The “Limited Time Offer” — a sales technique so old it’s become nearly a cliche’. Slapping the word “limited” on anything indices a kind of panic reflex in the brain, a black-and-white absolutism that says “I must decide to have this thing now, or never shall I have the chance to have it again! Can I live the rest of my life never having this limited thing?” The Limited-Time-Offer Technique works for pretty much anything that sells…including guns. But as we know, manufacturers never run out of guns to make. So, who can place a limit on the limited time offer if not the manufacturers themselves? GUN GRABBING COMMUNISTS! That’s who!
For all their pretenses toward gun safety and training, it’s pretty clear at this point that the NRA exists primarily to sell guns. Originally, the NRA was founded by Civil War generals to train their troops in better marksmanship and firearm safety. In 1934, it began informing its members about firearms laws and legislation; and for the next 40 years, it primarily promoted gun safety and training. It wasn’t until the NRA got its first “corporate partners” in the 1970s that it got into the political game, lobbying Washington D.C. on gun control legislation and generally turning to terror tactics in its magazine pages to create the “Limited Time Offer!” on gun ownership.
Despite the fact that it was founded to train soldiers how to shoot straight, the NRA has since retroconned its image as a “Civil Rights Organization,” and now lists its mission statement as being to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s a pretty civic-minded rewriting of history for an advertising company that it gets more than half of its revenue from more than 50 gun manufacturers — err, corporate partners.
The NRA has since developed a cult — and we do mean cult — following in many states. Most of which are rural, conservative and the kind of places Joni Ernst would go to castrate hogs. One of those states is Idaho, a place of idyllic beauty, tall mountains and some of the rightest right-wing nutjobs ever to wear a teabag tri-corner. These are the kinds of guys who claim that the United States government is official piracy, and under Admiralty Law they’re “sovereign citizens” who ain’t got ta do a damn thing what the illigitimate government says.
But pirate fantasies aside, the real power in these waters is the National Rifle Association. There’s scarcely a lawmaking politician in the state that isn’t on the NRA’s payroll, and it’s rare that the NRA doesn’t get passed a law it wants passed in Idaho. That includes the right to carry guns on college campuses. a law which, two days after passing, saw a professor literally shoot himself in the foot in the middle of class. But, aside from Professor Shotfoot, roughly 7 percent of Idahoans carry a concealed carry permit — so about one out of every dozen or so people in Potatoland are carrying at any given time.
And so, bearing all that context in mind, we bring you this.
On January 5th, the Idaho News-Times (via its Magicvalley.com website) published an editorial called “Our View: Guns, Death and the NRA.”
The article is effectively a straight call-out of the NRA for its fear-mongering, Limited-Time-Offer guns sales tactics; it’s rabid promotion of the idea that any day, the Obamanation is comin fer yer gunns…so buy every one you kin git TODAY! It also calls the NRA out for shutting down all conversation on gun control legislation that might negatively impact gun sales by its “corporate partners” — legislation that about half of the NRA’s own 5 million members support.
But, since those members contribute less than a quarter of the NRA’s total income…guns for everyone! it is.
The article largely centers around the story of Veronica Rutledge, a gun-toting mom and member of the NRA who was killed in a grocery store when her 2-year-old son reached into her purse, and shot her with her own gun. Here are some of the highlights:
The NRA, once committed to gun safety and education, is now the political equivalent of an English football hooligan. Disagree and get bludgeoned.
The NRA says guns aren’t the problem; a broken mental health system is to blame. But neither Rutledge, a chemical engineer, nor the 14-year-old who killed his friend in Burley were insane.
The organization’s minions even go so far as to make the case that someone could feasibly be killed with any number of random objects. Of course, sticking someone with a fork would take substantially more skill and strength than peppering them with buckshot. That part gets left out. It’s that efficiency that explains why more than 60 percent of murders in the U.S. are committed with a firearm, the FBI reports.
The NRA is intentionally obfuscating the obvious, most-significant fact here. Unlike cars, planes and various pointed kitchen utensils, guns are tools made specifically to kill. And they’re exceedingly good at it.
However, the newspaper doesn’t reserve all of its ire for the NRA.
The NRA and anti-gun liberals have staked out positions so extreme that the rest of us in the gray area aren’t even allowed into the discussion.
Walk into the Twin Falls County Department of Motor Vehicles and you’re greeted with a sign urging people to apply for an enhanced concealed weapon license. But that license requires eight hours of classroom and field training, plus a background check.
Idaho’s enhanced weapon license is how it should be done. It promotes safe handling. It promotes education. It promotes responsibility.
But the NRA instead has benefited from dead school children, by spreading fear of non-existent government incursion. And, as shown by the huge jump in pre-Christmas gun purchases, the fear campaign is working.
Indeed, it’s true. But what isn’t working is the NRA’s intimidation of the local newspaper. As the (Idaho-based) Wonkette points out — since the article was published, the building still stands, have not been shot at or burned down once. Despite the NRA’s power in the state, and general tactics of bullying and threats, nobody on the editorial board has been gunned down, or even threatened. Said the Wonkette:
Honestly, Twin Falls, not one measly death threat? Idaho’s getting soft.
And soft they may be…but boy, are they quick on that keyboard! Here’s a random sampling of some of the article comments:
This editorial should be retracted and the editors should apologize to their subscribers. This is an insult to the 75,000 Idahoans who belong to the NRA.
I was embarrassed to say I am from the Magic Valley after reading this biased garbage. What’s worse is the biased garbage here in Commiefornia.
I like the dark ages. so does the majority, which we established I know who that is. what I don’t like is lefty propaganda shoved in my face in my own home.
Ah, yet another liberal affected news paper in Idaho. Come get Mary Thrillhouse in Lewiston, please! Tyrants.
Editorials should be submitted in the opinion section by the readers!
Liberals can’t understand why people own guns, period.
Actually, somewhere between 22 percent 30 percent of “liberal” households have guns — as opposed to about 50 percent for conservatives. However, it is true that gun ownership goes down by about 11 percent across the board by level of education. The more education a person has, the less likely they are to own a gun. It also goes up with age. So the people least likely to own guns are young, liberal doctors — those most likely to own guns are old, Republican high-school dropouts.
AKA: About half the population of Idaho.
So, get your education before you turn old and Republican…it’s a Limited Time Offer.