The battle over gun control has exposed a truth the mainstream media is apparently too shy to mention: A bunch of far right white mostly southern paranoid extremists are preparing for armed revolution and apocalypse. They speak treason: literally.
They are preparing to “defend” America from America with arsenals of weapons and stockpiles of ammunition. Their “enemy” is everyone in America not like them.
They think the world is ending and/or that the government is out to get them. That doesn’t mean it will happen. But expect violence and assassinations. Their ideology is made up of equal parts racism, evangelical Christian fascination with the “end times,” hatred of president Obama, resentment of the “Old South” variety and a Fox News/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh version of world “history.” As the New Yorker noted:
“Every demographic and political trend that helped to reëlect Barack Obama runs counter to the [South’s] self-definition:…The Solid South speaks less and less for America and more and more for itself alone… Solidity has always been the South’s strength, and its weakness. The same Southern lock that once held the Democratic Party now divides the Republican Party from the socially liberal, fiscally moderate tendencies of the rest of America… The South’s vices—‘violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas’—grow particularly acute during periods when it is marginalized and left behind. An estrangement between the South and the rest of the country would bring out the worst in both—dangerous insularity in the first, smug self-deception in the second.”
The Republican/white/southern extremists make reasonable gun control impossible. Their cataclysmic irrationality risks taking the debate into the twilight zone, and that “zone” is a zone of violence: call it the civil war continued by other means. Some “leaders” in the pro-gun lobby have literally said they will kill to protect their right to arm themselves with arsenals that are fit for nothing but murder and war. These delusional paranoid white (mostly) southern Americans are a vocal minority, and they have extreme fears — gun confiscation, civil instability, a tyrannical government, a “takeover” of the US by the UN and that Obama is a communist.
If you pay attention to the rhetoric, you hear code words calling out to the types of people who declared Jan. 19, and Martin Luther King’s Birthday, as “Gun Appreciation Day. The event chairman, Larry Ward, said in the press release, “The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people.” Andrew P. Napolitano, a Fox News analyst, said in a video posted on the network’s GretaWire: “Here’s the dirty little secret about the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment was not written in order to protect your right to shoot deer, it was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government.”
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, delivered a rebuttal to president Obama’s inaugural address. He accused the president of reducing the U.S. Constitution to “a blank slate for anyone’s graffiti.” LaPierre said the president “doesn’t understand you. He doesn’t agree with the freedoms you cherish.”
In a piece in The Washington Times, Napolitano said that the Second Amendment “protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively.” By definition these “tyrants” are those who “don’t agree with the freedoms you cherish.” In other words they are the government representing most Americans who are not insane gun collecting survivalists, southern white males afraid of the world, and assorted Fox News watchers.
As the Southern Poverty Law Center notes, the number of so-called patriot groups surged after president Obama was first elected president. “The swelling of the Patriot movement since that time has been astounding,” the report said. “From 149 groups in 2008, the number of Patriot organizations skyrocketed to 512 in 2009, shot up again in 2010 to 824, and then, last year, jumped to 1,274.”
James Yeager, the C.E.O. of a Tennessee company that trains civilians in weapons and killing skills, posted a video online (removed but viewable at rawstory.com) saying: “I’m telling you that if that [guns are controlled by Obama] happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight.”
According to MSNBC’s Zachary Roth, Larry Ward, “The lead organizer of Gun Appreciation Day … helps run a group that warns of ‘armed government oppression’ and a ‘world government.’ Another group involved in the event stokes fear that ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ will impose ‘martial law.’ A third promotes a fringe constitutional theory beloved by the Tea Party, and a post on its website describes public schools as ‘progressive indoctrination camps.’”In the immediate aftermath of the Newtown Massacre, Ward called for the arming of teachers. “Quite frankly, I’m tired of the argument only being one-sided when there’s a tragedy,” Ward told reporters. “There’s only one answer: more gun control, more gun control. … This school was a gun-free zone, I believe. And the truth is, if there was one teacher or one principal armed that could have come in and ended the violence with one shot — with one shot could have saved dozens of children.”
Alan Gottlieb founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said, “We need to ban politicians who assault our rights, not firearms that are used thousands of times a day to protect lives and property from criminal attack.”
The Social Security Institute, describes itself as a “nonpartisan seniors advocacy organization.” Its website offers warnings about “world government” and the “New World Order.” And SSI’s president, Lawrence Hunter, wrote recently that “[a] heavily armed citizenry is not about armed revolt; it is about defending oneself against armed government oppression.” I.E., against our black president and the people – the American majority – who elected him.
Another listed sponsor of Gun Appreciation Day, RightMarch.com, urges supporters to “help STOP Barack Obama from grabbing unconstitutional powers to declare martial law through all of his new Presidential Executive Orders.” The belief that the president and the federal government will confiscate guns as a precursor to a declaration of martial law is a feature of most gun groups and their far-right conspiracy theories. It’s a line the NRA has pushed. And it edges close as an statement can to calling for the death of government officials.
All this has merged with the Paul Ryan Ayn Rand wing of the Republican Party. A post on the website of Conbustible.com, also listed as a sponsor of the pro-gun event, describes public schools as “progressive indoctrination camps,” and says that “the givers (sic) shove the producers out of the way as they waddle to the trough for some more free lunch.” (Score one for Rand/Ryan.) The implication is that the “takers” need to be put in their place– by whatever means.
Another post on the site, affiliated with the Ron Paul movement, promotes the theory of nullification—that the 10th Amendment of the Constitution lets states “nullify” federal laws they don’t like. This is a favorite of Tea Party activists opposed to healthcare reform and has been embraced by neo-Confederate hate groups.
I said this in another article and I’ll repeat it again here:
These people are literally ill with fear. And their world is turning lopsided. There is a black man in the White House and he’s winning, and worst of all he’s self-evidently smarter than they are. He’s not even angry!
It is time for the mainstream media to stop playing the Republican extremists’ game. Let’s talk about racism and white Southern males who can’t get with the program. Let’s talk about what’s really going on with “gun rights,” which has nothing to do with hunting or home protection or even the Second Amendment, but has everything to do with the delusional paranoia of people who really believe the world is out to get them because it’s changing from white to brown, from homophobic to tolerant, from exclusionary to inclusionary, from anti-woman to pro-woman.
I hope I am wrong but I think that sooner than later an individual or individuals are going to take this paranoid delusional call to arms seriously and kill one or more of our elected leaders.