NRA Supporters Are Less Popular Than Pond Scum: I’m The NRA And I Buy Congressmen

Senators Face Backlash After Siding with the NRA

ImageTwo weeks ago, a minority in the Senate filibustered a commonsense, bipartisan compromise that would expanded background checks so that most gun purchases would be covered.

If you thought that opposing a policy that more than 90 percent of Americans, including more than 80 percent of gun owners, support was both bad policy and bad politics, you’d be right. Polls out in the past few days show that support for senators who filibustered is plummeting.

Freshman Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is the most unpopular senator in America following his vote, acknowledged today that he is “somewhere just below pond scum”in terms of popularity. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) saw her popularity drop by a whopping 15 points. Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the lead co-sponsor of the legislation, saw his approval rating hit a record high after he bucked the NRA.

Things got even more intense for Ayotte today. She was confronted by the daughter of a Newtown victim and things did not go well for Ayotte:

“You had mentioned that the burden to owners of gun stores that these expanded background checks would cause,” [Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung] said. “I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn’t as important as that?” […]

Lafferty abruptly walked out of the meeting after Ayotte responded to her question, and accused Ayotte of not being forthright after the Republican initially based her opposition on the burden new background checks would cause.

It’s disappointing and disgusting that she can pretty much look me in the eye and try to justify my mother’s murder and the murder of five other educators and the mothers of six and seven year olds,” Lafferty said in an interview. “It’s disgusting.”

You can watch Erica Lafferty challenge Ayotte HERE.

As we’ve said before, this is just the beginning of the fight for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. We all need to redouble our efforts to persuade more senators to side with the overwhelming majority of their constituents and the victims of gun violence instead of the NRA. And we need to hold those that refuse to do so accountable.

BOTTOM LINE: There’s a political price to be paid for opposing commonsense gun violence prevention measures that almost all Americans support and some senators are just starting to get a sense of the cost.

Apr 30, 2013 | By ThinkProgress War Room

What Do the Second Amendment Rallies Tell Us About the Gun Rights Movement?


Last week, pro-gun activists descended on the greater Washington area to stage two events. The “Restore the Constitution Open-Carry Rally” was conducted in Fort Hunt National Park, and attendees came armed with handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons. The “Second Amendment March” took place in the shadow of the Washington Monument, where attendees were prohibited from carrying firearms by the District of Columbia’s tough laws. The date on which the rallies were held–April 19–was significant. It marked the anniversary of the first shots being fired in the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington/Concord, the fiery conclusion to the 1993 siege at Waco, and the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

The media, understandably, focused largely on harsh anti-government rhetoric of the speakers at the rallies. Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), told attendees at the D.C. rally, “We’re in a war. The other side knows they’re at war, because they started it. They’re coming for our freedom, for our money, for our kids, for our property.” Mike “Break Their Windows” Vanderboegh, the former Alabama militia leader, angrily announced at the Fort Hunt rally, “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience … We are done backing up! Done! Not one more inch.”

Such comments were disturbing, dangerous and newsworthy. But underneath the surface noise of these events, there were some subtler insights into gun rights politics that are worth noting.

For starters, as Michael Paul Williams recently pointed out in a Richmond-Times Dispatch column, there was shockingly little talk about actual gun issues at the two Second Amendment rallies. That reflects the fact that Barack Obama has not signed a single gun control measure into law during his 15 months as president. Instead, President Obama has signed two National Rifle Association (NRA)-drafted amendments into law. One of these amendments legalized the carrying of loaded firearms in National Parks. The irony was glaring as armed speakers at Fort Hunt National Park warned of a federal government that was encroaching on their liberties.

There was, however, a great deal of talk about other hot-button issues at the two events. A “Resistance Pledge” circulated on the “Restore Our Constitution” rally website called for open–and, if necessary, criminal–opposition to laws pertaining to health care and climate change. The organizer of that rally, Daniel Almond, explained, “We’ve got health insurance mandates that require someone purchase a certain type of health insurance. There’s no authorization in the American Constitution…for the federal government to do that. Another example would be the bank bail-outs. There’s no authorization for the government to bail out companies deemed too big to fail.” Attendees at the rallies railed about other non-gun-related issues, such as U.S. involvement in the United Nations and federal emergency response.

Then there was the matter of the low attendance at the rallies. The Washington Post estimated about 50 attendees at Fort Hunt and approximately 2,000 in D.C. This was far less than anyone–including the organizers themselves–anticipated. I suspect the overwhelming majority of gun owners in America were repulsed by the virulently anti-government, borderline treasonous message of the rallies. A recent survey by noted Republican pollster Frank Luntz found that strong majorities of gun owners support a broad range of federal firearms regulation.

