Over the years I have observed the underhanded and sleazy political campaign tactics of the National Rifle Association s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). It has been my experience that their practices hew to a familiar pattern-wait until near the end of an election cycle, then attack those who support common sense gun laws with a series of unsubstantiated and false claims.
This election cycle, the NRA-ILA has announced that it will spend $40 million on campaign activities. $15 million of that amount will be used to portray Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama as a threat to individual gun ownership in the United States. The NRA-ILA is circulating fliers and mailers that claim to expose “Barack Obama’s 10-Point Plan to Change the Second Amendment.” This bogus “plan” is really an NRA invention that purposely distorts the Senator’s voting record and public statements.
In addition, the NRA is running TV and radio ads that claim that Obama plans to “ban use of firearms for home self-defense,” “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns,” and “close 90% of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition” if elected. These accusations are a familiar mixture of misrepresentations, twisted language, fabrications, unsubstantiated conjecture and outright lies. To any informed voter, the NRA s tactics are pure political satire worthy of Saturday Night Live. The ads themselves are so ridiculous that they would be funny were they not so dangerous.
You can check out the accuracy of the NRA s claims about Senator Obama at the nonpartisan Annenberg Political Fact Check website. A recent editorial by American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) President Ray Schoenke also refutes the NRA s Confiscation Myth.
Let us remember that just two election cycles ago it was Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain who was in the NRA s crosshairs. In 2001, the NRA lambasted McCain as one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the Second Amendment. Now, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox brags about over 20 years of high-profile agreements with the Senator.
Like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, the NRA will continue to raise their confiscation fears as long as there is money to be raised and politicians to intimidate. The moral of that famous story is “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth. At least Wayne LaPierre & Co. will never find themselves in that situation…