists: “‘You believe in Jesus Christ?’ ‘Yes I certainly do sir.’ ‘Give me your gun, we’re coming into your house and taking your guns, you’re dangerous, you’re a threat you’re an extremist, you’re a terrorist threat, we can’t let you have a gun.’”

Bryan Fischer, you are a disgrace to Christianity, sane gun owners, and to humanity everywhere!

The Missouri Senate voted to eliminate all funding for the state’s driver’s license bureau on Monday due to concerns about its keeping records of concealed-carry holders. The Raw Story reports that the chairman of the appropriations committee, Kurt Schaefer (R), admitted that the cut was made to send a message to Governor Jay Nixon (D) and his administration, and said, “They will not be able to issue any drivers’ licenses.”

The state of Missouri is reportedly only state to have its driver’s license bureau also be the agency that issues concealed carry permits. According to The Raw Story article, the state gave that power to the bureau ten years ago for the purpose of allowing law enforcement to be able to identify people who carried concealed weapons. However, Missouri lawmakers have gotten more concerned about the possibility that these records would be shared with the federal government, leading ultimately to confiscations of guns from law-abiding citizens.

Gun-confiscation paranoia has been around for quite awhile in our society. Much of this is due to the widespread slippery slope argument that the NRA makes, and that lawmakers, particularly Republican lawmakers, parrot, when it comes to universal background checks or other records tracking gun ownership and purchase, or any tiny bit of regulation regarding firearms.

Probably one of the most pertinent facts that people who trumpet the slippery slope argument regarding background checks and other recordkeeping ignore is that a national gun registry is illegal. Furthermore, the bi-partisan background check amendment thatfailed in the Senate last week, despite widespread support in the populace, made creating a federal gun registry an actual crime.

It was not, as the NRA and various right-wing news sources reported, a statement regarding how the White House intended to make such policies effective, nor how they were planning on moving towards a federal “gun-grab.”

You can read the memo itself here. [PDF]

The main problem with the slippery slope argument, for any issue, is that it assumes one specified action will follow a previous action, and another specified action will follow after that, and so on. It completely ignores the possibility that there are other actions that could occur, that things could easily stop far short of the fateful endpoint, or that nothing further will occur after the initial action is taken. Firearms regulations don’t necessarily lead to disarmament and tyranny; there are many nations with various types of firearms regulationsthat are far more stringent than ours that are still peaceful and democratic. In other words, it’s an extremely narrow viewpoint to take on an extremely complex issue that requires a much broader view.

h/t: Rika Christensen at AddictingInfo.org

(via Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon: “Obama ‘Wants to Take Our Guns’”)

Why is Papelbon talking like a righty loon?

via USAToday

In a follow-up interview Tuesday with CSN Philadelphia, Papelbon elaborated on that and also spoke of other fears in this era, such as walking through crowds at a stadium. That included Papelbon bringing into play a seemingly separate issue, that of President Obama’s efforts on gun control after the elementary school killings in Newtown, Conn

JONATHAN PAPELBON:”We walked through the crowd here on opening day and in Boston, we came down through the bleachers one opening day. I don’t feel comfortable doing that.

"Today’s day and age, has gotten so crazy. Shoot, man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. You got all this stuff going on, it’s just a little bit insane for me, man. I’m not sure how to take it.”