The Gun Story

The National Rifle Association … is opposed to virtually every form of gun control, including restrictions on owning assault weapons, background checks for gun owners, and registration of firearms. NRA’s influence is felt not only through campaign contributions, but through millions of dollars in off-the-books spending on issue ads and the like… Between 2001 and 2010, the NRA spent between $1.5 million and $2.7 million on federal-level lobbying efforts. During the 2010 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $7.2 million on independent expenditures at the federal level — messages that advocate for or against political candidates. These messages primarily supported Republican candidates or opposed Democratic candidates.

National Rifle Association,” OpenSecretsBlog

On the American Family Association’s radio program AFA Today, the hosts wasted no time lining up a far-right Evangelical minister, Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, to tell the audience that among the dead in the theater only those who were true Christians have gone to heaven. The rest, he suggested, are already consigned to hell.

Religious Right Just Can’t Resist Exploiting Aurora Tragedy for Political Gain,” Clay Farris Naff, Huffington Post

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.

Louie Gohmert: Aurora Shootings Result Of ‘Ongoing Attacks On Judeo-Christian Beliefs‘”Jennifer Bendery, Huffington Post

Once the first scare of another gun massacre, is over, lots of us wonder why we (in the U.S.) allow guns, especially automatic weapons , to be so widely available. The answer, in the end, is that we have a permanent scare system in place, led and financed by the National Rifle Association, and reinforced by the Christian right, that responds to disrupt any attempt at creating reasonable gun control by repeating a familiar narrative.

“They are coming to get our guns” is another version of Reagan’s “government is the problem” story and its close cousin, “the Democrats and that Black Foreign President are plotting to take away your freedom.”  It seems impossible that anyone would believe this story but I think is has an impact in the same way as all advertising.  We all think we are immune but if ads didn’t work no one would pay for them.  Think Pet Rock.


About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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