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The NRA is a Racist Organization

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The National Rifle Association, the nation’s most morally abhorrent organization and producer of vile children’s propaganda, does not actually support unlimited gun rights. It supports unlimited gun rights for white people. It’s worth remembering that the NRA was originally just a hunting rights organization and that in the 70s it was on the verge of closing its Washington offices and moving its headquarters to Colorado to focus on its core mission. But then new leadership took over that connected gun rights to white backlash to the civil rights movement. Ever since then it has been a front line organization in the culture wars, which of course have always been more than tinged with racism. So it’s hardly surprising that it has nothing to say when the police kill black gunowners.

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  • wjts

    As I recall, the original original purpose of the NRA was to promote general shooting proficiency and firearms familiarity in the post-Civil War era.

    • rea

      With Gens. Burnside, Grant and Sheridan being early presidents, all of whom had commanded black troops. I doubt that the early organization was fond of hostility to blacks carrying weapons. Until the 70’s, the organization was pro-gun control.

    • CrunchyFrog

      Growing up as I did, step-son of a gunsmith, I was seeped in all sorts of pro-NRA propaganda, but that was before the radical right takeover of the organization. Yes, there was some attention paid to lobbying, but the majority of emphasis was on training, safety, and organizing contests and swap meets. What I’ve seen of the gun-carrying behavior of modern wingnut NRA members would have resulted in severe reprimands by the safety instructors back in the 1970s.

      Today the Neanderthug Racist Assholes NRA is just a branch of the Republican Party propaganda apparatus, nothing more and nothing less. If you see an NRA sticker you know the person is a racist. You don’t know the degree of racism – they may or may not openly avow white supremacism (a lot of them do), but they will have bought into all of the racist memes of the right wing.

      • (((Hogan)))

        I’ve heard it called “the armed wing of the Republican party.”

      • brad

        Nownow, they’re also a trade organization dedicated to preventing needless deaths from doing damage to profits.

  • Warren Terra

    The NRA are evil, and indeed are racist, but they’re not complete idiots – they did eventually (on Friday) release a statement about the execution in Minnesota of Philando Castile, saying “The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated” and they will “have more to say once all the facts are known”. I have no idea how this compares to a typical NRA press release, and it came after days of the NRA being criticized for their silence on the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

    • Cassiodorus

      Considering that a lot of their rhetoric consists of claiming the UN is coming for the guns, I would imagine it’s pretty lukewarm compared to their average statement.

    • Shalimar

      The statement where they called it “the incident in Minnesota” and couldn’t actually bring themselves to use the black victim’s name was just as indicative of their racism as their previous silence.

      • Warren Terra

        I’m certainly not defending the NRA in any way; I just didn’t see this day-late-and-dollar-short statement mentioned in the linked piece, which said there had been no comment at all, and wanted to correct that.

    • TroubleMaker13

      I have no idea how this compares to a typical NRA press release

      It seems to me that NRA press releases in the wake of horrific shootings usually tend to take some confrontational variation on “this looks like a job for more guns.”

      Apparently not when there are armed black people involved though.

      In fairness though, I’m not in the business of cataloging NRA press releases.

    • fearandloathing

      Not downplaying the racism of the NRA but I would say this also has to do with the NRA’s tentative peace (peace in a political sense) with police. The NRA is mostly supportive of police and there are lots of right wing cops who support NRA positions but the NRA has also been hostile to law enforcement like the ATF that’s been charged with enforcing gun laws. NRA calling ATF jack booted thugs for instance. Also, NRA’s endorsement of insurrectionist interpretation of the 2nd amendment could easily be interpreted, and is, by unhinged individuals as legitimating violence against police and government officials. Add to that the fact that surely a significant number of cops, if not the majority, believe that NRA’s absolutist position on guns is making society in general more dangerous, including for cops. So I think given all that history, and given that the NRA senses that it’s beginning to weaken politically, it feels it needs to step carefully anywhere police are involved and not do anything that might turn police against the NRA in significant numbers. That might tip the balance politically in favor of more gun control. I think there’s certainly a racist component in that NRA was likely presuming that the black victim in this case must be in the wrong and were hesitant to issue any statement that might suggest that it was the cop who was wrong.

      If open carry and concealed carry continue to spread, at some point there is going to be incidents where white guys carrying legally are shot by cops who for whatever reason misinterpret them as a threat. My guess is that the NRA would be somewhat more vocal in their support for the armed citizen but would still tread lightly so as to not say anything that could be interpreted as anti-cop. They would probably just call it a tragedy and accident without suggesting that open carry or concealed carry or cop overreaction had anything to do with what happened. Just another accident like no one is to blame like a car accident on a rainy night. To put it another way, there silence, given their loud screeching on other issues, would seem to imply that their knee jerk reaction is to blame the black guy. I’m betting if it were white armed citizen and a cop, they would go out of their way to imply that no one is to blame for anything and no one is responsible for anything.

  • muddy

    It’s a terrorist organization, is what it is.

    • wjts

      I don’t think I’d go that far, simply because NRA members themselves aren’t actually waging a political campaign through violence. But it’s undoubtedly an organization whose activities facilitate terrorism.

      • muddy

        I feel like anyone who goes around armed all the time just to prove to silly libs that they can is a terrorist too, and that is encouraged by the NRA. The whole point is to terrorize those who are not in their group. And plenty of violence results.

        Anyway the NRA is not about its members, it’s about selling more guns, they have to sell the fear to sell the guns. Then they use those guns to spread fear in those who don’t have them.

