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Posts Tagged ‘nra’

The NRA is Finally Experiencing a Much Needed Membership Revolt

July 2, 2019 4 comments

As regular readers know, I have long held the belief that trying to implement “gun control” or ban them is a stupid idea. It is also my opinion that democratic party has an unfortunate obsession with gun control, which will likely cost them the 2020 election. Curiously, I have also said that the NRA, in its current form, does not have a viable future in spite of internet activism against the NRA being counterproductive. At this point, some of you might be confused about what I am trying to say. So let me quickly restate the obvious. Firstly, any attempt at “serious gun control” is unlikely to have any significant effect on incidence of homicide by firearms, largely because violence in any given society is a factor of massive inequality and (often racial) polarization. That is why countries such as Mexico and Brazil have far higher numbers and rates of homicide by guns than USA, while its is very low in others such as Vietnam and India.

Secondly, even though successful suicide attempts accounts for the majority of firearm deaths in USA, banning guns is unlikely to change its incidence. Indeed countries such as Japan and South Korea have far higher rates of suicide than USA, even though both have ridiculously stringent laws against civilian gun ownership. Having said that, the NRA is a dying organization (for more than one reason) and is increasingly at odds with the views of most gun owners in USA today. That organisation, as it exists today, is stuck in the political landscape of 1980s-2000s. But what does that mean? What was so different about those 2-3 decades. Time for a quick history lesson.. the ‘gun control’ movement in USA as we know it today started in the late 1960s in coastal cities and was racist. It reached its peak in the late 1980 and early 1990s and started dying out after the electoral disaster caused by that infamous 1994 bill about “assault weapons”.

The NRA, as we know it today, can be best understood as manufactured opposition to stop anti-gun laws aimed at non-white people from accidentally infringing on the rights of white people. That is also why it supported many “gun control” laws which preferentially disenfranchised non-whites and went along with cosmetic laws that allowed politicians to claim that they were “doing something about guns”. In other words, the NRA was never meant to be an effective organization for defending 2nd amendment rights. And their scam worked for almost three decades, allowing that organisation to grow by increasing its membership. Then a confluence of trends exposed their impotence and growing irrelevance. The first one was decline of the democratic party in non-coastal parts of the country. Once democrats became irrelevant in many non-coastal states, the coastal hardline “gun control” types became far more prominent in that organization.

To make a long story short, the NRA appeared strong for 2-3 decades only because it colluded with both parties. Beginning in the mid-2000s, the national political landscape changed to the point it could get by with republican party support. And ya.. the much diminished democratic party increasingly became the extreme anti-gun rights party. Some of you might have noticed that, during the last decade, NRA increasingly became a mouthpiece for all sorts of economic right-wing bullshit which had little (if anything) to do with gun rights. It also became a bloated organization full of incompetent parasites who used its financial resources to live a cushy lifestyle- not unlike NGOs, most “non-profits”, charities, universities and political parties. This went on for a decade or so and then November 8, 2016 happened.

The election of Trump and the nature of those in the so-called “resistance” (coastal establishment types) caused a renewed push to ban guns among democrats. A few large mass-shootings in the first two years of his presidency did not help things. To make another long story short, a number of events driven by coastal elites and SJWs such as deplatforming gun-rights people on social media, denying them certain banking services, getting chain stores to stop selling ‘scary looking’ guns, banning novelty items such as bump stocks etc exposed the impotence of NRA. While this would have no consequence if the affected people were black or brown, they were not. Add to this internal fights over monetary issues between Wayne LaPierre vs Oliver North and their cronies. It all came at around the same time and made that organization look corrupt and impotent to its membership and many other gun owners.

As a consequence of this, the NRA has been experiencing a pretty serious membership revolt and disengagement over past few months. But coastal liberal idiots should not rejoice. The gun-right organisations which will replace it are going to be much more demanding than the NRA. Even a rebooted NRA will be far more ideologically rigid and unwilling/ unable to compromise than its predecessor. Furthermore, the proliferation of liberal post-modern bullshitters, SJWs and other assorted ‘virtue display’ peddlers in large corporations has actually hardened the resolve of people to defend their gun rights. And all of this is going to play out during 2020 election season, which promises to be quite the shitshow.

Relevant Clip #1

and

Relevant Clip #2

What do you think? Comments?

The NRA, in its Current Form, Does Not Have a Promising Future

September 10, 2018 6 comments

I am not the first person to point out that the NRA might not have a promising future. The big difference, however, between almost every article on that subject and this one is that I support the right to bear arms- and not just in some contrived “sportsman” context. For example- it is my opinion that ownership restrictions on short-barreled rifles in the 1934 NFA act and the 1986 FOPA act which banned the civilian ownership of select-fire (automatic) weapons manufactured after that year are classic examples of legislative stupidity.