But the organizer of the Second Amendment March in the District fingered a different culprit–the NRA. Skip Coryell said the gun lobby organization “let us down on this one.” Speculating about their motives for not formally sponsoring his event, he stated, “I think it’s because they see us as a competing entity. The NRA– they’re very political. They’re strong, they’re big, they’re powerful, they have a big lobby. And they didn’t want to share a piece of the pie … There should have been 20,000 people here. If the NRA had supported us, there would have been.”

Coryell was right. The NRA did send out someweb alerts for the event, but that was about it. It was therefore revealing to see the NRA manning a booth at the Second Amendment March, where they took contributions and signed up members.

The NRA, of course, is as responsible as anyone for the message that was heard at the Second Amendment rallies. For the past 30 years, their fear-mongering fundraising letters have told gun owners that the government is an enemy intent on confiscating their firearms. Additionally, they have informed their supporters that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to confront a “tyrannical” government with violence. One year ago, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre defiantly declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, “The guys with the guns make the rules.”

This type of rhetoric has been a boon to membership and fundraising efforts, but as an Inside-the-Beltway lobbying organization that must do business with the government it vilifies, the NRA can’t afford to be seen in public with those who take their message to heart. Let’s face it–comments like, “If the present course of human events don’t change, then we will have another bloody revolution,” sound more like the pronouncements of a terrorist organization than a group of patriots dedicated to constitutional government. Coryell was wrong about one thing, however–the NRA does not see the insurrectionists as competition, but rather as fodder for their well-oiled political machine.

The problem is that the barbarians are not content to play nice in the halls of Congress like NRA lobbyistChris Cox and his team of suits. When the insurrectionists compare the Obama administration’s policies to the enslavement of Jews in the Warsaw ghettos they are–unfortunately–quite serious.

Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke recently observed on the “Real Time with Bill Maher Show”: “Where are the people in the Republican Party standing up to the extremists? I’m from Virginia and there was a rally in Virginia on April 19th commemorating the day of the Oklahoma City attack where people were encouraged to carry their guns to the rally. Where were the Republican Party leaders criticizing that? I only heard Democrats criticize that.” His concerns are well-founded.

The NRA has lost control of the monster it helped to create–if it ever had any to begin with. There is now a segment within the gun rights community that is hostile to all progressive interests and believes it has a right to use firearms to counter the results of our democratic process. We are likely to see more threats and violence if Conservative leaders do not stand up and state unequivocally that such conduct draws its inspiration from Timothy McVeigh, not Thomas Jefferson.



Josh Horwitz

Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

 Constitution , Gun Control , Gun Violence , Health Care Reform , Insurrection , Insurrectionism ,Larry Pratt , Mike Vanderboegh , National Rifle Association , Second Amendment , Timothy McVeigh ,Wayne LaPierre , Politics News

Rednecks In Arms: The Art of NRA Race War: Larry Pratt & Wayne LaPierre


What are they afraid of? Apparently, when it comes to the issue of gun control, some activists in the gun rights movement are really afraid of a race war. Take a listen to a recent conversation on the Talk to Solomon show. On the air with host Stan Solomon were Greg W. Howard, a conservative blogger with just under 100,000 Twitter followers, and Larry Pratt, an advocate of gun rights and “English-only” laws who famously clashed with CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview after the Sandy Hook shooting.

The discussion that transpired was like a dramatic reading of The Turner Diaries, that influential (and fictional) book about violent revolution and racial war in America. Pratt argued that President Obama is building his own private army and will send his agents “door to door” to “confiscate guns” — all to provoke a “violent confrontation” with gun owners. Solomon went further, claiming that Obama’s real goal is to create a black army and start a race war. Howard condemned Obama for “sowing the seeds of racial hatred,” adding that the president is “not American” because he was “not raised in American culture.”

It is worth noting that Gun Owners of America, of which Pratt is executive director, has 300,000 members. (Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and former Republican presidential candidate, once called it “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington” — take that, National Rifle Association!) Yet even a national figure like Pratt can entertain the paranoid fantasy of a race war, telling his colleagues on the air that Obama “would definitely be capable of something as evil as you were suggesting.” In the past, Pratt has gotten in trouble for his ties to white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations, but his popularity has only grown in recent years. After Morgan called Pratt “an unbelievably stupid man” for arguing that gun bans don’t reduce violent crime, tens of thousands of people flooded a White House petition site calling for the British television host’s deportation.

