Home / Dave Brockington / Correlation or Causation? The NRA and Armed Rebellion

Correlation or Causation? The NRA and Armed Rebellion


I’ve been largely out of touch the past couple of weeks (some would say it’s been considerably longer) so apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere.

When the incoming President of the NRA (by my understanding, a largely ceremonial position; we’ll still have Wayne LaPierre around to frighten into submission) inspires his already over-inspired audience with rhetoric such as this:

“This is not a battle about gun rights,” Porter said, calling it “a culture war.”

“(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors”

is it really “staggering” that 29% of Americans believe that “in the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties”?

As Erik suggested a few days ago, by all accounts, the tenure of James Porter is going to reliably bring the crazy. While most of the discussion about Porter highlight his batshit side (e.g. his lamenting the war of Northern Aggression, being a birther, etc.), this is more telling, and confirmatory about our assessment of the NRA:

“Porter, 64, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1961, is part of the small, Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Porter, Porter & Hassinger. The firm’s website notes its expertise in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits.”

It’s not about rights.  It’s about money.

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  • Beboon

    As stated in Die hard 3, it’s ALWAYS about the money. There’s a C word to describe it : capitalism. I think you proved once for all the need for a prompt Stalin comeback.

    • Warren Terra

      Because the only options are obviously unrestrained greed versus brutal totalitarianism.

      • How are those not the same thing, from the point of view of the ruling class?

        • LeftWingFox

          Different mechanisms of control. Both suck, but suck in different horrible ways.

      • Loud Liberal

        What’s the difference?

        • Malaclypse

          Lenin was many bad things, but greedy was not one of them.

    • In particular, this is also about fending off a challenge by the Gun Owners of America, which has on their site a quote from Ron Paul: “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.” GOA is draining off members who think–yes, this is a common belief among the armed and insane–that the NRA is too willing to compromise.

      • One of the comedic pundits last week — Colbert? Maher? Stewart? — pointed out that the NRA could potentially scoop up a bunch of kudos if it repudiated the GOA and took a more mainstream position.

        If only it wasn’t run by gun makers…

        • witless chum

          Catering to your most hardcore, loyal members who won’t let their dues lapse isn’t exactly a crazy way to run an organization. Mushy moderates who own a shotgun or two but are okay with more gun restrictions aren’t that likely to prioritize NRA membership, even if they’ll tell a pollster that they think better of the organization. Hunting as a sport is declining and there are plenty of other organizations for hunters to belong to, so the NRA can’t really switch it’s focus to that.

        • But wouldn’t the arms-makers money, and the knuckledraggers, just go to the GOA? I’m not sure the specific institution matters, whoever will catapult the propaganda will get their support, become the new bastion of freederp.

      • Balance that against the gun owners who think the NRA has lost its fucking mind.

        Oh dear, the NRA seems to have rammed its ass into the same cleft stick that filled the GOP’s backside with splinters.

        Bwaha ha haa.

        • MAJeff

          Balance that against the gun owners who think the NRA has lost its fucking mind

          I’m seeing very few of those folks.

          • Of friends who own guns, none would attend an NRA Barrel Stroking Session, even if you held a you-know-what to their heads. But then, they tend to be people who have seen what bullets can do to the human body and don’t think everyone should have that power.

            And then there are my in-laws. Second Amendment be damned, some people are too fucking stupid/insane/clumsy to own the things they use to bring down deer, and they are deeply suspicious of extremist statements such as The Gubbermint is Comin’ to Tek Yr Guns!! (And even if they have the money for a membership, habits of thrift mean they won’t pay for one). However, a caricature of my in-laws multiplied by a billion is what the NRA would have you believe are its members.

          • I own quite a few guns and you couldn’t pay me enough to join the NRA.

            • Gun owners who won’t join the NRA aren’t real gun owner. I mean Americans. I mean … the guns may be real but the gun owner isn’t…

              OMG, it’s Schrodinger’s SIG!

          • NonyNony

            None of the gun owners that I am friends with would have anything to do with the NRA. The only NRA nuts I know are family members who I wouldn’t normally socialize with but occasionally end up without of family duty.

            There are plenty of non-nutty gun owners out there who still do all of the things I was taught to do back in my “Hunter’s Safety” training – always make sure the chamber is cleared, never point a gun at someone whether or not you think it’s loaded, always lock your guns up in a locked cabinet or better yet gun safe, and basically treat your gun like the killing machine it is that could go off at any moment by accident no matter how careful you think you’re being.

