08.19.14 5:00 PM ET
Why Isn't the NRA Defending Ferguson’s Blacks?
The National Rifle Association has been warning us about the threat of a heavily-armed and dangerous government crushing dissent for decades. Their leader, Wayne LaPierre, even referred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as "jack-booted thugs."
Their dystopian nightmare sounds exactly like what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri.
Yet somehow, the NRA seems to have missed the whole thing with the SWAT teams and the tank-like vehicles and the snipers and the LRAD sound cannon and the tear gas and the rubber bullets being trained on unarmed Americans. Not a peep from LaPierre on this extended assault on citizens of Ferguson, at least that I can find.
If I were suspicious of their motives--and I am--I might point out that when I visited their 9 acres of militarized gun-fun also known as their convention in Indianapolis, I saw fewer black faces than in your average episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. I'd also point out that LaPierre blows just about every tune he knows on his dog whistle, when warning his membership of the horrors confronting them during this period when violent crime has fallen to its lowest level in a generation:
We don't trust government, because government itself has proven unworthy of our trust. We trust ourselves and we trust what we know in our hearts to be right. We trust our freedom. In this uncertain world, surrounded by lies and corruption everywhere you look, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want. We know in the world that surrounds us there are terrorists and there are home invaders, drug cartels, carjackers, knockout gamers, and rapers, and haters, and campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse our society that sustains us all.
Besides making you wonder who spiked his drink with goofballs, what jumps out about that friendly little harangue? Who do you think LaPierre's speech is meant for when he mentions "terrorists" and "drug cartels" and "carjackers" and "knockout gamers?" I promise you the hardcore gun fetishists he's preaching to are not picturing Eric Rudolph or George Jung.
If in doubt, the NRA's board can clarify the leadership’s view of the world. Burnt out rock n' roller Ted Nugent has referred to the "Dark Continent of Africa," and called President Obama “an avowed racist who claimed because Trayvon Martin was black…a gangster and an attacker and a doper, that he could have been his son."
Others among the group have supported Apartheid, wished the South had won the Civil War and called African-American culture inferior, among other things. None have performed in blackface to my knowledge, but the decade is still young.
If I’m being unfair, then one must explain why there is nary a mention of Ferguson on the NRA's website either. Oh wait, I'm sorry, there is a link to an article on the spike in gun sales in the area because of the unrest (Not that they're celebrating that!). You can also find out how U.S. gun owners see some conspiracy in President Obama's sanctions on the Russian AK-47 and how a veteran got kicked out of Great Adventure in New Jersey for wearing a t-shirt that said "Keep calm and return fire." (They offered to let him in with a different shirt, but he refused.)
The National Rifle Association often claims it is "America's longest standing civil rights organization" but apparently these minor issues were more important than the murder of an unarmed teen by a policeman, and the subsequent attacks by a militarized force on unarmed Americans in a U.S. city. It is the exact nightmare the NRA has been predicting. And yet, the NRA professes no kinship for those being crushed beneath the jackboots. It seems the NRA is only worried about the civil rights of white people.