The fear of a race war is clearly delusional, but it draws strength from the half-truths and outlandish comments that reverberate in the partisan media’s echo chamber. For example, black nationalist leader Louis Farrakhan said in a recent interview that the film Django Unchained — a fictional account of a freed slave seeking retribution — is “preparation for a race war.” Conservative media — from Rush Limbaugh toFox News to — breathlessly spread word of Farrakhan’s remarks. With pundits so willing to piece together high-level conspiracies out of random shouts and murmurs, it’s no wonder our politics have become so toxic.

The worldview expressed by Pratt, Solomon, and Howard envisions Obama not so much as Django but as something far more radical and dangerous, namely Nat Turner, fomenting a rebellion of enslaved people that will violently tear out the roots of white supremacy and transform our society.

Today, the most prominent voice on behalf of gun rights is Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president. LaPierre doesn’t talk about race wars, but racial anxiety underlies many of his public comments. In a recent essay attacking gun control in the Daily Caller, he referred to post-Hurricane Sandy “looters” who “ran wild in South Brooklyn” and “Latin American drug gangs” who have “invaded” every major city. “Good Americans” must arm themselves, he wrote, “to withstand the siege that is coming.”

LaPierre and the NRA don’t have to say “race war” because Larry Pratt has. But their crusade against gun control benefits from the hysteria and paranoia that such reckless, inflammatory rhetoric incites. And the right has done this on countless other issues as well (in 2009, Limbaugh said that Obama’s entire economic agenda was about “forced reparations” for slavery). By exploiting racial fears, these demagogues may be helping their narrow cause, but they are poisoning the very idea of America — a pluralistic society that is built on trust and responsibility.

NRA Employee Kelly Ayotte Feels NRA Love After Punking Her Constituents


Kelly Ayotte Gets Ad Boost From NRA, Firearms Trade Group After Getting Pummeled In Recent Poll

National gun rights groups are coming to the aid of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) this week, days after a poll showed her approval rating plummeting in the wake of a

controversial vote against a bipartisan bill to expand background checks for gun purchases.

On Monday, the “New Hampshire men and women of the National Rifle Association” began running a radio ad praising Ayotte as an unselfish politician intent on “protecting our kids.”

“But Sen. Kelly Ayotte is focused on meaningful bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems. That’s because Kelly Ayotte is not just a senator, she’s also a mom who cares about protecting our kids,” the spot’s narrator says. “She knows that the only way to protect our children from tragedies like Sandy Hook is to fix our broken mental health system. That’s why Kelly Ayotte brought Republicans and Democrats together on a bipartisan solution, and it’s why Kelly had the courage to oppose misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook. Kelly Ayotte is focused on prosecuting law breakers and fixing our broken mental health system.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade association, also took to the airwaves in support of Ayotte on Monday, the Washington Post reports. Their spot characterizes Ayotte’s vote against expanded background checks as a boost to hunters and seems to make a veiled reference to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Gun owners and hunters, say ‘thank you’ to our Sen. Kelly Ayotte,” a narrator says in the radio spot. “Thank you for standing up to political pressure from a big city mayor who thinks he knows what’s best for the rest of us. Thank you for voting to protect the rights of gun owners, hunters and all who cherish the freedom of our Second Amendment. And thank you for helping to protect jobs and our economy.”

The support comes as Ayotte returns home during a Senate recess to address her constituents and attempt to make up the 11-point drop that a Public Policy Polling survey revealed in her job approval since the vote.

Recent rounds of polling for other senators who opposed the background checks bill have suggested similarly that the vote has come back to bite them, especially in states where a majority of voters have said they support background checks.

Nationally, most polls taken since the December mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., have found that upwards of 80 percent of respondents favor of background checks for gun sales, and that there is relatively little partisan division on the issue.

BlogKelly AyotteNational Shooting Sports FoundationBackground ChecksKelly Ayotte AdKelly Ayotte Background ChecksKelly Ayotte NraKelly Ayotte Nra AdNra Ad Kelly AyotteSenate Background ChecksPolitics News, HuffPolitics,

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 04/30/2013 9:39 am EDT

NRA Board Member Ted Nugent Threatens Violence and Launches A Racist Attack Against the President


Nearly every organization has a person that stands, speaks for, or acts on behalf of the group either though delegated authority or as a popular spokesman if they are regarded as an unofficial representative. Ever since the Newtown school massacre in December, the NRA’s representative, Wayne LA Pierre, has been the official spokesman for the organization and claims to represent millions and millions of truly patriotic Americans who believe that unrestricted access to any firearm defines what it means to be an American. The NRA has another spokesman representing gun-zealots that serves on the NRA Board of Directors and represents the maniacal wing of gun owners and typifies Republican Senators threatening to block any debate and discussion of gun safety measures; particularly background checks.

