“How does the president at once deal with Iraq and Afghanistan, promote world peace, repair an about-to-collapse economy and domestically satisfy both nonshooting groups that are afraid for their lives, as well as other equally fearful pro-gun groups that demand firearms for their self-defense? Quite a job, considering his salary is allegedly less than half that of the head of the NRA.” – Mark Blazis, Outdoors: Paranoia on gun control victimizing Obama [via telegram.com]

37 Responses to Quote of the Day: How DOES He Do That? Edition

  1. Regardless of how you feel about Blazis’ commentary (and the snarkiness of the all-caps “DOES” in the thread’s title tells me how our host feels about it, in any event), he did touch upon an important point: the need that the NRA has for an eternal bogeyman, to justify its existence (and the paychecks and influence of its staff and executives). “It’s not clear who has been more disappointed with Obama’s leaving gun laws alone, the disappointed antigun rights groups that hoped for radical changes or the pro-gun factions that need a target to maintain their power and influence.”

    The right wing often suggests that the civil rights movement is actually over, and that it continues only because there are people within that movement who are fed by it, and who whip up fake controversies and conflicts to keep that movement (and their own power) alive. We can haggle separately over whether the civil rights struggle is truly over, but the truth within that assertion – that movements with external aims very often end up focusing on their own power, privilege and perpetuation – remains as a general principle, and it applies to the NRA, too.

    What incentive does the NRA have to be rational or measured about the actual current danger to the second amendment? None. Which makes it, in the end, an eternally unreliable source of information about the success or completion of its own goals and agenda.

    • Good point about the incentive or lack there of to be rational. Didn’t the NRA rate Bill Clinton higher than Bush41?

    • I disagree with your implication that the NRA would have no benefit to being more ‘rationial’ or ‘measured’. We all have incentives. What incentive does the fire department have in preventing house fires? The NRA may be alarmist about many things, but then, when I prepare for something that never occurs, I suppose I appear that way in hindsight too. I’m sure they could appeal to many more people, and increase their own clout, by going soft and only representing hunters or sport shooters, (and be against evil soldiers’ weapons) but they chose to appeal to people from a 2nd amendment perspective and appeal to those, in part, who see the evident threats in numerous forms over the years to gun ownership rights.

    • As long as the NFA and GCA exist we have work to do. Victory is mail-ordering a select-fire rifle from a foreign country with no paperwork.

  2. This is just a rehash of the journo’s Bill Clinton endorsement in 1992. You think he would have leaned his lesson.

    I have heard similar sentiments from this type of NRA lifer.

    But Mr. Blaze’ article is the true clarion call for “Fudds for Obama 2012″ to ,”…wize up and be counted!”

  3. Phil H, I appreciate your position and I have seen many organizations that seem more interested in perpetuating their relevancy than eliminating the “problem” they’re protesting. However given the ongoing full frontal and covert assaults by anti gunners both here and abroad, I for one am glad that the NRA continues to sound the alarm. It is also important that they point out the idiocy of the odd mish-mash of state & local laws/ordinances that make us all criminals at some point in our life for simply exercising our rights. It’s important that they point out the sneeky ways our politicians undermine us. It’s important that we know what’s happening on the world stage that may affect us in the future. All we have to do is to change the way the world thinks about guns and there will be no need for the political arm of the NRA. I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Saw a great bumper sticker this morning on my way to work:

    “Bachman/Palin 2012: C’mon, it’d be HILARIOUS!”

  5. I think it’s true the NRA “needs” the anti-gun bogeyman to maintain its power, influence and money flow. I also think the NRA is a huge mouthpiece for the Gun Manufacturers, Ammunition Manufacturers and firearms related accessories manufacturers.
    It may be a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
    However, I think the NRA is seeing it’s resource of OFWG’s who are WWII and Korean War Vets die out and have failed to reach the more numerous Vets of the later wars and the General Public, including African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Women, those under 40 yrs of age and especially those under 30 yrs of age.
    The younger folks don’t respond as well to the NRA’s strident, semi-hysterical rhetoric because they are more savvy and discerning in what political buttons they will let be pushed.
    The NRA needs to change its tactics, but I, too, wouldn’t hold my breath on that one….