            I honestly think that the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” bumper sticker sloganeering has caused a lot of harm. Because there is a whole generation of idiots who has grown up thinking that if they don’t intend to hurt anyone with their guns, then their guns won’t hurt anyone. Sorry kids – I grew up being taught that if you have a killing machine in your hands or even in your house you are responsible for it. And you have to assume that that killing machine will go off on its own no matter how careful you think you’ve been because that’s the only way you’ll actually be careful enough to prevent an accident.

            (And this is why as I’ve grown up I’ve decided that I don’t actually need guns in my house. Fishing is more fun than hunting anyway as far as I’m concerned – more time for reflection, less time worrying that the drunk idiot next to you might trip and blow your face off…)

            • Bruce Baugh

              Yup. For obvious reasons there aren’t a lot of hard numbers available, but there’s certainly more than 50 million gun owners in the US, and perhaps twice that many. The NRA has, depending on how much trickery you tolerate in finessing the numbers, 3-4 million members. There is no sense in which the typical gun owner is keen enough on the NRA to pay for the privilege.

      • Loud Liberal

        The gun owners of America are the #1 threat I need my guns to defend against. Wait, maybe maybe the 1# the police-prison-industrial complex.

        • Loud Liberal

          Uggh! Where’s the edit button?

          • Where is the “All right I confess; I’m one of the Editorial Staff” button?

  • Data Tutashkhia

    Well, yeah, sure, in a sense everything is about money, but to suggest (if that’s the suggestion here) that it’s all somehow designed and rolled out for the benefit of this small law firm? Seems like that would be a bit of an overkill. I dunno, I could be wrong, but surely there must be plenty of real anxiety, fear & loathing out there that the gun people are exploiting. As opposed to believing that it’s mostly being created by them…

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      i think the point is that the nra isn’t actually run by gun owners but rather gun manufacturers – who are preying on people’s anxieties for profit

      • dave brockington


        • Joe Sixpack’s Pathetic ID

          But I need an AR-15 with Picatinny rails, laser designator, and a red-dot sight.

          • In multiple colors, plus camo.

          • Loud Liberal

            I need a Howitzer, a flame thrower and a rocket launcher.

          • Piker. Doesn’t have enough fps grains, the recoil needs a silencer, and it needs the bayonetooka mount – I prefer the Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, with the circles and arrows on the back of the stock.

            • firefall

              paging Officer Opie

      • MAJeff

        Gotta love manufacturing fear and paranoia among the paranoid as a marketing technique.

        • BigHank53

          What could possibly go wrong?

    • I dunno, I could be wrong

      Yes. Yes indeed.

      • John Protevi

        Well, he’s not wrong about the “I dunno” part. He dunno a lot of things.

        • Loud Liberal

          “Lucy, I’m home.”

        • DrDick

          I am still struggling to find anything he do know.

  • “Come the revolution, Comrade, you’ll eat shoot strawberries and cream, AND LIKE IT.”

  • c u n d gulag

    And, here’s my favorite – one idiot at the NRA Convention said that the best place for parents to store their guns, is in their children’s room, since, instinctively, they’ll rush into those rooms anyway, if there’s a “home invasion?”
    Nope, nothing can go wrong there…
    Oh, yeah, the guns are supposed to be stored in some safe there.
    And, yeah again, nothing can go wrong there…

    And btw, whuddup with that term – “home invasion?”
    What ever happened to the simple term, “break-in?”
    Or “robbery?”
    Now, it’s an “invasion” of your “home?”

    Armed troops are coming to invade, demolish the pill-box, and establish secure ground, in, what, your feckin’ living room?

    Who the feck talks like that?

    And where the feck do they live, that it’s not some poor drunk, or drug-addled loser, breaking-in, thinking everyone’s gone, or asleep – but armed gang forces, with leaders like Ike, landing at the Normandy Beach that’s your feckin’ living room?

    Sweet Jayzoos H. Keeeeeeeerist!

    We need to openly mock and ridicule these people’s language!!!

    “Honey, when the home invasion eventually comes because we can’t stay awake 24 hours a day, at the first sign of our home being invaded, you distract the enemy forces by tearing off your shirt, showing them your titties, and I’ll rush off to the kid’s rooms, open up the safe’s, and gather our weapons so we can set-up a perimeter, and some cross-fire.
    We’ll practice that tomorrow night.

