Gunfoolery

While driving through a rural North Carolina county earlier this week I came across a very patriotic looking billboard aimed at single issue gun rights voters. Let’s take a look at it today.

The billboard was labeled as the work of gunvote.org. It had an official looking seal superimposed over a picture of the Supreme Court building which boldly featured their hash tag #gunvote and had the words “Don’t risk your rights” emblazoned around the lower half of the circle. The main message in big lettering was, “For gun owners this is the most important election ever.”

The message was clear and clearly aimed at the short sighted, less well educated (that’s the currently acceptable term) voters that are plentiful in this county which the Republicans need badly on November 8th. Obviously this campaign is aimed at getting more Trump voters to show up. North Carolina is truly a swing state this year. Despite the fact that I live in North Carolina and have many political contacts who will often share inside data with me, at this point I am not comfortable about predicting the outcome many races in North Carolina including the presidency. Keep in mind that early voting (albeit limited) starts in the Tar Heel State in one week.

With that in mind my thoughts turned to the repercussions of a Trump victory and its impact on gun owners, many of whom, particularly in rural counties, feel their gun is their ultimate protection against all hostile forces. The question I pose is: What good is your gun if we elect a nitwit to the presidency and he starts a nuclear war in which you are dead and your gun melts? Do you think you are going to stop a nuclear tipped ICBM with a rifle or handgun? In this scenario you get to keep your gun and also get to die with it.

The mindset we are battling and the Republicans are trying to exploit is one in which the gun is the ultimate solution and protection against a tyrannical government (which doesn’t exist in America except in right wing mythology). How does Bubba think he is going to stop a military attack (which isn’t going to happen in the first place) with his guns? The few deranged fools who have taken on a SWAT team have ended up in one of two places: custody or the morgue. A SWAT team is deploying peashooters compared to an all-out military assault which will probably be launched by air anyway. Chances are you will literally never see it coming.

As I dug a bit deeper I discovered that the “gunvote” movement is a project of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. My initial reaction (and I’m certain that of Bubba) is that they are an organization advocating for the recreational shooter and hunter. Well, another “shovel full” of digging quickly dispelled that illusion. It seems this group is simply another arm of the gun manufacturers’ lobby like the NRA. The group is headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut. Yes, that Newtown, Connecticut of Sandy Hook Elementary School infamy. It’s President since 2008 is Stephen Sanetti who is the former President of the gun manufacturer Strum, Ruger and Company. Its Board of Governors is comprised almost entirely of gun manufacturers. The old adage: “Follow the money” comes to mind.

Now if these people were really smart (and perhaps secretly they are) they would be hoping for a Hillary Clinton victory so that they could repeat their strategy of late 2008 and early 2009. In the aftermath of Obama’s victory and inauguration they set off such a scare that Obama was going to take all the guns away that they actually created an ammunition shortage when demand overwhelmed supply. I will predict the best Christmas ever for gun sales in the wake of a Clinton victory next month.

For those who are interested in facts and keeping score the number of guns Obama has taken away is zero. One of the three pillars of the current Republican Party is the promotion of ignorance. It is easy to scare someone who doesn’t know much and doesn’t investigate things.

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