  6. Anyone who sees this Presidential election as a referendum on gun rights is missing the point. The President has some influence over the economy and government regulation of business, but not much else.

    So, yeah, the President can make you fill out a few extra forms, but that is about it.

    For my money, a few extra forms is a small price to pay to keep banks, insurance companies, and oil companies in check. Your mileage may vary: I have friends (who happen to be bankers) who feel the exact opposite.

    It is no surprise that my banker friends donate to the NRA. Whenever someone says “less power for government”, what they are really saying is “more power for banks, insurance companies, and oil companies.”

    What I don’t understand is poor people who support far-right causes. I have a friend who had his life’s savings basically stolen by a series of banks and insurance companies. He blames illegal aliens and Obama, because that is who Fox News told him to blame.

    Now he lives off welfare, and sees no irony in protesting the “culture of dependency.”

    • When I hear less power for government, I think of less stupid laws like 10 round mag limits, no salt on tables, no sodas greater than 16 ounces, etc. Don’t be afraid of freedom.

    • “It is no surprise that my banker friends donate to the NRA. Whenever someone says “less power for government”, what they are really saying is “more power for banks, insurance companies, and oil companies.”

      You paint with a broad brush. I trust those institutions just about as much as I trust the government: not much at all. But I have a choice whether to be involved with them or not. I don’t get such a choice when it comes to government and, people who want to use it as a weapon against the devils they hate, will inevitably end up empowering it to **** people who want to be left alone even harder.

      • Theoretically, people could choose not to deal with banks, insurance companies, or oil companies. The reality is that they are stealing the retirement investments of millions of Americans, spending our money to influence elections, and we are paying their income tax.

        Since they can buy the laws they want, they have tilted the playing field so that they get all the tax breaks, and everyone else gets zero.

        When MF Global went under, taking thousands of people’s life’s savings, no one was prosecuted. They had worked with other banks to change the laws so that theft of trading accounts is legal. America is the only country where that particular action is legal. (And banks claim they need even less regulation.)

        When AIG lost a half-trillion dollars, requiring a bailout, and bankrupting the economy of the entire world, no one got prosecuted. In fact, they all got bonuses. They had re-written the laws so that their bonus payments were more important than your retirement money. (When you hear about the bank bailout, it was really a bailout of AIG and BofA. Everything else is chump change.)

        Even if you choose not to invest in AIG, your retirement plan did. Almost everyone has their retirement money in a mutual fund. If so, then you have money in AIG in one way or another. AIG and BofA. had about $1 trillion in mortgages, for example, but $2 trillion in mortgage derivatives. That means if you invested in anything that has an interest rate, you subsidized AIG’s trading division.

        Oil companies in the US receive hundreds of times more subsidy than Solyndra, and give us nothing in return. Solyndra got prosecuted because they are in the solar business, Chevron, as one example, spends millions of dollars to buy elections for their favorite candidates, and pays for it by getting billions of dollars in tax breaks. Effectively, they pay zero income tax.

        Just last week, Chevron poured millions of dollars into the Romney campaign for a last-minute ad buy. What would we say if Solyndra had done the same for Obama?

        So in fact, you do have to deal with oil companies, banks, and insurance companies. Not only are they the ones stealing your retirement money, but you are paying their income tax for them.

        Meanwhile, the NRA claims that I need a gun to defend myself. From what? The people stealing my retirement? i have some bad news.

      • Here are the people who are robbing you:

        1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

        2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

        3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

        4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

        5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

        6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

        7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

        8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

        9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

        10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

        None of these companies are using a gun to rob you. Instead, they are using campaign donations, and commercials about how companies in the U.S. are being “taxed out of business.”

        • And these big evil companies have zero employees and contribute absolutely nothing to the economy while drawing billions dollars from foreign sales.
          Try to see the big picture or better yet don’t do any business with these firms or use their products, life will seem a bit harder as a result.

      • Bank of America has a nice building next to the White House up the street from Treasury. Kinda says who calls the shots.

