Before everyone gets all hot, bothered and indignant about Wayne-o’s attempt to out-trump Trump at the CPAC conference, I’d like to point something out. Let’s remember that it’s been a long time since the NRA dropped any pretense towards being a gun-safety organization or a sportsman’s organization or any other kind of organization devoted to what we call the ‘shooting sports.’ Because unless you want to define ‘sports’ as wandering around with a gun in your pocket to protect the neighborhood from some kind of terrorist assault, you’d better look elsewhere to join other folks who just want to have fun with their guns.
The NRA is now contributing to the political debate with arguments that range from a warmed-over version of The John Birch Society (you’re right, Ladd Everitt) to the usual insurrectionist rhetoric of the dumbest militia-type groups. And if you think I’m being extreme, just listen to Wayne-o at CPAC when he went on a rant which included statements about the ‘violence’ of the ‘paid’ demonstrators at the inauguration that resulted in numerous cops being hospitalized during the event, even though there were exactly two officers sent to local hospitals for injuries which were considered ‘minor’ by the hospitals staffs.
So Wayne-o is now a caricature of Trump himself, the boy from Fairfax exhibiting a total disregard for anything that remotely smacks of the truth, and the question needs to asked: Has the NRA become a real threat? I’m not talking about the possibility that a national concealed-carry bill might become law or that the movement to expand FBI-NICS background checks to secondary sales might get stopped dead in its tracks. I’m talking about Wayne-o’s thinly-veiled appeal for people to use their guns against the new threat from the ‘violent’ Left: “Make no mistake. If the violent left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods, or into our homes they will be met with the resolve and the strength and the full force of American freedom [guns] in the hands of the American people.”
Now this statement has played again and again throughout the #resistance community on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else. But what didn’t make the digital airwaves was the very next sentence that came out of Wayne-o’s mouth, when he said, “And make no mistake about it – we are the majority.” This line got a nice round of applause from the CPAC audience who probably felt they were the majority of the folks who ponied up a minimum of $150 for a day pass to hear Wayne-o and other CPAC-ers speak. But the truth is that what he said wasn’t true. It was a complete and utter lie and its within that falsehood that the NRA’s real weakness during the Age of Trump can be found.
Because look what happened yesterday when, according to Breitbart, we were going to see millions of God-fearing and Trump-loving Americans take to the streets to show their support for their Commander in Chief. If there was a single ‘Spirit of America’ rally which drew more than 100 persons you wouldn’t know it from the pics that have appeared (20 people in Florida, 30 in Atlanta) all over Twitter and it wasn’t some phony troll who was putting this stuff out.
If things continue to go as they’ve been going, everyone will get sick and tired of Trump. Which means they will also get sick and tired of people and organizations that continue to prop him up. The bottom line is the NRA doesn’t represent a majority of any kind. It represents a bunch of well-meaning gun owners, most of whom voted for Trump but like many people who pulled a red lever in the voting booth, are now wondering if they did the right thing. And if these folks decide that Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t deserve support, then they’ll decide that the NRA doesn’t deserve their support as well. Resist Trump, resist the NRA – it may go hand in hand.