    Oh, and remember – I booby-trap the couch in front of our precious LED TV before I go to bed every night, so, first thing in the morning, before the kids wake up, one of us has to disable it.”

    ‘Yeah, ok, General Rommel, whatever you say.’

    And what does one say if the “home invasion” is successful, and you’re forced to “retreat?”
    “I shall return?”

    Feckin’ idjits! The whole feckin’ lot of ’em!!!

    • Clovis I

      And btw, whuddup with that term – “home invasion?”
      What ever happened to the simple term, “break-in?”
      Or “robbery?”

      They came up with the term “home invasion” because the old common law terms don’t quite fit a lot of commmon stituations. “Home invasion” is used in my state’s criminal statutes.

      “Break-in” requires a breaking–the guy who comes in an unlocked door hasn’t broken in. “Burglary” at common law can only happen at night. “Robbery” is a theft coupled with an assault.

      • rea

        Somehow reverted to a prior life .. .

      • c u n d gulag

        Ok, gotcha.

        There’s only my Mom and me in this house.

        Where do I get some picket’s, to guard against our home being invaded, since we both like to sleep at night?


        Imo – “Illegal Entry,” suffices.
        “They/he/she,” ‘entered,’ ‘illegally.’
        I didn’t allow “them/he/she” permission.

        It’s not “legal,” so they can be charged with that, if they didn’t ‘break-and-enter.”

        “Home invasion” still sounds like what Russia had to go through when Hitler decided to attack East.

      • Josh G.

        “Burglary” at common law can only happen at night.

        It also had to involve breaking and entering (sneaking in an unlocked door or window didn’t count) and could only be committed in a house (therefore there was no such thing as burglary of a commercial property). However, most states have done away with the old common-law definition. These days, any time someone enters a building where they aren’t supposed to be in order to steal stuff, it’s burglary, regardless of the time of day or whether or not the building is a dwelling house.

    • Cody

      Ironically, the most valuable thing to break into their house for is probably the guns any ways.

    • Mo

      Home invasions (and car jackings) show the dangers of removing shop classes from America’s high schools. Our fine young men used to be taught, at government expense, the skills needed to break into houses and steal cars. Without these skills they must now steal cars with drivers already in them and get homeowners to open the doors for them.

      Truly – this is the cause of “home invasions” and “car jackings.” It’s been so long that there were shop classes that people have forgotten why these crimes didn’t exist in the past. It isn’t that criminals got more evil, it’s that their skill set has drastically declined.

  • Rick Massimo

    “This is not a battle about gun rights,” Porter said, calling it “a culture war.”

    I’m so old I can remember when I was the real racist for saying that the NRA was something other than a rainbow coalition of ordinary Americans who were just about protecting their Constitutional right to bear arms, and that just maybe there was some kind of cultural component to their pissy resentment.

    I guess that was back when they still had to use their inside voices.

  • MAJeff

    Did his speech sound as good in German as Pat Buchanan’s ’92 convention Culture War speech?

    • Vance Maverick

      While I’m being humorless, I’d like to protest crankily at this joke about the German language. Is, say, Celan’s “Meridian” address politically objectionable?

  • Another Anonymous

    29%? Further empirical proof of the Crazification Factor, +/- 3% MOE.

  • Added bonus – Inflammatory language can trigger a visit from our increasingly pissed off friends in the Secret Service which will prompt cries of “Halp! Ahm bein’ perskuted bah th’ gubbermint!”

    Can we get this blowhard a bigger microphone?

    • Random

      Can we get this blowhard a bigger microphone?

      My thoughts exactly. I was worried the NRA leadership was smarter than this, but apparently they possess the same tactical faculties as the membership.

      • It is the private sector version of the GOP death spiral.

        OK, sort of private sector. The link between the igNoRAnce and the GOP now being at conjoined twins sharing a heart and lungs level.

        Since complete apeshittery is apparently as contagious as the clap I look for oil execs to start declaring themselves God King and ordering employees to bathe in and drink crude.

        • Hogan

          I forget who originally called the NRA “the armed wing of the Republican Party.”

          • The SA in embryonic form, in other words.

            • But without the classy uniforms!

              • Shalimar

                No one has designed their confederate battle flag t-shirts yet. Just wait, they’re coming out next fall.