    • If you’re looking for someone who will fight banks, insurance companies, oil companies, and other corporations generally, Obama is not that guy. No one with a chance to win is.

  7. I think it’s idiotic to vilify the NRA when they have continually fought for gun rights, and will certainly continue to do so in the event of a UN Arms Treaty or AWB 2.0, etc. Did it ever occur to anyone that the NRA wants to save up some money for a rainy day or to keep Romney honest if he is elected? Or to defend gun and ammo manufacturers? Or file lawsuits to return firearms post Katrina?

    The NRA, TTAG, and Calguns are not perfect (neither am I, for that matter), but I find the overall bashing of the NRA to be counter productive.

    • A lot of progressives that visit here don’t like the NRA because it doesn’t tend to support progressive politicians. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that pro-gun progressive pols are few and far between?

      You want the NRA to support progressive pols? Find some that are pro-gun and elect them. Clean up your own house instead of constantly focusing your ire on outside opposition.

      • Actually I want to elect hard – core politicians who are as close to the founding Fathers’ philosophy as possible. That is the climate under which the bill of rights was conceived, and I don’t happen to believe that we have ‘evolved’ past old school beliefs of a strong work ethic and personal responsibility.

        • That’s the dream, but I like to keep myself grounded in reality.

          If the USA ultimately survives the ideological fads of neoconservatism and welfare liberalism/progressivism there may be a new day in which people are once again receptive to the ideals and principles of the Enlightenment. Or not.

          In the mean time I wouldn’t despise the progressive pols nearly as much if they stopped hating me, talking down to me, and telling me I shouldn’t be able to defend my own life with the best tools available.

          I’m sick and tired of their piddling laws and proposals. I’m also ****ing pissed that the only viable opposition are a party of warmongers and religious demagogues.

          The two party system needs to go. Alas, it probably never will.

  8. How? It would be easier if he would focus on his duty to uphold the Constitution, not cater to groups of identity voters. What makes his job hard is trying to undermine and manipulate without too many people catching on.

    • Some would say our current president has done an excellent job at, ” trying to undermine and manipulate without too many people catching on.”

  9. Too answer Marks question about how barry does it, he doesn’t. If he did thid wouldn’t be such a close election and mitt would just be a side show.

    And as an OFWG I agree that the NRA needs a shakeup. Towards that end I’ve Allowed my membership to go and sent an email to the NRA outlining why. I do appreciate the fact that they’re a bit over the top on their warnings, but they need to stop ignoring all the other potential support from women and minorities at a time when we need all our gun owners to pull together.

  10. You might not like the NRA and cynicism is de regiur these days. But in 1968 when the NRA board went from disparate hobbyists to a vehicle that put politicos on warning, all the freedoms you still enjoy have in some part been aided by their campaigns. Bellyache all you want, but I’ll continue to send my cash to help protect your rights, so you don’t end up like us in the UK. Heck if all they did was Eddie Eagle I’d still send them money.
    (Edit can you please make posting a bit more intuative?)

  11. The NRA has an opportunity to attract all the disparate groups mentioned. Continue to fight for our rights. At the same time, tone down the hysterical extreme comments. Promote gun safety, sponsor shooting clubs at the high school level, the list goes on. Enter the conversation on finding workable solutions to taking firearms out of the hands of criminals.

    With the right agenda, good communication to the public, membership would soar. They need to change the perception in the public eye as to being an organization that was concerned and helpful with the negative impacts of irresponsible and criminal gun use.

    • Ultimately, we are saying many of the same things about the NRA. There certainly an OFWG bias in the NRA, and a general failure in many cases to adapt to changing demographics of gun ownership. I just temper my criticism due to the fact that they have been a successful political force for gun rights, training programs, etc.

      I think jwm is on the right track by emailing the NRA and explaining exactly why he chose not to renew his membership.

    • “Promote gun safety, sponsor shooting clubs at the high school level, the list goes on. Enter the conversation on finding workable solutions to taking firearms out of the hands of criminals.”

      They do all these things. Have you even researched them to any extent? There’s the Eddie Eagle program, all the firearms training programs they sponsor, etc. etc. They also supported and continue to support the Brady Bill’s NICS checks (background checks for gun buyers).

