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Dangerous fighting words



Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 4:05 AM

NRA boss Wayne LaPierre now speaks of a “relentless ramping up” by Obama of a “rogue agenda to destroy our unique American freedoms.”NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

NRA boss Wayne LaPierre now speaks of a “relentless ramping up” by Obama of a “rogue agenda to destroy our unique American freedoms.”

While stoking fearful hysteria that the federal government is stealthily moving to confiscate firearms, gun-rights zealots have responded with rhetoric that hints of violent resistance.

Most irresponsibly, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott dared President Obama to “COME AND TAKE IT,” as he tweeted opposition to Obama’s reported plans to tighten gun regulations by executive order.

Along the exact same threatening lines, a National Rifle Association publication issued a call to action against proposed New York legislation that would limit ammunition purchases to twice the capacity of a gun owner’s firearm during a 90-day period.


That NRA report was accompanied by a frighteningly suggestive image showing four bullets alongside photos of the sponsors, Democratic State Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Democratic Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, both of Brooklyn.

The images are especially appalling in that the NRA published them just days before the fifth anniversary of the attack in which gunman Jared Lee Loughner attempted to assassinate Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords.

Diagnosed as mentally ill and showing signs of anti-government distrust in his writing, Loughner killed six and wounded 14, including Giffords, who was left with irreparable brain damage.

Free speech or NRA threat against state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon?@NRAA1F via Twitter

Free speech or NRA threat against state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon?


Loughner’s deranged resort to targeting a government official demonstrates the high peril of both of hyping the false threat of American tyranny while also suggesting armed resistance.

“Arm yourself or be victimized by the government” is a mantra repeated over and again by politicians aligned with gun zealots.

Like Sen. Ted Cruz, who calls the Second Amendment the “ultimate check against government tyranny.”

What does the theology that guns are a bulwark against government tyranny look like in the real world? It looks like the siege, in Oregon, on a national wildlife refuge by armed militants claiming to stand up to federal land-rights policies.

“We will be here as long as it takes,” said siege leader Ammon Bundy. “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shoots off his mouth.Eric Gay/AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shoots off his mouth.

In other words: The answer to perceived government overreach isn’t taking the feds to court, as thousands upon thousands of Americans do every year, often succeeding. It’s occupying land and preparing to pull the trigger against anyone who dares enforce the law.

Obama will be taking a number of executive actions, such as requiring federal vetting of gun purchases not currently covered and much more, but no guns will be taken. No rights denied.

In no way would any of the President’s new regulations strip anyone of the firearms they now own. All gun sellers would be required to conduct background checks, and more potential gun buyers would be turned away because, for example, they are mentally ill or domestic abusers.

Conjuring nightmares about men in black helicopters swooping down to confiscate guns dangerously fuels the NRA’s brand of Second Amendment absolutism.

Just one month before Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City Federal Building, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre railed against “jack-booted government thugs,” prompting former President George H. W. Bush to rip up his NRA membership card.

LaPierre now speaks of a “relentless ramping up” by President Obama of a “rogue agenda to destroy our unique American freedoms.”

After helping whip up the frenzy, Cruz yesterday told that unregulated militia in Oregon to “stand down.” Too little, too late. You can’t tell a rogue army that you have gleefully armed and cynically ginned up to go home and call their congressmen.

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