Reporter Ana Marie Cox attended this past weekend’s National Rifle Association annual meeting and came away with some interesting insights  — most notably that the organization’s noxious overall objectives often differ from those of the rank and file. As she notes:
“NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre exhorted the crowd  to a morally obligated vigilantism. He drew a vivid picture of a United States in utter decay and fragmented beyond repair, Mad Max-meets-Hunger Games, divided by Soylent Green:
‘We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping-mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all.’
LaPierre’s bleak vision is exaggerated dystopianism in service of sedition, a wide-ranging survey of targets that put justice against the intrusions of the IRS on a continuum with (as an advertisement  he ran during his speech put it) workplace ‘bullies and liars.’
Talk about mission creep. At its convention in 1977, the NRA rejected its history as a club for hunters and marksmen and embraced activism on behalf Second Amendment absolutism . Rejecting background checks and allowing “convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics” easier access to guns was, said the executive vice president that year, “a price we pay for freedom.” In 2014, 500 days after Newtown and after a year of repeated legislative and judicial victories , the NRA has explicitly expanded its scope to the culture at large.”
Read the rest of Cox’s fascinating/frightening story by clicking here.