As many of you also know, I have written more than a few posts in the past stating the reasons behind my belief that ‘gun control’ is a stupid idea with no real upside to the dumbfucks who support it. In other words, I am totally on board with the core purpose of the NRA. So why do I think that the organisation in question does not have a bright or promising future. Well.. there are a few reasons, but let me start by telling you what they are not.

Many coastal LIEbrals, who I hate with the same intensity as CONservatives, want to make themselves believe that younger generations will magically support gun control. Sadly for them, that pattern is somewhat true in less than half a dozen coastal states and even is mostly an urban thing. In other words, this pattern is meaningful only within the small social bubble inhabited by the incestuous “elite” and their professional class cocksuckers.

So why did I say that the NRA does not have a promising future? And why did I use that ‘in its current format’ conditionality? So here is why I said what I did..

1] As some of you might have noticed, a lot of the media outreach effort by the NRA today is about issues not related to defense of the 2nd amendment. For example, they spend too much time and effort on trying to demonize socialism, support “free” enterprise and denigrate populist ideas such as universal health care. Now, I know they are doing that.. *cough* corporate donors. But don’t kid yourself that supporting issues which are against the best interests of vast majority of their current membership and potential future members is a smart idea.

See.. the problem with being associated with bad ideas, bullshit and outright lies is that their stench rubs onto you. That is why, for example, people in 2018 are far more distrustful of the medical profession that they were in the 1980s. That is why Trump beat all establishment republican candidates and then Hillary in the 2016 election season. That is also why the non-stop concerted effort by establishment media to demonize Trump has paradoxically helped him by making him look like a victim. You get my point.. right?

Similarly the NRA, by publicly associating itself with pro-corporate ideologies, is digging itself into a hole. To be clear, this would not have been an issue as late as mid-1990s when most people in USA were doing fine or at least OK. But they haven’t been doing so well since 2001 and most certainly since 2008. There is a reason why the alt-right and many younger conservative-minded people are quite Ok with “socialist” ideas such as universal health care, inexpensive education, job guarantees, universal basic income and restricting corporate power.

My point is that associating yourself with ideas which your most likely followers don’t particularly care about, or actively disagree with, is not a recipe for promoting your main cause. In fact, doing so will certainly hurt the viability of your main cause in years to come- and that is going to be much sooner than you think. And yes.. once again, I know why they do it. I am just saying that they are taking a stupid and unnecessary risk.

2] The other big problem for NRA in the future is that it is still widely, and correctly, perceived as a white gun owners organisation. Once again, being an organisation which drew its membership almost exclusively from whites was a viable strategy till about twenty years ago. But as any person with more than half a brain knows today, that is not a great strategy- either in the USA of 2018 or any time after that. Any organisation which wants to remain relevant even 10-15 years from now better have a realistic strategy to recruit from other ethnic groups.

Of course, the incompetent “marketing consultants” employed by that organisation have managed to find a few non-white faces. Sadly, the losers they have found so far are.. to put it mildly.. laughably bad. People with infomercial level acting skills who can’t even read off their teleprompters and cue cards with conviction are poor brand ambassadors- plain and simple. Sadly, that is only one part of this particular problem.

The other part involves the almost complete unwillingness of this organisation to defend 2nd amendment rights of non-white people, especially those murdered by the police. Once again, I know they are doing that because a non-insignificant part of their core membership and supporters today are from the “law enforcement” agencies. But here is the problem.. it might work right now, but what about 10-15 years from now? The Stasi of former East-Germany also had a lot of power and prestige until that country lasted, but not much afterwards.

The problems I see in the future of that organisation, therefore, largely come down to significant irreconcilability between their current donor and membership cadre and the ones they attract in order to stay relevant in the near future. Frankly, I don’t see them being able to make this transition. Maybe some new moment or organisation, without legacy issues, will be able to exploit this opportunity.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 2

March 17, 2018 1 comment

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about why manufactured internet “activism” is based in wishful thinking and why current attempts by “socially responsible” corporations to de-platform gun and ammunition sales were either meaningless or likely to backfire on them. Some of you might wonder.. how can anybody make predictions such as these? After all, corporate media outlets and “respectable” and “credentialed” talking heads keep telling everybody that “it is different this time around” (without explaining why) and how the younger generation has “no interest in defending the right to own firearms”, etc.

