Gun control advocates know the key to tricking people into supporting civilian disarmament: demonize the enemy. The enemy being anyone who opposes civilian disarmament. Which is, it must be said, a great many people. Millions of people, from all walks of life. Americans of all colors, creeds and religions support the Second Amendment. Democrats and Republicans, gay and straight, old and young, urban and rural. This transcendent – perhaps transcendental – love of firearms freedom makes the gun grabbers’ anti-agitprop a difficult proposition. But not impossible . . .
The “gun lobby” is the gun grabbers’ go-to bugaboo. It’s composed of unnamed firearms industry magnates and their supposed mouthpiece, the NRA. As the above video illustrates, the former is portrayed as a conclave of craven capitalists who dance in the blood of innocents. The National Rifle Association is positioned as their evil minions, stalking the corridors of power to seduce the people’s representatives on behalf of the rapacious manufacturers – when they’re not busy stoking the fires of racial hatred and paranoia amongst America’s bitter clingers.
This cartoonish characterization works best among so-called “low-information” voters; people who don’t have the time or inclination to pay attention to the meme behind that curtain. Which is not to say that “evil gun lobby” propaganda doesn’t resonate with left-leaning intellectuals, too. The concept of a profit-driven conspiracy to thwart “common sense” gun control pushes all the left’s buttons, from their hatred of free markets to their belief that a cabal of intelligence-challenged country club conservatives stand in the way of an egalitarian utopia.
Fortunately, gun grabbers have failed to fully embrace Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Perhaps they’re triskaidekaphobic. Rule 13 advises agitators to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” How can you personalize a group as inherently amorphous as the “gun lobby”? OK, the Nazis did a fair job with the Jews. And Wayne LaPierre is a pretty good poster boy for anti-OFWG (Old Fat White Guys) animus. But most Americans who care about such things – a small group to be sure – see the NRA for what they are: an advocacy group representing millions of gun owners.
In some ways gun control advocates who demonize the “gun lobby” are doing gun rights advocates a favor. When Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America claims that the “gun lobby” wants “guns everywhere” – as they did during their singularly ineffective campaign against Georgia’s recent extension of firearms freedom – the militant Moms are promoting the idea of eliminating “gun-free zones.” Every time the gun grabbers warn of Wild West shootouts, every time blood doesn’t run in the streets following concealed and open carry liberalization, the “guns everywhere” concept gains a measure of acceptability.
Of course, we all know that the “gun lobby” does exist. American is home to a dynamic firearms industry profiting from citizens exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. And yes, the firearms industry has lavished cash contributions on the organizations that work to defend and extend gun rights and, thus, protect and enlarge their market: the NRA, NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), SAF (Second Amendment Foundation) and even this website (e.g., FN’s and GLOCK’s advertising).
But this “gun lobby” does not revel in bloodshed. It strives to ensure that Americans have access to tools they can use to put food on their tables, protect themselves from criminal predation, enjoy their well-earned leisure time and defend against government tyranny. In the main, the “gun lobby” is a force for good. (We’ll discuss gun makers’ collusion with the U.S. government’s surreptitious efforts to supply firearms to vicious drug thugs, corrupt cops and unaccountable military men south of the border at a later date.) Those who can’t see the benefits of a healthy industry and powerful pro-gun advocates never will.
Again, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. By banging-on about “the [evil] gun lobby” the antis perpetuate the “lobby’s” influence. (Alinsky: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”) In fact, we should be thankful that gun grabbers can’t grasp the simple idea that the “gun lobby” owes it existence to popular support, both financial and political. If civilian disarmament advocates made that leap they might devise a new and possibly more effective strategy for their assault on gun rights. In that sense, their ignorance is our bliss.