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Thursday, July 25, 2024

The NRA’s con: Promoting lies and conspiracy fantasies


022513nraSpend any amount of time talking to a gun proponent who belongs to the National Rifle Association and you will most likely discover that he or she is also an avid conspiracy theorist who believes most outlandish fantasies about government involvement in secret plans to control everyone’s lives.

NRA members, by and large, believe the federal government is out to strip each of them of their overwhelmingly exaggerated “right to bear arms” and claim President Barack Obama is out to “seize our guns” and require national weapons registration.

Many of these same members believe the administration of former President George W. Bush planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon and buy into other outlandish conspiracies like the so-called Bilderberg theat to establish a new world order.

It just shows that too many firearms fanciers are more than gun nuts:  They are nuts period.

The chief gun nut, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, sees a conspiracy looming in every corner of the federal government.  Uncle Sam, LaPierre claims, is out to take away everyone’s guns and revoke the Second Amendment, which the NRA uses as a reason to arm the nation.

Last fall, LaPierre accused Obama as “plotting to erase the second amendment.”

This brought an angry response from MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who characterized LaPierre’s comments as “another strain of the crazy far right.”

What LaPierre is doing is using fabricated conspiracies to increase his membership and raise money.  Former NRA chief Ray Arnet once admitted that “you keep any special interest group alive by nurturing the crisis atmosphere.”  Arnet said NRA intentionally “warned that nationwide gun bans and confiscation were right around the corner.  These threats made up in hysterical rhetoric for what they lacked in credibility.”

LaPierre is not alone in promoting insane paranoia.  We see it here on Capitol Hill Blue nearly every day in comments posted by NRA members.

I’ve known LaPierre for more than 20 years.  He is, and always has been, a manipulator of vague statistics riddled with falsehoods.  He makes his living misrepresenting the truth and lying outright to his members, elected officials and the public.

He’s a con artist and has refined that con by leading an organization that thrives on lies and conspiracy fantasies.

Like many successful con artists, he has a following who buys into the con and helps promote the insane conspiracy theories that drive the pro-gun movement and complicate any serious effort to so something about the uncontrolled violence that threatens our society.

The irony here is that the NRA’s con is — in itself — a conspiracy theory that is far more threatening to America than any wild idea they conceive and promote.

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19 thoughts on “The NRA’s con: Promoting lies and conspiracy fantasies”

  1. I found this quote interesting, from a cartoonist at

    “One of several reasons why the “debate” over guns, like a lot of other debates in this country, has been so intractable for so long is that neither side trusts in the other’s honesty or good faith. Each side believes its own stated arguments to be, quite simply and truthfully, their real arguments, and sees their opponents’ arguments as transparent smokescreens for their “real,” more insidious agendas.”

    Just thought I should throw that out for comment.


  2. Amazing. We’ve all been reduced to the obvious divisions that we’ve seen come out of this column.
    We The People have become predictable, gullible, brainwashed, and divided by our nations political system so much that we’ve allowed the government to become a self-will-run-riot entity.
    We apparently been trained not to stand up to the government. They tell us more and more that we can’t. It happened again just in the last couple of days when Americans were told by the Supreme Court that they can’t stop government surveillance and wiretapping.
    Taking gun rights away…if they exist is all…won’t be a big tasks for the government. It won’t even be much of a hassle from the people. People will just simply surrender their guns when told to. They’ve already surrendered their minds…and pocketbooks.
    Bill, wonder what your comment would have been had Woody posted under a name like yours?
    I’m a gun owner. Not an NRA member…and never will be. But it looks like their percentage of ownership in our government…is probably just enough to keep the government from knocking on everybody’s doors anytime soon.


  3. Note to Woody188. You attempt to spam out site with repeated posts was flagged by our spam filter and deleted.

    • I feel like I’m walking a fine line here so we’ll go with your statement. Feel free to Facebook/email me if you want to talk. I’d love to hear from you.

  4. Dirty Debate Tactics 101

    Attack The Messenger: Instead of addressing the argument that has been made, attack the person making it instead.

    As I have repeatedly stated, I’m not an NRA member.


    You can think whatever you like about gun ownership. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the unbelievable act of revisionism you’ve committed.

    Between your return to CHB on Feb 1 and your exit back to rehab on Feb 11, you published an op-ed on gun ownership stating a significantly different viewpoint. That editorial has been conveniently deleted from your archive.

    You can change your opinion all you like. I can change mine 5 times while cooking a hot pocket. But if you caught a Washington pol pulling this stunt, you’d be all over them, and rightly so. Why can’t you hold yourself to the same standard?

