Unless you’re an recent immigrant Jupiter’s moon Io, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the National Rifle Association [NRA]. They of the “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” bumper-sticker mentality.
Believe it or not, there are other gun-nut organizations that make them seem almost sane by comparison. Say “hello” to Gun Owners of America [GOA].
GOA is about 30% the size of the NRA [1,500,000 vs 5,000,000]. However, what they lack is size, they make up in extremism!
According to Right Wing Watch,
Gun Owners of America believes that even the far-right National Rifle Association is too moderate and open to compromise on the issue of gun rights. GOA has emerged as a vocal opponent of gun violence prevention measures thanks to its close alliances with Republican lawmakers and its tendency—unlike the NRA—not to go into hiding after mass shootings.
GOA became a bridge between conservative lawmakers and the radical anti-government militia movement, linking guns to issues such as Christian nationalism and opposition to immigration reform. Much like the NRA, GOA promotes bizarre conspiracy theories and racial rhetoric in order to stir up panic about crime waves and imminent government seizures of firearms.
Speaking of “bizarre conspiracy theories,” GOA’s latest is a doozy!
On Saturday, GOA’s legislative counsel, Michael Hammond was a guest on “Gun Owners News Hour.” Michael started off by claiming credit for stopping gun reform legislation after Columbine and Sandy Hook. (Although the NRA got most of the glory(?).)
Gun Owners of America basically stopped all Clinton gun control after the Columbine massacre, notwithstanding that there’s a massive national campaign. We stopped all gun control after the Newtown massacre, notwithstanding that there was a massive campaign in that direction. And, frankly, we stopped, it appears, Fix NICS as a supposed result of the Las Vegas massacre.
Fix NICS [aka H.R.4477] was a bill to update and upgrade FBI background checks in the aftermath of the Las Vegas and Texas church killings.
Then, Michael got around to the “conspiracy du jour:”
It seems, according to Michael, that the school shootings were the fault of the liberal media, because they’re “trying to encourage copycat shootings in order to achieve gun control.”
But of course, you know, when I was growing up, the kids carried guns to schools, including semi-autos, and no one really thought anything of it. What you have now is you have gun free school zones, all of the sudden you have these school shootings and you have a liberal media that tries to turn these shooters into heroes. It lionizes them, it publishes their diaries, it puts their pictures on the front of The New York Times
I have no idea where (or even if) Michael went to school. I grew up in an alcoholic family and as a result attended 16 schools in several states and in some of the best slums on the west coast. In not one of those schools, did I ever hear of a student carrying anything more deadly that a blank starter gun to school. More importantly, I don’t recall anything approaching the number of school killings that we’ve had since the laws have been loosened And as to “gun-free” schools, Columbine had an armed security officer. Didn’t do a damn bit of good.
As for the “liberal media” (i.e. any media that doesn’t spout the “true believers’ true beliefs) turning shooters into heroes and lionizing them? The only media I’m aware of that does that are extreme right-wing sites, after Planned Parenthood, abortion clinic or LGBT killings.
Yes, massacres are extensively covered. They are NEWS! I know gun nuts would like coverage to cease so that there wasn’t so much bad publicity, but that’s never going to happen.
Back to Michael:
As a result you have now a series of media-generated copycat shootings, which I’m afraid are not going to stop until one of two things happens: an armed citizenry rises up against these people and stops them or, alternatively, the media becomes so bored with this topic it stops trying to encourage copycat shootings in order to achieve gun control.
There’s the usual, “arm everybody and sort out the bodies” rant. A few years ago I did a series on gun violence. As part of the research, I did some checking on that.
According to statistics, 45% of American households have guns and a large number of those have concealed weapons permits, yet in the 20 years the post covered, not one civilian stopped a shooter in the middle of his rampage.
I could only find two occasions where someone armed has stopped what could have been a mass shooting: In 1991 at an Alabama Shoney’s and a 2007 shooting at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. I’ve read other claims, but when you check closely, it’s usually after the shooting when the killer was trying to get away and in one case cited [Appalachian School of Law shooting] in which the gunman was taken down by an unarmed ex-Marine before two armed students could actually intervene.
Major h/t to Right Wing Watch