      What more do you want them to do?

      By the way, their perception is wholly a mainstream media-driven thing that they can’t possibly hope to combat. And, hey, the mainstream media despises them! So whatever.

      Nevermind that they’re actually a pretty moderate organization when it comes to gun rights. They’re painted as extremists, because to the anti-gun pols, anyone who doesn’t agree with them is an extremist.

      • I get it that the mainstream media does not like them very much, and to that extent they get painted as extremists, but they paint themselves as extremists quite a bit, too – they don’t really need the mainstream media’s help. Every time LaPierre gets on a stage, waves his hands around and says, “it’s the end of the world if that man gets re-elected, it’s the most important decision of the last thousand years, there are ten thousand jackbooted thugs in storage waiting for the day after the next inauguration and they are coming for your guns, your ammo, and your daughters” (and yes, I’m exaggerating, it’s been a long week), he helps paint the NRA as a bunch of extremists. When Obama has not done very much at all against the second amendment, and the NRA goes balls to the wall against him, I think the average American scratches their head and wonders, “… what’s up with these people?”

        • It is worth noting that Obama has openly admitted his anti-gun stances in the distant past and the recent past. He has not recanted. Since the NRA is tasked with defending the second amendment, them being against him is to be expected.

          The fact that he recently came out in support of a new AWB and restricting “cheap” handguns has unfortunately proven their rhetoric somewhat justified whether Obama or the anti-gun pols can get such laws passed in the future or not.

          Anyway, Wayne LaPierre’s job is getting more members and more money for the organization, so they do hype up the alarmism. It’s unfortunate at times, and I’m not justifying it, but it’s not all that different from what other interest groups do. You see this often, for instance, with abortion rights groups.

          “X is gonna take away your right to abortion!”

          Like a candidate suddenly has magical powers that will grant him the ability to undo decades of settled case law and single-handedly ban abortion.

          There are ways to whittle away at it, though, and it’s sort of like that with guns and the 2A.

  12. If you can find it, look in the Whole Earth Catalog from the 60’s. It was the handbook for the counter culture. Inside it says to join the NRA to protect our freedoms. Nuff said.

  13. One of the comments that followed the written piece at the Telegram was very well articulated. Unlike the gun-grabbers and Obama Groupies, EVERY thoughtful pro RKBA person that I’ve spoken with has not been fooled by Obama. Here is the comment below by spencer60 wrote:

    “I’m sorry Mark, but you are wrong on almost every point you make.

    While this administration hasn’t had the political capital to push through any new gun control laws, that doesn’t mean that Mr Obama has backed off from his radically anti-firearm beliefs.

    After all, this is a man who has said repeatedly that he doesn’t believe anyone has the right to self-defense with a firearm, and who voted to completely ban handguns of all kinds in the state of IL when he was a member of the legislature.

    This is also the man who’s administration banned the re-import of thousands of highly collectible M1-Garand rifles with the ridiculous excuse that they could fall into the hands of gang-bangers.

    This is the man who appointed two Supreme Court justices, both of whom agreed that the Second Amendment was an individual right during confirmation, and both of whom disavowed that stance as soon as they took office.

    This is the man who just a few weeks ago said he wanted to reinstitute the failed, discredited and frankly nonsensical ‘assault weapon’ ban, and added that he would also like to ban ‘cheap’ handguns, whatever those are.

    While the outcry over the UN Arms treaty did get a bit over the top, there is real reason for concern. And I say ‘is’ simply because it was never voted down, just put on hold until after the election.

    It would indeed have the force of US law if passed though, and could have a severe impact on any firearms company that ships parts, products or ammunition in or out of any signing country.

    All of which would be controlled and enforced by a huge new UN bureaucracy, accountable to no one.

    The simple truth is that all the regional conflicts are supplied with arms by government entities, which are exempted anyway. No one starts a revolution with guns shipped over from WalMart.

    This treaty would be both dangerous and useless at the same time.

    A second term for Mr. Obama, unfettered by any need to be moderate towards our rights would be the same.”

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