The Gun Party Crazies


Talking Points Memo has a piece today about how “The White House Just Set Gun Rights Activists Ablaze.”

Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the gun violence task force led by Vice President Biden is considering gun legislation “far broader and more comprehensive…than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.”


“[The article] was a Molotov cocktail right into the middle of this thing,” Dave Workman, a former board member at the National Rifle Association, told TPM Monday. “That lit the fuse, it really did.”

It should not be hard to appreciate the nature of hardcore gun regulation opponents when after a wave of mass shootings that included the murder of twenty 5 and 6 year old school children in an elementary school, news that the President might recommend measures “more comprehensive…than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition” produces the hysteria of “a Molotov cocktail.”

Consider TPM’s go-to guy for the interview. Dave Workman is an board member of the NRA.

He’s an official with the Second Amendment Foundation, communications director for Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and a prolific writer on the gun rights. Both groups Workman serves on are sponsors of Gun Appreciation Day, a nationwide effort to highlight gun ownership scheduled for the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration.

The SAF opposes gun carry laws and restrictions on the interstate sale of firearms. It is the publisher of The Gun Mag. Workman owns D&D Gunleather, which produces its own publications on issues such as “”No duty to retreat’ or ‘stand your ground’ in a lethal confrontation,” and Workman also writes Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, where he produces pieces such as “Is America tumbling toward ‘Arms-ageddon?’” Pat Buchanan is relied on as authority in that matter.

TPM further quotes Workman as stating,

“They’re talking about banning millions of firearms,” he said. “The writing was on the wall when Joe Biden was put on that thing because he’s a gun grabber.”

Of the President, Workman believes that

the president hates guns and gun owners.

“Obama has been anti-gun rights along, he was just waiting for his second term to push this stuff,” Workman said. “Unfortunately, Sandy Hook timed pretty perfectly with the start of this second term. … This nutball really handed this one to the Obama administration and gave the Obama administration a chance to take the gloves off.”

Does this kind of language, this unhinged sense of secret malevolence in Obama sound familiar? Undoubtedly, there is great crossover among Tea Partiers – the contemporary remanifestation of The John Birch Society – and extreme gun advocates.  Yet while sensible and liberal Americans think they experienced some measure of triumph over these extremists in the November election, conspiratorial gun absolutists present a profound case of the fringe holding powerful sway over American culture and society. Any political battle to institute common sense safety-oriented gun regulation in the country will be as intense as any we have seen, and it will require enormous passion and commitment to win.


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