July 2, 2017 Bill Moyers and Michael Winship / Nation of Change & Zack Beauchamp / Vox Media & Francine Prose / The Guardian
The gun lobby's new "recruitment ad" is really a call for white supremacy and armed insurrection, deliberately crafted to stir anger and fear. Why would someone would suggest using a gun to intimidate, silence, or even shoot innocent people whose only crime is the harboring of different political views? Whose interest are served by turning us into warring stereotypes -- conservative v liberal -- with no consideration of the nuances and the subtle differences that make us individuals?
NRA Issues Call for White Supremacy and Armed Insurrection Bill Moyers and Michael Winship / Nation of Change Op-Ed
(July 1, 2017) -- Take a look at the ad below and ask whether the National Rifle Association can go any lower. Ponder this flagrant call for violence, this insidious advocacy of hate delivered with a sneer, this threat of civil war, this despicable use of propaganda to arouse rebellion against the rule of law and the ideals of democracy.
On the surface this is a recruitment video for the National Rifle Association. But what you are really about to see is a call for white supremacy and armed insurrection, each word and image deliberately chosen to stir the feral instincts of troubled souls who lash out in anger and fear:
Disgusting. Dishonorable. Dangerous. But also deliberate. Everything deplored by the NRA in the ad is committed by "they" -- a classic manipulation turning anyone who disagrees with your point of view into "The Other" -- something alien, evil, foreign.
"They use their media to assassinate real news," "They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler," "They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again."
"And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance."
Well, we all know who "they" are, don't we? This is the vitriol that has been spewed like garbage since the days of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blasted from lynch mobs and demagogues and fascistic factions of political parties that turn racial and religious minorities into grotesque caricatures, the better to demean and diminish and dominate.
It is the nature of such malevolent human beings to hate those whom they have injured, and the NRA has enabled more injury to more marginalized and vulnerable people than can be imagined. Note how the words "guns" or "firearms" are never mentioned once in the ad and yet we know that the NRA is death on steroids.
And behind it are the arms merchants -- the gun makers and gun sellers -- who profit from selling automatic rifles to deranged people who shoot down politicians playing intramural baseball, or slaughter children in their classrooms in schools named Sandy Hook, or who massacre black folks at Bible study in a Charleston church, or murderously infiltrate a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Watching this expertly produced ad, we thought of how the Nazis produced slick propaganda like this to demonize the Jews, round up gypsies and homosexuals, foment mobs, burn books, crush critics, justify torture and incite support for state violence.
It's the crack in the Liberty Bell, this ad: the dropped stitch in the American flag, the dregs at the bottom of the cup of freedom. It's a Trump-sized lie invoked to bolster his base, discredit critics, end dissent. Joseph McCarthy must be smiling in hell at such a powerful incarnation on earth of his wretched, twisted soul.
With this savage ad, every Democrat, every liberal, every person of color, every immigrant or anyone who carries a protest sign or raises a voice in disagreement becomes a target in the diseased mind of some tormented viewer.
Heavily armed Americans are encouraged to lock and load and be ready for the ballistic solution to any who oppose the systematic looting of Washington by an authoritarian regime led by a deeply disturbed barracuda of a man who tweets personal insults, throws tantrums and degrades everything he touches.
Look again at the ad. Ask yourself: What kind of fools are they at the NRA to turn America into a killing ground for sport? To be choked with hate is a terrible fate, and it is worst for those on whom it is visited.
Take one more look, and ask: Why do they get away with it? What is happening to us? How long do we have before the fire this time?
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ACTION ALERT: Repeal the Dickey Amendment
ACTION:Sign this petition here. For every 1,000 signatures, NationofChange will send a letter to Congress, demanding that they repeal the Dickey Amendment and allow for more research on gun violence. This Chilling NRA Ad Calls on its Members
To Save America by Fighting Liberals Zack Beauchamp / Vox Media
(June 29, 2017) -- Watch this recently released ad from the National Rifle Association, starring right-wing pundit Dana Loesch. It comes this close to calling for a civil war against liberals: [See video above.]
Here's a full transcription of Loesch's rant, in case you prefer text. Bear in mind that these words are overlaid over ominous images of protest and street violence:
They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse "the resistance."
All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding--until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.
And when that happens, they'll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.
I'm the National Rifle Association of America. And I'm freedom's safest place.
