Screenshot from the video below.
Back in the '70s, the philosopher-poet Edwin Starr posed a simple but powerful question to the American public. Specifically: "War: What is it good for?" The answer of course, is simple: "To sell guns."
That seems to be the approach that the NRA has decided to take, anyway. Now that the decidedly firearm-friendly Trump is in office, the powerful lobbying arm of the nation's gun manufacturers no longer has the imaginary threat of "Obama is going to take your guns" with which to convince American citizens to stockpile weaponry, so they've gone a different direction: sowing the seeds of civil war.
If you think that
sounds like hyperbole, you should hear the shit that they're
saying. For example, a new video the NRA released on Friday features Arnold, Missouri native and conservative firebrand Dana Loesch vowing that those who oppose Donald Trump's presidency will "perish in the political flames of their own fires." Some of the other language in the minute-long ad includes "ruthless attack," "slashing," "gagging," "drive their daggers through the heart," "poisoning," and "the ashes of what they burned down."
Here's the full transcript of the video, in all of its dizzying verbosity:
We are witnesses to the most ruthless attack on a president, and the people who voted for him, and the free system that allowed it to happen, in American history. From the highest levels of government, to their media, universities and billionaires, their hateful defiance of his legitimacy is an insult to each of us. But the ultimate insult is that they think we’re so stupid that we’ll let them get away with it. These saboteurs, slashing away with their leaks and sneers, their phony accusations and gagging sanctimony, drive their daggers through the heart of our future, poisoning our belief that honest custody of our institutions will ever again be possible. So they can then build their utopia from the ashes of what they burned down. No, their fate will be failure and they will perish in the political flames of their own fires. We are the National Rifle Association of America. And we are Freedom's Safest Place.
You may have noticed that, for a group whose purview is guns, very little of that monologue has a single thing to do with firearms whatsoever. It's instead a series of sanctimonious insults targeting those in the country who oppose Trump's presidency — including those in government, the media and at colleges. It makes a person wonder what Loesch means when she says they're not going to let them "get away with it."
(Notably, some white supremacists were charged with attempted murder on Friday
for opening fire on a crowd of protesters in Gainseville, Florida, outside of an event where punched-nazi and Trump supporter Richard Spencer was set to speak. It was the same day the NRA's ad was released.)
This is not the first time Loesch, who is an official NRA spokesperson, has been the mouthpiece for one of the organization's exceptionally divisive videos. In April the group released an ad that strongly implied that liberals and Trump detractors — the media, schools, Hollywood elites and President Obama — were destroying America, and that the only way to save the country from the "violence of lies" is with the "clenched fist of truth." That led to a wave of criticism, including from the New York Times
, who called the ad "an incitement to violence."
Naturally, Loesch appeared in another NRA ad
that same month — one directed straight at the Times
, referring to it as an "old gray hag" and vowing "We're coming for you."
It is unclear what the NRA's endgame is here — outside, of course, from selling guns and increasing its membership. But in a country whose divisions seem more and more pronounced with each day that goes by, the fact that the powerful gun lobby is targeting political opponents in its ads is troubling, to say the least. Honestly, what does the country at large stand to gain from them riling up gun owners against their fellow citizens?
To quote a wise man: "absolutely nothing."