Ted Nugent, washed-up rocker, pedophile, and draft dodger spoke outagain  on Monday on behalf of gun fanatics during an interview on NRA News  where host Cam Edwards explained that President Obama’s proposal for universal background checks should be called “the Ban Ted Nugent Act of 2013,” and elicited a typical rant from Nugent. Edwards explained to Nugent that “any time somebody went to your ranch and you loaned them a gun to do some hunting or to do some plinking that would be a five-year felony?” Nugent’s extremist reply revealed that he does not represent all NRA members or gun owners; “that is so indicative of how callous and disconnected some are, because you are talking about arbitrary, punitive, capricious draconian felonies,” and that the federal government was engaging in “freedom-stomping and jack-booted thuggery.” Then Nugent went off the rails and lashed out at President Obama calling him a “Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief” who was the real radical and asked “when I kick the door down to the enemy’s camp, would you help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room.”

Nugent’s extremism is not representative of all NRA members or gun owners, but he does represent 26% of NRA members who oppose simple, common sense, background checks for gun sales. In fact, 92% of all Americans are in favor of universal background checks, and that includes 89% of Republicans and 74% of NRA members. Still, with an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting checking a prospective gun purchaser’s background before selling them a firearm, a group of senators is standing firm and threatening to filibuster  to block a debate on the merits of gun safety proposals aimed at staunching the epidemic of gun violence ravaging America.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a vote for Thursday to overcome the gun advocates’ filibuster and it is possible he will have trouble securing 60 votes to begin a debate. President Obama weighed in on the filibuster threat on Monday in Connecticut and said , “I know that some of these proposals inspire more debate than others, but each of them has the support of the majority of the American people…All of them are common sense. All of them deserve a vote … If our democracy’s working the way it’s supposed to, and 90 percent of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy, you’d think this would not be a heavy lift. And yet some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they might use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms.” The NRA’s representatives in the Senate threatening to filibuster are not just preventing votes on gun safety reforms, they intend to prevent the Senate from even debating them under any circumstances.


It is unclear why any sane American would oppose requiring every prospective gun purchaser to undergo a background check, but obviously the NRA’s puppets in the Republican Party have a stake in unrestricted sales of guns, especially assault rifles better suited for the battlefield than home protection or pheasant hunting. Shortly after the Newtown massacre, in a Central California sporting goods store, a man picked up 15 AR15 assault rifles after submitting to background checks and going through the mandatory waiting period, so even with background checks, Americans will be able to stock their armories in preparation for war and that is only one of the problems background checks will not stop. Regardless, there are still Senators loyal to the gun industry who will filibuster to stop any discussion of expanding the background checks to include the entire nation, and their callousness toward gun violence victims is as reprehensible as Ted Nugent’s appeal for other maniacs to “help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room.”

One Senator, Republican James Inhofe, told  reporters the President was being unfair by hurting Newtown parents of children slaughtered by a crazed gunman  because gun safety measures have nothing to do with them, or their tragic losses and that President Obama was manipulating them for political purposes. Inhofe is one of 14 senators who pledged to block consideration of the bill, and unsurprisingly earned an A+ rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America. Another Republican and one of the leaders working to block the gun debate said conservatives will prevent Obama from rushing legislation through Congress “because he knows that as Americans begin to find out what is in the bill, they will oppose it.”

Three Republicans delivered a letter to Majority Leader Reid on Monday promising to block the Senate from “beginning to consider” gun safety measures because Democrats were attempting to violate the Second Amendment and warned that they were fulfilling a valuable role and cited “history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries” to be in all places at all times. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whosent  a fear mongering email  to gun owners in Kentucky in January warned that Democrats were coming to confiscate their guns and will join  conservatives’ efforts to prevent the measure from being debated.