Then again, corporate media outlets and the same cast of “credentialed” experts also told their audience that HRC was certain to beat Trump (in the electoral college) in November 2016. They have, in the past, also pushed obvious fairy-tales such as how Saddam possessed “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in early-2003, how american military involvement in Libya would create a secular democracy or how North Koreans were too poor and stupid to develop thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, etc. My point is that anything coming from these official stenographers has been repeatedly shown to have a very high probability of being incorrect, false and misleading.

And this brings me to why idiotic ideas such as attempts to “target the NRA” through legislation and corporate behavior will have the opposite effect. Perhaps, you might have heard about the infamous and ultimately ineffectual Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. What many of you might not know is that it was simply the culmination of a number of anti-gun laws enacted in the mid-1980s and early-1990s. These included other ineffectual idiocies such as the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and the 1989 ban on importing “scary looking assault rifles”. As the gun owners know, these and other similar laws did have any real effect on overall availability of semi-auto rifles and handguns in USA. They, also, did not reduce the incidence of spree shootings.

These laws did however greatly benefit the NRA and did wonders for fundraising and membership drives. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that the NRA we know today was largely created by public reaction against stupid and ineffectual gun laws. Prior to 1980s, the NRA was a fairly mediocre organisation involved in things such as promotion of shooting competitions, training people to use guns safely and basically doing some low-key defense of gun owners rights. It involvement in the political arena was largely a non-issue since most democrats and republicans were fine with gun-ownership. That started to change in the 1970 after a small number of coastal politicians started pushing for “gun control” aka criminalizing private gun ownership.

It was obvious to people capable of independent though, even then, that “gun control” did not address the root causes of increased crime levels during that era. It is no secret that the late-1960s, 1970s and 1980s saw a large increase in levels of crime (as perceived by average people) largely because pent-up racial, social and economic tensions were rapidly unmasked in those years. The majority of gun owners, rightly, did not see a connection between their lawful gun ownership and crimes caused by poverty and racial discrimination. FYI, a previous post of mine talks about why establishment democratic and professional-types are so concerned about gun ownership by all those “other” people.

The passage of many ineffectual anti-gun ownership laws in the late-1980s and mid-1990s did however convince a lot of people that the government was out to get their guns. Between 1933-1974 things in USA were run to benefit average people (at least the white ones) in addition to corporations. However institutional changes and corporation-friendly policies since the late-1970s convinced many people that the government had stopped caring about their welfare and saw them as inconveniences to be suppressed and marginalized. Let us just say that the raft of anti-gun legislation passed in the late-1980s and early-1990s merely validated their beliefs. This is also when the current movement to defend private gun ownership started.

But why were gun owners so contemptuous of all these laws and regulations for “sensible gun control”? Well.. because they were not sensible and were about ultimately ending private gun ownership. Let me give you some examples of why those laws were counterproductive, in addition to being ineffectual. The 1989 law by the Bush41 administration to ban import of foreign-made “assault rifles” was intended to stop the importation of surplus AK-47 type guns in USA. The ban on importation of those and other rifles simply led to them being manufactured in USA. The end result of is that today you can buy pretty much any semi-auto firearm of foreign origin, because it is made in USA.

Similarly, the law banning select-fire (full auto) weapons made after 1986 from being registered in USA had no impact on their use in crimes because.. legally purchased full-auto weapons are almost never used in committing crimes. Also, well made guns last for many decades when cared for properly and used sparingly. Passage of the AWB of 1994 was, however, the biggest disaster for the “gun control” movement. As some of you know, the many regulations within that bill clearly displayed that “gun control” advocates had little real life experience with handling and using guns. And that is the most polite way to say they were clueless.

Between the bizarre,hilarious and ineffective regulations on magazine capacity, pistol grips, and gun barrel accessories and their supporters inability to distinguish between semi-auto and select-fire weapons, let alone the internal mechanisms- it is fair to say that the AWB of 1994 did more to increase public support and monetary contributions to NRA and other gun-rights organisations than anything they put out themselves. In many respects, the overall environment is even more unfavorable for similar “gun control” legislation, or other measures, today. As things stand now, establishment democrats are out of power at the federal level and in most states. Even worse, they have manged to lose to unabashedly pro-corporate and anti-populist republican candidates.

The socio-economic environment (for average people) is far bleaker today than it was even eight years ago. Between that and the now-overt loss of public faith in institutions and “experts”, it is safe to say that manufactured “activism” against the NRA and gun owners in general is not a pathway to win elections in most of the country. In my opinion, such “activism” is doing more for the NRA and similar organisations than the AWB of 1994 could ever achieve. To make a long story short, half-assed attempts at creating bad laws and regulations always end up having the opposite effect- and this is not exception. Might write another part based on feedback or further developments in this area.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 1

March 4, 2018 15 comments

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post about why frequent mass shootings are almost unique to the USA- at least among allegedly “developed” nations. The very short version of that post is that the USA is, and always has been, a third-world country.. albeit an affluent one. The way things work in USA, especially as it concerns how people view each other and the institutions around them, is similar to what one might see in Mexico or Brazil rather than Japan, France or Canada. People in USA, therefore, behave and react in a manner similar to those in the former group of countries than the latter.

