Apocalypse USA — a la LaPierre
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
February 22, 2013 12:45 AM | 1218 views | 11 11 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr and I met last week at the Marietta Rotary Club luncheon to debate gun safety, we had a polite exchange of views on the issue.

Barr did take exception to my invoking the National Rifle Association when I observed that the organization has, for years, engaged in a relentlessly bellicose misinformation campaign designed confuse and scare gun owners.

Barr didn’t think the NRA, on whose board he serves, had anything to do with our discourse, which is like saying we’ll talk about lung cancer, but don’t mention cigarettes.

It’s an apt analogy given the poisonous conspiracy theories, lies and distortions spouted by NRA leaders and most especially Wayne LaPierre.

I offered the Rotarians a taste of LaPierre’s crazy talk:

Universal background checks, he has suggested, are part of a government plot to disarm gun owners.

In a 1995 fundraising letter, LaPierre said the Clinton administration had empowered police to “murder law abiding citizens.”

During last year’s presidential campaign, he claimed Obama’s inaction on guns during his first term was proof the president will “erase the Second Amendment” during his second term.

Then, right on cue, LaPierre amplified my point for me.

In a seriously delusional op-ed piece posted last week on the conservative Daily Caller web site, LaPierre, who is evidently clairvoyant, foretells of an apocalypse, one he baselessly suggests President Obama and his “media enablers” are conspiring to facilitate.

According to LaPierre, al-Qaida terrorists and Mexican drug lords are teaming up and will soon cross the Southern border to visit havoc on unarmed Americans; a “coming siege,” LaPierre ominously warns.

“We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster,” prophesied LaPierre, whose real objective, of course, is to push gun sales. “It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”

Looters, “ran wild in south Brooklyn after (superstorm) Sandy,” LaPierre claimed. “If you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.”

Some burglaries were reported in south Brooklyn but, “… there were no murders, no rapes and no shootings,” said the NYPD’s Paul Browne.

“In the aftermath of Sandy, crime stayed at record lows,” added a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Fear-mongering aside, after years in public relations, I know you can not only manipulate emotions but deliver corresponding marketing messages through the media. And so does the NRA.

Sure enough, after conjuring up his fantastical doomsday scenario, LaPierre got around to soliciting money for his so-called “Stand and Fight” campaign.

“When the NRA spends money on political advertising, we have to raise those funds from you — $20, $50, $250, or $1,000 at a time. …We must reach out to the tens of millions of gun owners who are not yet NRA members.”

In fact, the NRA is not a “genuine grass roots organization,” as LaPierre insists. Its 2010 tax return showed that, of its $228 million in revenues, $71 million came from the gun manufacturers and related interests, a figure that’s sure to increase post-Newtown.

The gun industry, for which the NRA speaks, is desperately worried it could lose a lucrative chunk of its business if assault-style weapons are banned. Their profits, you see, trump public safety.

So LaPierre breathlessly predicts another Fort Apache, Alamo and Custer’s Last Stand all rolled into one, red meat for the black helicopter crowd, but ravings that tell rational Americans the NRA wants nothing to do with solving the gun violence epidemic.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
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Kevin Foley
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February 25, 2013
@ Middleton - You and too many others seem willing to accept anything LaPierre says, no matter how transparently self-serving or crazy, but nothing BATF or any other law enforcement agencies say.

I don't get paid to do this column, nor do I get paid to do your research. However, your questions suggest you want to know more, so as part of your duty to be a well informed voter, spend a little bit of time investigating questions the NRA doesn't want to answer.

For example, why is the NRA against universal background checks when, in 1999, it was for them?

Or, why does the NRA oppose federal gun trafficking legislation (there are, amazingly, no federal laws prohibiting gun trafficking)?

anonymous
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February 27, 2013
Foley, you ask,"For example, why is the NRA against universal background checks when, in 1999, it was for them?"