The Republicans advocating for unrestricted gun sales are not defending Second Amendment rights or an oppressive government; they are protecting gun manufacturers who have made a “killing” off the NRA and maniacs like Ted Nugent and Mitch McConnell’s fear mongering. The “Obama is coming for your guns” mantra began during the campaign for the presidency in 2008, and has been ratcheted up throughout the 2012 campaign, and each time gun and ammunition sales skyrocketed. Even though  most gun owners, NRA members, and Republicans support universal background checks, there is a contingent of gun fanatics who are willing to join maniacs like Nugent and “start shooting somebody” regardless of gun safety measures. Their opposition is not necessarily about guns, the Second Amendment, or government oppression, but about an African American sitting in the Oval Office as evidenced by Nugent’s “Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief and freedom-stomping and jack-booted thuggery” comment aimed at the President.


The issue gun fanatics oppose so vehemently simply extends the background check requirement to nearly all gun purchases, strengthens laws against illegal firearms purchases, and modestly boosts aid for school safety, and 92% of Americans agree they are common sense public safety issues and not an assault on the Second Amendment or a prelude mass gun confiscations regardless fear mongering by Ted Nugent, Mitch McConnell, and Wayne La Pierre whose real opposition is to a Black man as President.

Ted Nugent is the perfect NRA Representative.

Strombo | Yoko Ono And Michael Moore Speak Out For Gun Control


With the all the debate about guns in America right now, Michael Moore and Yoko Ono are making their voices heard.

This Saturday, March 23, Moore’s documentary ‘Bowling for Columbine’ turns 10 years old.

He announced on his website  that he wants to “use ‘Bowling for Columbine’ to rally thousands – millions – to come together and kick off a massive spring action to get gun control laws passed.”

He’s asking people to get together on Saturday, rewatch the doc, and then join a discussion about how to get gun control laws passed in the U.S.  is sponsoring a screening of the film in New York City with Moore, after which he’ll host a live online chat, starting at 9 pm ET, to discuss next steps in pushing for new laws.

Ono is one of the people supporting Moore’s initiative. Yesterday, on the 44th anniversary of her wedding to John Lennon, she tweeted this:

The image is of Lennon’s blood-stained glasses – the ones he was wearing the night he was shot and killed. The same picture was used as the cover of Ono’s 1981 album ‘Season of Glass’.

In all, Ono tweeted the photo four times. In one Tweet she wrote about the “hollowing experience” of losing a loved one.

In another, she cites the statistic that “31,537 people are killed by guns in the USA every year,” and writes “we are turning this beautiful country into a war zone.”

As far as changes to gun laws in the U.S., the picture is mixed.

In Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper signed new gun laws yesterday, eight months after the deadly shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora.

The new laws limit the size of ammunition magazines, and expand background checks for gun buyers, the BBC reports .

Under the new law, private and online gun sales will now be subject to background checks, and any magazine with more than 15 rounds will be banned in Colorado.

At the federal level, though, a gun control bill has been weakened as the Senate gave up on trying to include a ban on assault weapons in the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the ban was dropped because of “the difficulties of passing such legislation through Congress,” according to the Globe and Mail .

The bill will move forward without the assault weapon section. Reid says he wants to bring a bill to the Senate that will have enough support so it won’t be blocked outright, preventing any debate on guns from taking place.

Michael Moore: The NRA Is Doomed – blood is on the hands of the #NRA #Retweet

Michael Moore: The NRA Is Doomed

According to Michael Moore, the NRA is doomed.

The National Rifle Association has been at the center of the gun control controversy in the United States. Moore said that the Newtown school shooting was a “tipping point” in the United States and that the NRA was doomed because of it.

Moore told the Huffington Post :

“People did not forget about this over Christmas … In fact, after Christmas when parents started taking their kids back to school and dropping them off in the morning, they couldn’t get this out of their heads. That’s the thing … the NRA, they are doomed as a result of this.”

The group stirred up some criticism after the Newtown elementary school shooting when it said that it wanted to put armed guards into every school and blamed the violence on video games and movies. Moore believes that American parents had their eyes opened by the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut and that most of them want to get guns out of schools and off the streets.

Moore said:

“Any sensical person (is in favor of) eliminating as many of these guns and ammunition as possible …  We’re never gonna get rid of crazy people. They’ve been around for thousands of years — they’ll continue to be around; they’ll continue to do horrible things. But why are we their enablers? That’s the crazy part.”

This isn’t the first time that Michael Moore has talked about gun control in the wake of the Newton School shooting. Moore, who is famous for his anti-gun documentary Bowling For Columbine , defended Piers Morgan after the talk show host made controversial comments about gun rights and has used Twitter to demand stricter gun control laws.

What do you think about Michael Moore’s argument about gun control? Do you think the NRA is doomed? Will taking guns off the streets eliminate gun violence?