Posts tagged "Gun Confiscation"

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. 

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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.”

For much of its more than 140-year history, the National Rifle Association promoted gun ownership, shooting, and hunting as good, clean, constitutionally-protected fun. That changed in the past four decades as the NRA transformed into a hardline group closely allied with the gun industry and the conservative establishment whose only solution to gun violence is ever more guns. Watch the shift unfold in this collection of ads promoting the organization from the early 20th century to the present.

1920: “Rifle shooting is a mighty fine sport.” This Remington ad in Boys Life declared that the NRA was “a United States Government organization.” It wasn’t, but that gives you a sense of just how tight the gun group and the government once were—before the NRA entered its current state of perpetual freak-out about the feds coming for Americans’ guns. 

1970: “Hunters Beware!” Sounding more like the contemporary NRA, this ad warned about “powerful forces—possibly well-intentioned but ill-informed—working eagerly yet relentlessly to curb and eventually abolish the hunting rights, privileges and freedoms you enjoy today.” Bonus: A guest appearance by future pro football Hall of Famer Chris Hanburger.

1982: “I’m the NRA” This famous campaign, launched in 1982, was intended to demonstrate the NRA’s broad appeal. Ads included kids (such as eight-year-old BB-gun enthusiast Bryan Hardin), women, African Americans, cops, and clergy. A more recent version of the campaign has featured NRA celebrity board members Tom Selleck and Karl Malone.

i'm the NRA

Late 1980s: “Why can’t a policeman be there when you need him?” Fears about violent crime fueled these ads promoting concealed-carry laws. The notion that gun laws are ineffective because criminals break them remains a core NRA argument, as does the idea that armed citizens routinelyfend off attackers.

concealed carry ads

1995: Bill Clinton is “daffy.” With the number of hunters on the decline, you’d think the NRA would embrace high-profile recreational shooters. Yet in this poster sold to its members, the NRA unintentionally distanced itself from its longtime stance that hunting was central to gun rights, declaring that “Mr. Clinton, the Second Amendment is not about duck hunting.”

bill clinton ducks

1997: “Gun rights are lost on our kids.” Heston promised to lead a $100 million, “three-year crusade…to restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place as America’s First Freedom.” For the kids, of course.

charlton heston and kids

2013: “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” All the anti-government paranoia, fear-mongering, and liberal-baiting of the past few decades culminated in this video, produced in the wake of the Newtown massacre. By opposing putting armed guards in every school in America, Obama proved himself to be “just another elitist hypocrite” whose kids are protected by the Secret Service.

H/T: Mother Jones

It looks like Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is embracing a conspiracy theory first floated by Buster Wilson of the American Family Association about how the Obama administration may begin preventing conservative Christians from purchasing guns.

Yesterday on Washington Watch, Perkins said he opposes a new Senate bill that expands background checks because such a system may prevent anyone identified as an “evangelical, bible-believing fundamentalist” from acquiring a firearm.

H/T: Right Wing Watch