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The Blame Flame

 
CoverStory

by Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President
America’s 1st Freedom, August 2014

As Election Day approaches, politicians, shadowy political groups and the gun-ban lobby have joined forces and piggybacked their agendas under the umbrella of “gun control.” By throwing one firebomb after another at you and your Second Amendment-protected rights, they seek to inflame public opinion, fan the flames of anger and fear, and terrify voters into electing anti-gun politicians at every level. The only thing that can stop them is you—your NRA membership, your contributions and your vote on Election Day.

Are you as fed up as I am of being scapegoated as a cruel, heartless, selfish or dishonest “extremist” every time someone commits a crime with a gun—simply because you believe in your Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms to defend yourself and your family?

And are you as outraged as I am every time the national media exploit tragedy and use hysteria, hatred and flat-out lies to try to terrify the public into believing that just one more gun ban, just one more reduction of your ability to protect yourself, will somehow magically make you safer—when tens of thousands of previous gun bans have failed to do anything except disarm innocent victims?

The gun-ban lobby and its political allies have tried for decades to exploit tragedy to push their gun-prohibition agenda by blaming you, your beliefs and your Second Amendment-protected rights for every crime ever committed with a gun.

What’s new, different and uniquely dangerous today is that, in this critical election year, we face a firestorm of blame that’s more relentless, dishonest, lavishly funded, coordinated by national media outlets and partisan political groups and coming at us from more directions at once than ever before in the history of this debate.

I’ve had it with their lies and distortions. I’ve had it when law-abiding gun owners like you—who go about life as responsible citizens—are cast as the villains. And I’ve had it with their shameless, endless attempts to blame every tragedy on NRA members like you, and on the firearm freedoms you cherish.

Last month, I wrote to you to recruit your immediate, urgent assistance. As executive vice president of this Association, I’m calling on you right now to help me fight fire with fire.

I need your help now to go on the offense instead of defense, and to drown out their campaign of arson against firearm freedom with the fire hose of truth.

I need your help—today and on Election Day—to shield our right to keep and bear arms from the fear, hatred, hysteria and lies that they hurl like Molotov cocktails at us and at our freedoms after every tragedy. (Please see sidebar story for more on how you can help.)

Because if we don’t Stand and Fight for our firearms and our freedom right now, they could be consumed by a firestorm the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

They Blame a California Mass Murder on You
If you want to see that firestorm first-hand, just look at the horrendous murders committed at the University of California, Santa Barbara just before Memorial Day weekend.

In that crime, a deeply deranged killer with a history of mental problems was free to stab three people to death, shoot and kill three more victims, and injure 13 more innocent people, including at least four he hit with his car.

Mere hours after that terrible crime, media and others were already directly blaming the NRA for the tragedy. On cue, politicians jockeyed to get themselves in front of the cameras, where they threw countless grenades of their own.

From U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to President Barack Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, they blamed NRA members like you for opposing legislation that they claimed could have prevented horrific crimes. And they offered equally failed and dishonest “new and improved” legislative cure-alls.

Meanwhile, the gun haters of the national media parrotted those inflammatory charges over and over again, even going so far as to become overt lobbying organizations of their own.

As MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow said of his network, “We’re urging all of you at home to send a post card to your elected officials … Just head to our website where we’ve got a link to [the Michael Bloomberg anti-gun lobby’s] Everytown website. You can sign it and … the website will identify who your representatives are, then send your message along. So far, 540,000 people have sent more than 2.1 million post cards, and people are Tweeting up a storm with the hashtag #NotOneMore.”

Yet while the anti-gun politicians assigned blame to NRA members, and Bloomberg’s gun-ban pr professional Shannon Watts went on TV to scare voters into electing anti-gun politicians, and the media fanned the flames, inciting viewers to unleash a firestorm of feel-good mouse clicks, Instagrams, hashtags and Tweets, almost no one put blame where it belonged—on the killer and those around him who knew he was dangerous but refused to act.

Many people knew the Santa Barbara killer was dangerous! He was under psychiatric care. His parents knew about the frightening and hateful videos he had posted on YouTube. He’d been interviewed by police, and yet in a state that issues 10,000 mental health psychiatric “holds” every month, no one thought to investigate further, let alone admit him for mental evaluation.

In his online 141-page manifesto, he used the word “kill” 47 times and fantasized that his “plan was to destroy the entirety of Isla Vista, and kill every single person in it, or at least kill as many popular young people I could before the police arrive and I’d have to kill myself.” This killer did everything except set his hair on fire and run through a police station shrieking that he was stark, raving mad—and yet no one lifted a finger to stop him.

And even after his crime, almost none of the gun-ban mob wanted to talk about what had really gone wrong. Instead, NRA members were to blame for not rushing to surrender our Second Amendment-protected freedoms on the false promise that doing so would make us safer.

Almost no one asked how the killer was able to legally purchase his firearms and ammunition in California—a state with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, where many of the laws being offered as national “solutions” are already in effect.

Anti-Gun Election Push
No—all they wanted to do was throw Molotov cocktails at NRA members, douse our right to keep and bear arms with the gasoline of public outrage, and hand burning torches to an angry mob that they incited to take action on Election Day.

Make no mistake: If this is allowed to continue without a forceful response from nra members like you, our right to keep and bear arms could go up in flames on Election Day. Because that’s exactly what they plan with the help of “low-information voters.”

Search for videos of those “low-information voters” on the Internet. You’ll see there are millions of Americans who can’t name two provisions in the Bill of Rights, or even one justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michael Bloomberg has vowed to spend $50 million this year—much of it through his anti-gun groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action—to elect an anti-gun U.S. Senate this year.

Through deceptive and frightening TV spots and online videos, Bloomberg’s groups hope that with enough gasoline, enough inflammatory rhetoric, and enough help from the media endlessly repeating the lies and fanning the flames, they can scare at least 1 million new voters to the polls on Election Day.

That’s why I wrote to you last month, and why I need you to take urgent, immediate action today.

ACT TODAY:

1. Renew or upgrade your NRA membership now. The only thing politicians respect is numbers and voters. If we’re to save the Second Amendment from the firestorm that’s building day by day, we need the nra to be bigger, stronger and more capable of reaching American gun owners than ever before.

2. Contribute your time, your efforts and your money to the NRA, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action and the NRA Political Victory Fund. Fact is, political communications cost money. And with the nra being outspent in this election cycle by more than 2-1 by Michael Bloomberg alone, we need all the financial ammunition we can get to combat the anti-gun lobby’s lies with the truth.

3. Get registered to vote and help your friends and family get registered. Become an activist to protect your firearms and your freedom. Get everyone you know who cares about freedom to join the fight to protect it. And on Election Day, Nov. 4, remember those 1 million new anti-gun “low-information voters”—and then vote to defeat them and defend your freedom.

Your NRA membership, your contributions and your vote on Election Day are all that stand between your firearm freedoms and the firestorm of blame that threatens to consume them. Don’t let the light of liberty burn out on our watch. Together, we can still preserve our freedoms for generations to come.