But what does any of this have to do with the recent wave of manufactured internet “activism” targeting the NRA and gun owners? Why do I think that this wave of internet “activism” and worthless corporate displays of virtue are manufactured? And what makes me think that it will backfire in a spectacular manner, perhaps destroying the chance for the democratic party to win either the house or senate in the 2018 election? Also, why now and not after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Let us start by talking about supporters and enablers of this alleged wave of internet “activism”.

So.. what makes this incident different from that one which occurred about four months ago and resulted in the deaths of three times more people (59 vs 17) and many more injuries (422 vs 14)? Isn’t it odd that the corporate media and certain internet companies did not promote the views of those killed and injured in the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting to even a tiny fraction of what they did for this one? What accounts for the manufactured fascination and promotion of certain students in that school by the corporate media? The short answer to that question is the corporate media will only provide free promotion to those who will support whatever agenda they want to push.

That is why the corporate media does not like to talk about the ongoing genocide perpetrated by Saudi Arabia in Yemen but is totally willing to give tons of airtime and publicity to a 7-year old girl in Syria who allegedly tweets in perfect English though she can barely comprehend that language. Long story short, the first example casts a negative light on the policies of their masters while the later is a desperate attempt to legitimize western (mostly american) military intervention in the ongoing Syrian conflict. But what does this have to do with the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting?

I cannot be the only one who noticed that certain students from that high school who supported gun control were intensively promoted by the corporate media within less than 24 hours of the shooting? I mean.. how come something like this never happened after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Also, how do you account for the almost simultaneous publication of articles by corporate media which push the exact same narrative (example 1, example 2, example 3) about these “activist” students? And isn’t it peculiar that their small protests and meetings with state politicians were unusually well covered by the corporate media (example 4, example 5, example 6).

Why was so little attention given to the fact that the Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, was responsible for the botched response to that shooting in addition to inadequate followup of all those previous tips and complaints against Nikolas Cruz. You might remember that he was busy talking to everyone in the media, in the first few days after that shooting, about how ‘police should be given more power’ and how ‘he supported sensible gun control’. You might also remember how they initially cheered him on and then dropped him like a hot potato after the level of his incompetence and corruption was accidentally exposed.

But it gets worse.. or more darkly hilarious. Many of you might have heard or read about all those noises made by the corporate media about how big corporations are “cutting their links to the NRA”. First of all, the vast majority of such virtue signalling by corporations is meaningless bullshit. For example, one airline which stopped a program to give small meaningless discounts to NRA members had to acknowledge that only 13 people had used that particular discount in the previous calendar year. In other words, most of the manufactured news about how “corporations are cutting their ties with the NRA” is hogwash.

Secondly, all those breathless “news reports” about how certain large box stores deciding to stop selling ‘scary assault rifles’ or put new illegal age-limits on selling guns and ammunition are also meaningless because of the sheer number of small and medium size private business who will continue to do what they have been always doing. Also expect the big box retailers to quietly walk back from their current position within a few months or get sued and lose in court. Did I mention that this type of empty “moral” posturing by corporations has occurred many times in the past- especially in the aftermath of mass shootings.

Then there is the issue of banks and financial institutions trying to enforce gun control by de-platforming gun sales. Once again, there is the pesky issue of legal challenges to such actions. However, the far bigger problem for such actions is that many elected officials would lose their seats and political careers if they did not vigorously oppose such actions. Also, guns and ammo are far cheaper than cars and houses and therefore cash transactions would simply replace those through neoliberal financial institutions. And this brings us to the major problem with fallout of such pathetic attempts to use internet “activism” against the NRA.

Attempting to enact gun control in 2018 or 2020 is political suicide for democrats as well as “moderate” republicans. As many of you know, democrats are hoping that Trump’s failure to follow up on his populist election promises and generally ineffectual governance will result in a windfall during the 2018 cycle. That belief is however too optimistic, because they still have not come up with a better message than “Trump is a bad, bad man”. Given that control of the house depends on winning a number of very close electoral races, pissing off a fairly large body of single-issue voters who will come out in large numbers and vote against you seems like a really bad idea.

In the next part of this short series, I will talk about why every historic attempt at “targeting the NRA” has made it and the pro-gun lobby stronger and how these attempts have paradoxically led to the loosening of regulations on guns.

What do you think? Comments?