This weekend, the National Rifle Association faithful—who believe an organization run by a wealthy, coastal elitist named LaPierre represents their interests—will descend upon the “9 acres of guns & gear” in Dallas for their annual convention.
They’ll cheer a beamed-in president of the United States who says “they” want to take your guns and “we” need to have more teachers with them, who is under investigation for everything from colluding with a foreign adversary to win the 2016 election (as is the NRA!), to having an affair with a porn star and then paying her off to not speak of it as he was running for the office.
And then hear a live keynote from Vice President Mike Pence, where, “firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited” thanks to those freedom haters in the Secret Service.
Elsewhere, the faithful can and will pack heat while hearing from an array of characters that one can really only find at the kind of alt-right rally that their cult-of-the-gun has become.
If they attend The National Women's Leadership Forum Luncheon & Auction, they'll hear from nationally prominent woman… Tucker Carlson?
Elsewhere they can hear the fearsome Texas twosome of Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz. The former helped spread and popularize the right-wing, militia-manufactured conspiracy theory in 2015 known as Jade Helm, calling for the Texas National Guard to monitor U.S. military exercises out West, because… actually we don't really have any idea why.
They won’t hear that former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden broke the news on MSNBC Thursday that Russian bots helped fuel Jade Helm hysteria, in an early trial run of the Russian/American Far-Right nexus that would corrupt our election a year later. So Abbott was a pioneer of sorts. Bravo.
Then, there’s Cruz: the most oleaginous man in the world. What is there to say about a guy who so desperately wants to keep his elected job and ascend to a higher one that he willingly sucks up to someone who accused his dad of killing a former U.S. President, and then called his wife ugly?
If you’re not already racing to get a ticket, there’s also "celebrities" including Lou Ferrigno--who was replaced as the Hulk by CGI—and a couple of loudmouth right-wing talk types you can listen to at home for free.
Plus book-signing events, where you can meet the trifecta of Oliver North, who illegally traded arms with Iran, Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, accused of all manner of abuse of pregnant women and mentally ill inmates in the care of his prison system, and former Congressman Allen West, who was ultimately pushed out ot the military after he was charged with violating Articles 128 and 134 of the Uniform Military Code of Justice (see: torturing a detainee.)
If you're the kind of person who in the wake of massacre after massacre after massacre still wants to attend an event demonizing those who push for the slightest common-sense regulation of firearms, you won’t want to miss the seminar: “The War on Guns.”
In the end, these confabs are not about things like the legitimate sport of target shooting, something I used to do competitively and rather enjoyed. They are celebrations of what bloodlust, voyeurism and sadism converted into a rapacious form of capitalism have done to America.