        I realize these views go beyond the usual definition. It’s not the guns I object to, it’s the people who use the idea of guns to promote fear in both directions. Probably I am not using the word terrorist correctly, but it’s not like there isn’t plenty of violence and terror involved so that’s my usage.

        • TroubleMaker13

          Yes. Open carry, as practiced by these “activists” is an intimidation tactic, straight-up.

          I’d actually go a little further– while the NRA leadership is really a lobby group for the gun industry, its membership at this point is effectively a death cult.

      • Jordan

        So like one of those fundraising-but-not-acting terrorist groups, ya?

        • TroubleMaker13

          I think more like providing political cover and a thin veneer of legitimacy.

          • Richard Gadsden

            So more Sinn Féin than Noraid?

    • Terrorist organization **and** arms trafficking cartel.

      I wish we had the stomach to go after them on RICO violations.

      • CP

        Exactly. My own analogies tend towards organized crime rather than terrorism. They’ve got a product to get out on the streets, and they don’t care how much damage it does, in actual human lives, to their society as long as they keep making a buck.

        It just so happens that instead of drugs, counterfeit money, or human trafficking victims, that product is guns. It also happens that due to the oddities of the legal system, the number of politicians they’ve bought, and their PR success in presenting themselves as folk heroes to part of the population, their trade is basically completely legal here even though it’s either illegal or heavily controlled in most other countries.

        (Does that sound anything like the arrangement of weak or failed states in the third world where drug dealers or warlords have bought the government or are a normal and accepted part of it – why, yes. It totally does).

        • timb

          Best analogy followed by best observation on this subject ever

        • + 45 calibers

  • AMK

    The Salon piece is good, but there’s no discussion of the role the corporate side plays—the people who profit off of selling as many guns to neo-confederates as possible. Colt, Remington, Beretta, Smith&Wesson, Winchester etc. could stop supporting the NRA any time they want, but nobody’s holding their breath.

  • In the early 1960s, like most boys (and more than a few girls) raised in small Minnesota towns, I completed an NRA-sponsored gun safety program with my 0.22 rifle and 20 gauge shotgun. In Minnesota you had to in order to get a hunting license if you were under 18. In that culture guns were no big deal — certainly not the fetish objects they’ve become.

    • CP

      This has always been my impression: that back when guns actually were “just a tool like a hammer or a drill,” there was none of this near-pornographic obsession with them, or this kind of knee-jerk rage against any hint of regulation. (Hence why towns in the actual Old West tended to have pretty strict laws – and street crime was, as a consequence, pretty low).

      It’s only in historically recent times, as the nation grew more suburban and guns became increasingly unnecessary as everyday objects, that they’ve become this kind of rallying cry.

  • The 17th-century Tokugawa solution is still available: nationalise the gun industry. The strict analogy of moving it all to Washington and forcing it to concentrate on making an ever- declining number of expensive collector’s items is not essential. But no advertising and no political contributions.

  • Todd

    The new NRA ads I saw on tv last night were really disgusting. I couldn’t figure out what they were selling on the first one (gold? a new horror film?). Adding up the visuals and words made it clear: hoard up your guns white people, because we still have a black President.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      And I suspect that the next 8-plus years will echo John Lennon’s “Woman Is the _ _ _ _ _ _ of the World”.

  • keta

    Call it whatever you wish, but what’s most impressive about the NRA is that it wields enough power to hold the entire United States hostage.

    From the outside looking in, this remains the most curious aspect about an admirable nation.

    • wjts

      Personally, I think our use of Imperial measurements is our most curious aspect. It is also, I would say, our most admirable.

      • Warren Terra

        That’s it, you’re going on the list.

      • Todd

        A pint’s a pound the world around, and no amount of hectolitres will change that.

        • (((Hogan)))

          My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I likes it!

        • Richard Gadsden

          A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter.

          Your damn short measure pints shouldn’t be allowed near beer.

      • keta

        The day I refer to the size of a spring salmon in kilos is the day I stop fishing.

        • DocAmazing

          The day I catch a fish measurable in kilos I will happily stop fishing and do nothing but brag.

          • timb

            This

      • My car’s speedometer displays furlongs per fortnight.

        • Warren Terra

          Sounds more appropriate to your cat.

        • Dennis Orphen

          In score?

      • Colin Day

        Who’s we? The US uses English units.

  • Joe_JP

    National Racist Association?

  • Phil Perspective

    Didn’t Heston march, along with Brando and a few others, in some Civil Rights marches? Was it ever addressed how he went from that to being a complete wingnut?

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Age? Money? Bad friends?

      Them’s my guesses.

  • Troll comment deleted

    Troll comment deleted

  • MAJeff

    Clean-up on aisle K.

  • heckblazer

    I present to you Radical Revy, the magical girl from Hestonworld.

  • Sev

    Well, nice to see his head on a.. oh, that’s a MIKE?

  • BiloSagdiyev

    I’ve heard that their monthly magazine/propaganda organ has a column, “ARMED CITIZEN”, in which some intrepid gun owner prevents a carjacking/home invasion/mandatory UN rectal exam with their Freedom Shooter.

    I propose that there should also be a monthly column called “ARMED BOOB”, in which the juiciest display of stupid gun use is detailed. Say, an adult who buys a miniature .22 bolt action rifle for the kids and leaves it loaded, propped up against the wall, somewhere in a trailer in the Ungovernable Tribal Regions, then little Wayne Lee, 5 y/o, shoots his sister, Jessica Leigh, 2 y/o, in the chest and kills her.

    Also, I’m really starting to think that all the young men. gunning each other down in Chicago and other places is a two-fer for these creeps — a justification for MOAR GUNS! and, well, fewer black males in the world. No problem to be solved, as they see it.

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