Even for someone with your limited ability to think outside the liberal box, it should be obvious that it equates to universal registration which is the first step toward universal confiscation. I'm not saying that the Obama administration plans to confiscate everyone's guns, at least at the present time, but I cetainly do not want to make it easy for him in case he does decide to go int heat direction.

BTW, in 1999, we did not have a President who cared nothing for the people's rights, as we have now. Opinions change over 13 years, depending on circumstances. If you still believe eveeything you did in 1999, then, my friend, you are stagnant.

Tobeclear
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February 22, 2013
Foley, I find it interesting that you wrote this article from the safety of your home in Kennesaw, a city where gun ownership is required. Why don't you do a little night reporting from South Chicago where the gun policies you support are already in place.
Kevin Foley
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February 22, 2013
Tobeclear (whoever you are) - I suspect there are a lot of law breakers in Kennesaw without a gun in the home. Maybe you should fill out a complaint at the Kennesaw Police Department and have the cops go door to door to arrest evil doers.

The gun policies might be in place in south Chicago, but the enforcement isn't. New York, meantime, just recorded the lowest homicide rate in 50 years, thanks to strict gun safety meaures and strict enforcement.
George Middleton
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February 22, 2013
"al-Qaida terrorists and Mexican drug lords are teaming up and will soon cross the Southern border to visit havoc on unarmed Americans; "

He was right. He should also have mentioned that our own government is helping to arm them. Can you say "Fast and Furious?"
Kevin Foley
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February 22, 2013
Thanks for reminding me George. Due to time restrictions, I never got around to presenting this to the Rotarians:

"In fact, as many as 2,000 guns may have ended up in Mexico as part of this (F&F) gun-tracing effort, which has been the subject of multiple investigations. However, in April the BATF reported that of 100,000 guns collected by the Mexican government, 68 percent could be traced to U.S. dealers.

LaPierre insists, the “great overwhelming bulk” of guns used by the Mexican cartels “come from non-American dealers.” He dismisses suggestions that U.S. dealers are a primary source of guns to Mexico as “absurd” and “a damned lie.”

George Middleton
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February 23, 2013
Kevin, re: your quote

"However, in April the BATF reported that of 100,000 guns collected by the Mexican government, 68 percent could be traced to U.S. dealers"

Was that percentage quoted by the Mexican government? They have a habit of trying to lay blame for their sins onto the back of the U.S.

What the report failed to indicate was that they cannot ascertain that the transfer was directly fromthe gun dealer to the drug cartel, or whether it passed through other hands first, someone who bought them from the dealers, with the intent to market them to the drug cartel.

This is dishonest reporting. They actually told no untruth. They just stopped short of telling the whole truth. Kinda like when you made the statement earlier that in a majority of recent mass shootings, the guns were obtained legally. Thar is rrue. The rest of the story is that, for example in Sandy Hook and Columbine, the guns were not obtained legally BY THE SHOOTER.

There is a subtle difference between the truth and the whole truth.

George Middleton
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February 23, 2013
Kevin, could you give me a referenece for the BATF report?
Devlin Adams
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February 22, 2013
Foley, this is ludicours and laughable. You accuse the NRA of fear mongering and spreading lies and distortions? That's a clear cut case of the "pot callng the kettle black." Those are the things you do on a regular basis.
FROM TEXAS
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February 22, 2013
You might want to brush up on NAZI history this is how the Germans were disarmed and he was able to take all control. It’s not the governments business what firearms’ we have at home this was put in place to keep a balance between the government and police forces and trust me we support Neil Warren!! You need to watch some of what happened in New Orleans after Katrina it wasn’t pretty. People like you say I live in a good neighborhood you forget the bad neighborhood can come to your neighborhood rip you and your family up like rag dolls. Just ask the farther up in Connecticut of the home invasion where his wife and daughters were raped and tortured than set on fire how you think he feels. In Norway a gunman haunted for days if that happened in Lake Allatoona he wouldn’t get very far someone else would kill him!! Move to Mexico the peasants don’t have guns just the Drug Lords and etc.
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