NEGLECT, THE NRA & NEO-NAZIS

The Complicit President

One of the great miscalculations of the decade came from the gun-suckers at the National Rifle Association during the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. They heavily miscalculated their message and, unfortunately for America, our sitting President is equally tone-deaf. This post may get me on two enemies lists for the price of one, but it seems like there is a wind blowing and the updraft from the heat and sorrow of death is lifting opinions.

The NRA must surely be wondering why their messaging hit such a sour note in Maryland last week. Like most shows, a comedian warmed up the audience so that the star had an audience primed and ready for the headliner. Ms. Dana Loesch said, “Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I’m not saying you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold… And notice I said crying white mothers because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend and you don’t see town halls for them, do you?”

With that statement, Loesch sparked a tweetstorm from people all over the United States. Some might say it was insensitive to make those remarks within 24-hours of the CNN Town Hall with survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, but the words were more than obtuse. They were an example of the numbing reality that the NRA’s tactics are not caring, open or helpful. They sensed, for the first time, that people were coming for them in the dead of night with torches. They overreacted.

Their leader, Wayne LaPierre, has a famous slug-line, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” He marched into the room and attempted to present the NRA as a solid front and to reaffirm himself as the puppeteer pulling the strings of Congress and our President. The leader of the NRA misconstrued some of the basic points of his association’s existence. Yes, of course, the National Rifle Association is a registered lobbyist, but they want to be more. And it wasn’t more than seconds before Donald Trump was parroting the points that LaPierre was making on stage at CPAC.

What disturbed many corporate leaders was not only the divisive rhetoric of Dana Loesch, but the highly-charged words of LaPierre. He advanced a political attack that sounded like Germany rhetoric from 1939. And if you think words don’t matter, consider this: Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States soared by 57 percent in 2017, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. That’s the largest single-year increase in more than two decades. There was an 86 percent rise in vandalism.

Wayne’s world protects 100 million-gun owners by getting money from five million members. There are companies who believe that supporting the NRA is good business. I don’t understand why Delta Airlines, Hertz Rent a Car and other companies thought that offering discounts to NRA members was a good idea. Do they offer discounts to Super PACs or other lobbyist members?

The NRA damaged their brand with those two speeches and, of course, proved the point the high school students were making. With LaPierre saying that the “European Socialists” were controlling the minds of the masses, he was sending a message that anyone who confronts the NRA is politically bad for America. He sounded like a politician running for office.

The speech reeked of Neo-Nazi messaging. And while the CEO of the NRA was defending his cause he had no idea that Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in Parkland, Florida, etched swastikas in his ammunition magazines. Oops!

In 2015, Dylann Roof confessed to murdering nine African Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, one of 40 states not requiring background checks for private gun transactions. In clear sight on the internet, Roof espoused racial hatred. Photographs there showed him posing with emblems associated with white supremacy. He had also been arrested. He beat the system.

When a reformed Neo-Nazi appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes trying to motivate others from getting sucked into the group, Dylann Roof sent him a letter from prison that read: “I know you won’t be, but you really should be ashamed of yourself. Traitor, you’ve really cashed in, haven’t you? I hope you know that you are 100 times worse than the Jews you’ve surrounded yourself with.” No repent there.

And with the death of a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a Unite the Right rally, it was clear that a statement from the President would have helped the situation. Rather than denounce this bullshit, Donald Trump gave a convolved message of “fine people on both sides.” He advanced anti-political correctness rather than calling out Neo-Nazis. He worried about a Robert E. Lee statue more than America.

Donald Trump, through stupidity or complicity, has not created a strong message against the KKK, Nazis, White Nationalist and other terror groups operating in America. The NRA fights any effort to track gun owners, so it’s impossible to know names and locations of the bad guys. And much of Congress shakes in their boots when it comes to the NRA. Nothing happens, and not only is Trump complicit but he has neglected his duty to keep us safe.

The voice of the Florida students and the corporate boycotts will alarm companies who would rather not be involved in politics. This time the NRA veered off course and made a wide turn away from the Second Amendment. With LaPierre critiquing other facets of government and society, he struck a hateful Trumpian tone. CEOs and boards of directors are nervous. Good use of social media this time!

Wayne LaPierre doesn’t have the credibility to talk about leaks in the intelligence community, media bias or universities he claims are spearheading a socialist revolution by emphasizing the teachings of Karl Marx. He added that America was trending toward a “growing socialist state.” Adolf Hitler was against Karl Marx as well and said, “Our adopted term ‘Socialist’ has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true socialism is not.”

The Nazis adopted a new gun law in 1938, allowing Non-Jews to buy rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Handguns were also easy to own, buy, sell or carry. Local officials could even allow people under the age of 18 to buy a gun. Gee, how did that work out? Lots of crazy brown-shirted kids killing Jews.

Saying that anything which challenges their power is somehow connected to European Socialism and Karl Marx, has not only blurred the message of the NRA but has left trouble and blood on their hands.

The NRA has failed to understand America. When people suggest true universal background checks on gun purchases, they aren’t talking about Karl Marx. They are talking about Making America Safe Again. In the bigger picture, the smart people in the United States with knowledge of history are hearing exactly what the NRA is saying, “You cannot fuck with us.” As our President has said, “We will see.”

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