It's not hard to figure out what the narrative is here. A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The "only way" to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA--an organization that exists solely to help people buy guns.
The ad isn't an outright exhortation to violence. NRA ads never are. But the NRA has a very long history of using apocalyptic, paranoid rhetoric about the collapse of American society in order to sell people on the notion that they need to act now to preserve their gun rights.
Dana Loesch Tells Martha MacCallum
"This Isn't a Gun Issue."
(June 14, 2017) -- NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch appeared on Fox News' The Story With Martha MacCallum and debated Mark Glaze, former executive director of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown For Gun Safety. In the aftermath of a baseball field shooting attack on Republican lawmakers. Why Join the National Rifle Association?
To Defeat Liberal Enemies, Apparently Francine Prose / The Guardian
LONDON (July 1, 2017) -- Defeating our enemies. That's one reason to join the National Rifle Association, according to a recruitment video that is going viral this week. But the enemies in question aren't Isis or the perpetrators of school shootings. No -- they are Barack Obama, Hollywood award shows, school teachers and liberals with the temerity to criticize our government.
In the video, Dana Loesch -- a conservative radio and television talk-show host and NRA spokesperson -- glowers into the camera and in a strident tone, nearly quivering with righteous anger, explains why it is so important to join the NRA. As images of tranquil American towns, the White House, angry political protesters and stalwart policemen flash by us, Loesch intones:
"They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance.
All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding — until the only option left is for police to do their jobs and stop the madness. And when that happens, they'll use it as an excuse for their outrage.
The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I'm the National Rifle Association of America and I'm freedom's safest place."
Interestingly, the video makes no mention of the NRA's traditional role: to preserve the American citizen's right to bear arms, a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Perhaps this is because Loesch is encouraging her viewers to deter other Americans from exercising their Constitutional rights.
The First Amendment guarantees -- the protection of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly -- are characterized as disruptive and seditious, not as fundamental liberties but as dangerous threats.
So when Loesch emphasizes the necessity of saving "our country and our freedom," we may wonder what country she means. Certainly not the nation envisioned by the Founding Fathers who authored our Bill of Rights.
Yet even those who are unclear about what the Constitution says will have no trouble identifying -- and responding to -- the divisiveness of Loesch's language and the intensity with which she demonizes the media, the so-called cultural elite, and the political opponents of Donald Trump, whose name is never mentioned but whose presence is invoked as Loesch imagines teachers indoctrinating children with the idea that "their president is another Hitler."
In her brief speech, Loesch repeatedly uses the words they, their and them, hammering home the message that they are not us. Surely, assassinate is an unusually strong (and loaded) verb to describe what Loesch believes the media does to "real news." And to suggest that we oppose "the violence of lies" with "a clenched fist" is to propose an unfair fight.
That fist (and the pummeling it promises to deliver) seems like an excessive response to a political joke made by an movie star at the Oscars ceremony.
Ultimately, one wants to ask the simplest and most obvious questions: why would anyone want the American people to be more at odds than they already are? Why would someone wish to exacerbate our grievances and resentments?
Whose interest are served by turning us into warring stereotypes -- conservative v liberal -- with no consideration of the nuances and the subtle differences that make us individuals?
When we are facing so many problems - poverty, unemployment, opioid addiction, large and small wars all over the world -- why would it not be wiser and more practical to encourage us to come together and try to find solutions for these crises?
And why, during the upcoming holiday -- celebrating our independence, commemorating the founding of a country by refugees and immigrants seeking freedom from religious persecution and economic hardship -- don't we pause from our flag-waving, parades and backyard barbecues to consider our ideals and the reasons why people still come here in the hope of leading better lives?
I believe in sensible gun regulation, my family owns a gun. We live in the country. Last summer, a rabid fox staggered onto our front yard, behaved menacingly, and, when it refused to leave, my husband reluctantly shot it.
Many of our neighbors are hunters, and over the years we have been grateful for the venison they have shared with us. So I understand why someone might want to have a gun: to protect and feed themselves and their families.
But what I cannot understand -- and what, it seems, also mystifies the decent men and women who belong to the NRA and who have spoken out against this new recruitment video -- is why someone would suggest using a gun to intimidate, silence, or even shoot innocent people whose only crime is the harboring of different political views and a continuing faith in the essential and inspiring principles on which our nation was founded. Why join the National Rifle Association? To defeat liberal enemies
https://www.theguardian.com › Opinion › NRA
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