End the NRA and Its Reign of Hate and Greed

by on February 20, 2018 · 5 comments

in Organizing

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The National Rifle Association needs to be put out of its misery. Despite all the talk about mental health, thoughts and prayers, a national conversation, and sensible gun laws, the solution to our gun madness is obvious.

The gunman in Parkland, Florida did not act alone as he carried out the 18th school shooting of 2108.

He was assisted by 52 Republican Senators, 298 Republican Representatives, and the NRA. Many, if not all, of those GOP legislators were elected or persuaded to vote the ‘right way’ with $140 million in help from this vile organization in the 2016 election cycle.

Oh, and by the way, the armed school guard on the property didn’t stop him from killing at least 17 people, wounding others, and leaving three thousand students, along with their families traumatized for life.

With its money, bluster, and fear mongering, a small group of individuals working for an organization primarily funded by one industry have hijacked our country. Our problem with school shootings and the highest rate (it’s not even close) of gun-related deaths in the developed world isn’t going anywhere until we get to the root of the problem.

The NRA’s copious cash contributions are merely the tip of the iceberg, as the shortcomings of Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety,” which has tried to negate Republicans’ financial incentives to stick by the NRA, have proven.

Credit: Democracy Chronicles / Flickr

It’s not just the money. It’s the culture and political infrastructure the group has built around fear of ‘the other.’ This is a successful variant on mass mobilization methodologies used by zealots since the dawn of civilization. Never mind that the actual threat posed is illusionary; it only takes a few anecdotal accounts to make whatever ‘the other’ is seem like a personal danger.

The NRA can blow its dog whistle and the phones will ring. With a little dose of ‘wink, wink, nod, nod,’ the less civil elements among its adherents will add some vile threats and hate language at no extra charge.

This is true even here in progressive California, and this game gets played at all levels of politics. Former Assemblywoman Lori Saladaña had extra security assigned to her while pushing for a 2010 bill banning open carry. It died during the closing moments of the legislative session, thanks to some bizarre maneuvers by both Republicans and Democrats. (A bill did pass in 2012)

Credit: Pixabay

The National Rifle Association and its allies need to become political poison. Every legislator who accepts their support must be shamed at every turn.

Even though he’s (momentarily) out of the game, the $16,884 in support Rep. Darrell Issa has received (2008-2016, Open Secrets) needs to be an issue. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s $13,000 (2008-2016, Open Secrets) in blood money has to haunt him every time he appears in public.

The battle to be fought here is no longer about regulations pertaining to firearms, nor is it about mental health. Only 3 to 5% of violent crime in the United States is attributed to mental illness, by the way. Mental illness is global. Mass shootings are American.

Most guns used in mass shootings were purchased legally.

This is about good vs. evil. The NRA (as opposed to people who own guns) is about greed and racism. They need to disappear into the historical dumpster of vileness.

The Parkland shooter belonged to white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF).

From the Anti-Defamation League, which spoke with a ROF member who identified himself as Jordan Jereb:

Jereb, based in Tallahassee, is believed to be the leader of ROF. In 2016, he was arrested on charges of threatening a staffer in the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott because he was allegedly angry at the staffer’s son.

Jereb said that Cruz was associated with ROF, having been “brought up” by another member. Jereb added that Cruz had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, carpooling with other ROF members from south Florida.

ROF has members in north and south Florida. The alt right white supremacist group borrows paramilitary concepts from the anti-government extremist militia movement (not itself a white supremacist movement). ROF describes itself as a “white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics” and seeks to create a “white ethnostate” in Florida. Most ROF members are young and the group itself is only a few years old.

And we mustn’t forget the incontrovertible bond between racism and misogyny.

UPDATE: Politico has run a story claiming the ROF interview with ADL was part of a prank, initiated by 4chan trolls.

This battle is not about legislation. Or enforcement. The minute we start talking about gun control or banning anything, the gun lobby has won the argument.

Social pressure is what’s needed. The NRA isn’t about protecting anybody’s Second Amendment rights, just as the tobacco industry wasn’t about promoting health back in the days when they had doctors making claims in advertising.

The NRA is about protecting the “rights” of an industry. The NRA is about enabling the influence of people who want us to believe violence is viable means of persuasion. Don’t believe me? Give their 24-hour-a-day TV network a spin.

For too long the apologists for savagery have framed the conversation. It’s time to make our safety and the safety of children everywhere the issue.

We need ‘violence protection’ and ’gun safety.’ We need to politically and socially ostracize those who would cause us to be enslaved by fear. We need to fight the ideologies of hate that divide us using irrational fear.

We need to win.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter from South O February 21, 2018 at 5:21 am

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Unlike other ammendments, the second has outlived its usefullness as technology took us past single-shot, reload, single shot, reload . . . guns were not a dire threat to the “people” as they are, proveably, today.

Ammendment II to the Constitution is the one place where the founding fathers did NOT anticipate a threat to our fabric of Freedom: “provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare” was a balanced rationale in the 18th Century, but semi-automatics were not even a dream.

We can nibble away at the NRA, march for background checks, divert the public with outlawing certain accessories (bump stocks) as a solution when we really have to make a choice: keep wondering where the next disturbed individual will snap and how many will die, or to do what is politically untenable . . . repeal the second ammendment.

In the ’20s ANYONE could build or buy a flying machine and fly it anywhere. We would not tolerate this today, for obvious public safety reasons. Why do we pretend that the same is not true for projectile weapons?

Put your Representatives on notice: if you take one penny of blood money from extremest groups (I am including the NRA in this definition) then you face defeat.

I am heartened by the strength and perception of the young students in Florida. There are THREE MILLION new voters about to hit the polls in a year or so. They don’t want a Country of fear.


Bearded OBcean February 21, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Just to play devil’s advocate, and taking neither side in this debate, but I don’t think the founders could divine online journalism either.
But does anyone really think that the founders never considered that firearms would evolve beyond single shot long rifles considering that repeat-fire weapons were already in use at that time?
Buggers the mind.


Peter from South O February 21, 2018 at 1:25 pm

The founding fathers could certainly not conceive of private citizens in a non-rural environment arming themselves with a single weapon that could mow down scores of people in less than a minute. “Aeroplanes” became heavily regulated FEDERALLY out of prudence; we have not pursued the same public safety issue with firearms. Why? Because it is a lot more partisan, and pilots are in the minority.

The key part of the Second Amendment that is obsolete in my view is the phrase “shall not be infringed”. Are we not already infringing? Try to purchase a bazooka and see how fast you get a visit from the Feds. The point is we need to set Federal limits on weapons that are designed to kill as many humans as possible. No rational citizen would deny the ownership of a long rifle or pistol to a law-abiding (comprehensive background checks for ALL purchases) individual, but if you MUST get your rocks off by spraying bullets out of a 15-round mag full of high-velocity rounds . . . visit a range and rent what should be an exotic weapon.

Unfortunately I do not see rationality being triumphant over propaganda in this regard.

Teenagers were a force in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as being the turning point in the effort to end the war in Vietnam . . . maybe they have the golden moment here. One can only hope.


Bearded OBcean February 21, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I’m not sure the use of “aeroplanes” was outlined in the Bill of Rights.


Peter from South O February 21, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Of course they aren’t. I was drawing a corollary on obsolescense of a freedom based upon the common good.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: