Does Emma Need To Be Afraid Of Those Dopes With Their AR-15s? I Hope Not.

“Going up against the country’s largest gun lobby organization was obviously something that needed to be done, but it means that the people we’re arguing against are the ones with the guns. I am personally deathly afraid of them, and I know, from traveling the country during the summer for the Road to Change tour, that many of the people who disagree with us mean it when they say that they only want to talk if we’re standing on the other end of their AR-15s.”

emma             This is an excerpt from an op-ed written by Emma Gonzalez published today in The New York Times.  The piece is making the rounds in Gun-control Nation, and will be used by every gun-control organization to energize the troops for the big showdown on November 6th.

I notice, by the way, that over the last five days, according to Nate Silver, that the odds of the House going blue have slipped from 80.4% to 73.9%, and over that same period, the odds that the GOP will retain control of the Senate have gone from 68.1% to 78%. Weren’t both trends supposed to be going the opposite ways?  This mid-term election is beginning to smell slightly like the national election in 2016, a contest on which Gun-control Nation pinned all its hopes and dreams which then came to nothing at all.

That was then, this is now. Now we have remarkable kids like Emma Gonzalez whose determination to inject a note of reality into the gun debate has energized Gun-control Nation like nothing before.  It has also, of course, provoked a response from the other side, the Gun-nut Nation side, specifically responses like the one Emma says here: “many of the people who disagree with us mean it when they say that they only want to talk if we’re standing on the other end of their AR-15s.”

Last time I checked, the gun industry claims to have sold somewhere around 15 million AR-15s, or what they used to refer to as ‘modern sporting rifles,’ over the last ten years. The industry no longer promotes this ‘sporting’ nonsense because the word ‘sporting’ is out and the word ‘tactical’ is in.  When the President of the United States finds it convenient to excuse the fact that a bunch of schmucks were marching around Charlottesville wearing Nazi armbands and toting their assault rifles to protect a statue of Robert E. Lee, you have to figure that the United States has a tolerance for stupidity unmatched by any other national state.

Unfortunately, the same people who tell you they have a Constitutional ‘right’ to own an AR-15, will also tell you that the Constitution gives them the ‘right’ to wave it in your face. And I am sure that Emma is not exaggerating when she says that she has been threatened by acolytes of Gun-nut Nation in appearances here and there; God knows I get enough crazy emails from the same bunch and I’m not leading a national, gun-control movement like the movement that has emerged in the wake of activities by Emma, David, and their other high school friends.

But in measuring the degree of animosity created by Emma, I think we have to distinguish between serious threats and what, in many cases, is nothing more than an increase in the general volume of hot air. Of course, you can argue that had authorities in Florida responded when Nikolas Cruz first began making a nuisance of himself, perhaps the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School wouldn’t have occurred. Which is probably true.

On the other hand, why should we surprised when some dopes say they will only debate Emma if she’s in the crosshairs of their guns when the President tells a raptured audience that he would still get elected even after shooting someone down in the street? My friends in Gun-control Nation need to acknowledge that right now verbal excess is not only condoned but expected, particularly when the discussion happens to be about guns.

 

 

 

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Gun-nut Nation Better Come Up With A Better Rant Than What Nugent Said.

If nothing else, the emergence of a national gun-control movement led by a bunch of high school students has not only forced the pro-gun cabal into a defensive mode, but raises the possibility that the NRA’s cherished ‘good guy with a gun’ mantra may finally be running out of steam. And who among the ‘good guys’ has been more vocal in promoting the pro-gun anthem than Ted Nugent, who took a shot at the Parkland kids by calling them ‘mushy-brained children’ who have been ‘fed lies’ by the usual liberal, moneyed types, you know, Soros, Bloomberg, et. al.

nugent1              After the 2016 election I wondered how alt-right attack dogs like Palin, Nugent, Loesch, Hannity, Rush and Coulter would adjust to defending, rather than verbally assaulting the status quo. Because no matter how many times Schmuck-o Trump pretends he’s ‘cleaning the swamp,’ he now represents the Beltway crowd and he can only survive by making deals which means giving up something for everything he gets. And don’t think the NRA and their noisemakers aren’t sitting in Fairfax wondering what they’ll do if the Congress turns blue later this year and Trump has to strike some kind of deal over guns.

I happen to think that Ted Nugent is a genius when it comes to writing lyrics for his songs. I also think he’s pretty smart for having figured out how to sustain a musical career by occasionally saying extreme and crazy things that other artists and public figures would never dare say. Am I accusing Ted of using his celebrity status to promote himself both on and off-stage? He’s certainly not the only entertainer to mix politics and show-biz by appealing to a following that will respond to both. After all, Joan Baez just announced a new concert tour by spending several days with ‘more than two hundred Indian tribes who have gathered to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.’

