Fear and Loathing in Vero Beach


Letter to the Editor from tcpalm.com:

Even before Barack Obama was elected, the National Rifle Association labeled him a “serious threat to Second Amendment liberties” (The Nation, Sept. 10). After the election, the NRA warned “American gun owners will soon be the targets of an attack dog named Rahm Emanuel.” . . .

However, this assault on Second Amendment rights never occurred. In fact, according to gun industry lobbyist Richard Feldman, “Obama has done everything in his power to stay away from the gun issue.” Furthermore, Obama’s “inaction on guns earned him an F in 2009 from the pro-gun control Brady Center.”

So why all the paranoia? Simple — fear-mongering by the NRA and the gun industry it represents sells product. In 2001, the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency, gun sales dropped a whopping 23 percent. Conversely, gun sales “soared 23 percent in 2009.” Why? According to the NRA, President Obama was coming to take away its members’ guns. Hogwash!

Gun makers have a problem: Their products can last a lifetime. The solution? Create an environment of fear. Although the murder rate in the United States has declined by 44 percent since 1995, articles published in popular gun magazines belie this fact.

“Most gun publications … are glorified catalogs in which the line between editorial and advertising (content) is virtually nonexistent. Many are selling more than guns; they’re also pitching fear.”

And gun and ammunition manufacturers are complicit as well, promoting alarmist content in their ads and on their websites.

While President Obama is not coming after your guns, the NRA and the industry it represents surely are picking your pockets. So, the next time you train your sights on something, make sure it’s the right target. The president is not the boogeyman the NRA makes him out to be.

Cray Little, Vero Beach