It initially appeared that the National Rifle Association had come down from the ceiling at last in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas. The organization that has come to oppose even the most basic reforms to our gun laws signaled its support for a review of the legality of “bump stocks,” the attachment that allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon. That was how Stephen Paddock was able to mow down so many people so quickly.
That moment of sanity officially ended on Friday, when the NRA officially went all-in on the far-right effort to bully those opposing Trump into silence. The NRA rolled out a new ad in which its national spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, claimed with a straight face that the opposition to Trump is an insult.
Watch the ad here.
Loesch claimed that we were seeing “the most ruthless attack” on a president and his supporters ever. She claimed that it was “an insult to each of us” to see Trump’s opponents in government, media, academia, and other areas engage in “hateful defiance” of Trump.
But Loesch claimed that those who opposed Trump have another think coming if they think “we’ll let them get away with” the numerous leaks and “phony accusations” against Trump. She claimed that the resistance to Trump has hopes of building a new society “on the ashes of what they burned down.” But Loesch warns that their fate will be somewhat different.
“No, their fate will be failure and they will perish in the political flames of their own fires.”
One has to wonder where Loesch was during Obama’s presidency. After all, if she thinks the day-in, day-out claims that Obama wasn’t born here and that he was a closet radical Mooslim weren’t as outrageous as merely speaking out against Trump and taking to the streets, she really is delusional.
Or perhaps she has a short memory. Back in 2012, Loesch had no problem with fellow right-wing talker Caiden Cowger–at the time, a 14-year-old darling of the conservative talk circuit–saying that Obama made kids gay. As Loesch saw it, Cowger was just being “a conservative teen.” Also in 2012, Loesch peddled the false claim that Obama had spent two years at a radical Muslim madrassa.
And how, pray tell, is speaking out against Trump and his almost daily outrages an act of “hateful defiance”? Does Loesch expect us to sit on our hands when we have a president who finds it acceptable to tweet and retweet violent GIFs attacking his opponents? And does she expect us to ignore the prospect that his own campaign was willing to collude with Russia? That’s not “hateful defiance,” Dana. That’s being a loyal opposition.
Perhaps Loesch is still trying to convince herself, or someone else, of her bonafides. For those who don’t know, Loesch grew up as a liberal Democrat, but veered sharply to the right after the September 11 attacks. Additionally, she was a staunch never-Trumper for much of the campaign, and went as far as to blast Trump for hiring Steve Bannon as campaign CEO. Now she’s actively helping bludgeon those who dare oppose Trump into silence. Just like her party switch, this morph appears to be total–and opportunistic as all hell.
There’s another plausible explanation–she’s mouthing the words of the men who actually sign her checks. Remember, the NRA is merely the mouthpiece of a gun industry made up mostly of privately-owned companies. So when Loesch, Wayne LaPierre, and any other NRA personality open their mouths, they’re actually speaking for a cabal of faceless men who are not accountable to anyone.
And now it appears that those faceless men have firmly hitched their wagons to Trump in hopes of keeping their earnings up. In so doing, they have abandoned any claim to be the voice of “honest gun owners.” If any NRA members who actually support sanity in our gun laws are reading this, it’s time to pack up and leave. This latest ad proves the NRA doesn’t speak for you anymore. The NRA in its present form should be rendered as an empty hulk–one of many that deserve to be dragged down when Trump goes down.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)