    • The column you mention was never deleted. It is here at:

      2–The column dealt with the ability of Congress to deal with the problem of violence and said that simply outlawing guns would not fix the problem.

      Doug says he changed his mind on an assault weapons ban. That’s his choice and he was, at the time, the column you mention was written, still undergoing therapy for a brain injury.

      • When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. This isn’t the first time. But to state that it wasn’t deleted is an outright lie. It was NOT in Doug’s archive at the time I posted my comment yesterday.

        • We’re sorry the article was offline when you tried to find it and Doug has ordered a check to find out why. Our site is database driven and there might have been a problem loading a story or two from the database at the time you were looking or the system may have been processing a reply and stories are sometimes offline briefly while processing a posted reply.

          (Both this post and an earlier one by the Editor were modified because of tone used)

  6. To continue with the secret interpretations and definitions is to ensure there will be blood spilled.

    By whom? You Woody188? I’m always amazed by the gallantry when one can hide behind anonymity.

    • I think your doing that projection stuff again Bill. Funny how one can click my handle and get my Facebook and all my details. Click your handle and all one gets is a software clock sales page.

      Wondering why you would carry this over from the other article too. It’s probably best that we refrain from commenting on each other. Most times we are not going to see eye to eye, and that’s OK!

  7. Great piece, Doug!…..Some of what you say reminds me of a book I just read: “Idiot America — How Stupidity became a Virtue in the Land of the Free” by Charles Pierce. One of the great tenets by which he says Americans are bamboozled is: “Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough”. And, I believe he adds later on “repeats it enough”.

    He talks about various groups creating contrived conspiracies (hogwash created out of whole cloth) which are then used to sway and manipulate group members or those who might be sympathetic to their cause.

    It looks like the NRA has adopted some of these techniques.

    The inside of LaPierre’s mind must be a very scary place…it’s hardly ever seen the light of truth.

    • Wow! You just perfectly characterized the myriad organizations the left snuggles up in bed with and theirfavorite contrived “conspiracies” and causes.

      Global Warming (now climate change), the War on Women, etc…

      Of course, to the independent thinkers out there (a dying breed) one can easily see that each side caters to certain segments of the voting public while never really doing any thing to solve any real problems.

      Because they’re really only interested in straying in power and not so much into solving any problems.

      In fact, to the unbiased standersby, it is plainly evident that each time they “solve” a problem (the lack of health insurance) they only create more which, in turn, requires more intervention by our betters, and therefore perpetuates their “necessity” in the first place.

      Society, given the opportunity, will organize and support itself with little intervention from government.

      • Hi Griff6r!

        You raise some good points!…Conspiracy theories are rampant all over right and left, but Pierce’s book examines the right. The right has exposed themselves in public debate in an embarrassing way more times than the left, because some Republican congressmen, as we know, just made stuff up and called it the truth (one sorry example: Atkins gobbledygook about rape)…Even Bobby Jindal told the Repubs. to stop being the stupid party.

        When a congressman is talking about a problem and where science has a pretty good lock on the answer, some of them choose an absurd alternative answer. It leaves most people with “true” common sense gaping in disbelief.

        For all these congressmen who say they are men of faith, I believe God’s intent was for them to use the brains He gave them.

        • Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of the Republicans any more than I am the Democrats. I just think that the Democrats get more free passes when it comes to saying or doing stupid things, and the left’s hypocrisy is no less evident than those on the right, at least to those that can think independently.

          But the left has done a better job with PR (and pandering) than the right has, and their loyal faithful are no less sheeep-like in their blind support of them.

          For example, the Tea Parties of a few years ago received bad press from just about every news outlet, yet the Occupiers are the darlings of the left and the media, despite the crime and filth in their camps, not to mention that they portray themselves as the 99 percent yet they all come from well-off families.

          The Tea Parties were decried as a contrived “astroturf” movement organized by rich “conservatives,” but who organized the Occupiers? Was it really a spur-of-the-moment gathering of poor liberals? Ha.

          Do liberals really love Hispanics or poor people, or do they really just love thier votes?

  8. Doug, it is impressive that you have been able to build any readership. You persistently use name calling in your articles. I don’t find it persuasive. It suggests a lack of socialization.

    Glad your recovery is proceeding.

    • The site guidelines on civility and treatment of participants stops at the editor’s door.

      There are certainly many many public figures on record to be used as examples to support this article. The fact that the editor chose to quote a long-time participant here (for voicing his opinion, no less) is distasteful at best.

      But it’s not the first time…

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