I hate to break it to Ted, but if the best he can come up with for criticizing the Parkland kids is the idea that they are being ‘fed lies’ by the gun-grabbing crowd, he won’t get much traction from this rant. Because what makes this moment so different from every previous effort to use a rampage shooting to spread the gun-control gospel is that Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg don’t have a friend in the Oval Office on whom they can lean. And there’s an old rule in military strategy which says you can’t come up with an effective way to deal with the enemy unless the enemy is right in the middle of your sights.

When Wayne-o went on national television a week after Sandy Hook and blabbed on and on about ‘good guys with guns,’ he wasn’t trying to besmirch the parents from Newtown, he was reminding the faithful that these parents had been invited to the White House by Gun-Grabber Number One. But what can the boys from Fairfax say when the guy whose political campaign cost them thirty million sits there respectfully listening to the Parkland kids and then issues a statement commending these same kids for their ‘courage’ in marching against guns?

When Schmuck-o Trump showed up at the 2016 NRA show I knew right then that the NRA might have made a tremendous mistake. Because you don’t spend eight years selling the idea that ‘gun rights’ can only be threatened by a liberal President when the guy you decide to back has a long history of being less than enamored about guns.

I’m not saying that Trump wasn’t a clear alternative to Hillary who would have made a new gun law a priority if she had won the gold ring. What I am saying is that the Gun-nut Gang and its acolytes like Ted Nugent better come up with a narrative that goes beyond accusing some high school students of being ‘dupes’ or ‘pawns’ in the national debate about guns. Because if nothing else, these kids witnessed first-hand a rampage shooting, and for all his tough talk, Motor City Ted’s career can’t compete with that.

Wishing Everyone a Peaceful and Joyous Easter!

 

 

Want To Win In November? Run Against The NRA.

If you had told me back last year that a Democrat could win a special Congressional election in a Pennsylvania district that Trump carried by 20 points, I would have grabbed the kool aid glass out of your hands before you drank enough to do yourself in. But it happened, and even though the outcome may have been somewhat based on the fact that the GOP ran a candidate who was even dumber than Betsy DeVos, things begin to look very interesting for November 6, 2018.

 

demo1

Demonstration outside of Smith & Wesson March 14, 2018.

 

Is Trump’s inability to get his personal poll numbers above 40% going to be a drag on red candidates in races for the Senate and the House? November is still a long way off, but the momentum is clearly with the blue team, which means that the various constituencies that make up the Democratic Party coalition better start getting their messaging together because what they say in red districts may really count.

One of those constituencies is the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement, whose voice has taken on new strength and resonance since the shooting rampages at Las Vegas and Stoneman Douglas High. And if you think that GOP candidates have decided to tone down their rhetoric following these shootings, think again. In Maine, the GOP candidate for the state legislature called Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland student survivors, a ‘skinhead lesbian,’ and even though he later apologized for the remark, what kind of schmuck would say something like that to begin his political campaign?

The Maine GOP idiot happens to be a Life Member of the NRA. What his comment tells us is that the GOP will pull out every stop to demonize the other side going into November, and one of their biggest stops has always been the idea that if we elect Democrats to office, the first thing they’ll do, even before raising taxes, is take away all the guns. I happen to be a Life Endowment Patriot member of the NRA, so I get fundraising appeals from Fairfax every day. Here’s what Wayne-o had to say this morning about the Pennsylvania vote: “It’s all part of a hate-filled campaign aimed at grabbing veto-proof majorities in the U.S. House and Senate this year. If that happens, gun control will be at the top of the agenda – registration, licensing, semi-auto bans and ultimately, the final destruction of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

To make Wayne-o’s nightmare come true, the blue team not only has to keep all their current seats in the W column, they also have to grab vulnerable seats currently held by the other side. And I guarantee you that the GOP narrative in the toss-up districts will lean heavily on the issue of guns. What else do they have to run on? The tax cut? Trump’s hair-do? The GVP may not be comfortable with campaign ads like the first one run by Conor Lamb which showed him blasting away with an AR-15, but when the GOP pushes the lie about ‘protecting’ 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ you do what you gotta do.

Maybe what the GVP should consider bringing to the November election is not a referendum on guns, but a referendum on the NRA. Frankly, when a 16-year old schoolgirl gets a larger Twitter following than either Wayne-o or Dana Loesch, something is happening out there regarding the value of the NRA brand. And having backed themselves into an extremely crazy, ultra-nationalist rhetorical corner, running ads with a Democratic candidate chastising his opponent for subscribing to such loony views might make sense.

The good news for the blue team and the GVP is that America’s ‘first civil rights organization’ can’t turn around and suddenly present themselves as some kind of moderate group just trying to find a balance between the risks versus the benefits of guns. Wayne-o may have thought that backing Trump was a smart move for the NRA, but it’s not looking so smart any more.