                • It’s more difficult to fit darts for moobs into a Confedatraitor flag than it is with the Union Jack. Maybe if Scotland leaves the UK we can convince the English to let the crazies have the old flag.

  • A couple of points for elucidation, Dave:

    – “Culture war” was the exact phrase Pat Buchanan used in his speech at the RNC in 1992 that probably got Clinton elected over Bush I. He made one of the most racist speeches ever heard at a national convention and forced the RNC to reconsider who spoke when, even if they won enough delegates to force a podium appearance.If the NRA is using it, it’s a dogwhistle about black, Latinos and homosexuals.

    – If you take a closer look at that 29%, you’ll see that nearly half of Republicans believe that armed insurrection will be necessary. I welcome this possibility, as it will thin the American herd of the low-normals and uberslow.

    • Yes Pat took “Culture War” from bigot dog whistle to air horn. It causes people aren’t Christian, Caucasian, hetero, Republican males to reach for their guns.

      (Because one of the interesting thing about Totalitarianius Americanus Assbucketii is it always and simultaneously overstates the threat of the enemy and underestimates the enemy’s ability to cause harm. So while Liberals are of course destroying America and coming to tek yr guns, we are also and at the same time, deathly afraid of guns and would never own one of the dreadful things.)

      I welcome this possibility, as it will thin the American herd of the low-normals and uberslow.

      Do you mean the kind of thinning where Brave Sir Fucknugget blows large holes in a bunch of people to signal he as at war with the Evil Government and then, when the Evil Government sends out the first and lowest level of its response to such events, thinks “Oh dear, there are a LOT of uniformed blokes with weapons & machinery that make mine seem paltry indeed. Goodness, none seem keen on joining my revolution,” and shoots himself?

      You got something more … efficient?

    • Vance Maverick

      I welcome this possibility, as it will thin the American herd of the low-normals and uberslow.

      No. Of course I can’t tell how serious you are, but this is repugnant.

      We know that not even 1/1000 of the 27% will actually rebel. The main problem with the rebellion talk by the 27% is that it’s antidemocratic — frothing about jackboots means they’re not participating in trying to live together better as a society.

    • I welcome this possibility, as it will thin the American herd of the low-normals and uberslow.

      Yeah, but before they get squashed, they’re going to go house-to-house looking for liberals, and anyone with an advanced degree that’s not an MBA is going to be taken out and shot. Also anyone on a college campus not wearing camo, football gear, or a cheerleading outfit, anyone who doesn’t belong to a local church, and in some jurisdictions, anyone registered Democrat.

      Frankly, their ownership of guns is the best argument I’ve ever heard for me to own one. Haven’t gone there yet.

      • The only regime I know of that systematically shot people with higher education was on the extreme left, the Khmer Rouge, not the right.

        • Yeah, Nazis only executed the highly educated people of other races; that’s ok. And fascists only executed intellectuals if they showed a glimmer of left-liberal thought, or showed any independence after The Party took power. So, no worries there.

          You haven’t been paying attention to the anti-intellectualism of the American right, have you?

          • Gabriel Ratchet

            Inasmuch as we have a Republican congressman serving on the House Science and Technology committee who publicly declares that science is “lies from the pit of Hell”, I can certainly see the GOP going full-on “anyone wearing glasses gets their head smashed in with a rifle butt” sooner rather than later.

    • Dave Brockington

      A couple of points for elucidation . . .

      Yeah, I watched that convention and voted in that election. It wasn’t so much the culture war reference that triggered my interest, as that’s cliche by now; it’s the freedom fighters / protectors rhetoric that’s more dangerous. Regarding the poll, 18% of Democrats also believe in the need for armed revolution, and 20% believe in some sort of Sandy Hook cover up / conspiracy. While I likewise agree that a batshit NRA can be an opportunity for those interested in incremental reform (i.e. people like me), it depends on how it’s exploited. But the large numbers who fervently believe their rights are being taken away by a tyrannical government does not lead me to believe that the civil society discourse / debate will be very civil.

  • DrDick

    The NRA are the merchants of death.

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  • UserGoogol

    The idea that the NRA is driven by gun money seems dubious. In general, people tend to overstate the role of clashes of power and understate the role of structural factors. In particular, if you want to make money, there’s lots of way to do that, there’s no reason why guns at all would need to be involved, let alone promoting a particular paranoid story of why guns are a useful product. But if you want to stoke rebellion against the government in the first place, getting a job in the gun industry will be a nice fit for your disposition.

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