A father helps his son try out a gun at the National Rifle Association Convention

Another father grooms his son to love guns at the NRA convention.

Loyal Friends of the NRA Vow to Save Our Guns and Fridges

Celebrating a "freedom-filled weekend," gun freaks just flocked to another NRA confab - Wall of Guns! Rifles for Two-Year-Olds! Defend Against Radical Lunatics! - to champion their sacred right to add to our bloody carnage. Among a swarm of GOP pols, the Orange Nazi memorably decried yuge gangs of "communist maniacs" attacking "apartment stores" and carting off refrigerators, air conditioners, "fur coats, not fur coats, everything." No wonder they wanna vote for him.

The weekend's three-day NRA convention, held in Indianapolis, featured the usual delights: National Prayer Breakfast, Youth Day, much merch - I Am the NRA t-shirts, Don't Tread On Me mugs, NRA: I Am Freedom stickers - and acres of exhibits: Humvees, AR-15 Build Kits ($299), shiny new guns like Colt's bolt-action TacHunter, mini-compact handguns, aluminum M1911-style handguns with 11-round flush-fit magazine capacity, 2023's Gun of the Year Springfield Armory SA-35 9mm with NRA Grips. Because, for retailers, "NRA members are your best customers! Can you afford to not be here?" Distressingly, there were also many, many, sweet Jesus too many small children wistfully fingering large guns. Outside the convention, protesters took turns reading the names of the roughly 1,600 American kids killed by guns last year. Organizer Mary Tuttle noted that Indiana lawmakers just passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors but declined to act on gun violence, though, "Zero children have died from puberty blockers. Not one." Given that, in part thanks to NRA lobbying, Americans have stockpiled over 400 million guns - more weaponry than the Armed Forces, Dept. of Homeland Security, and local police agencies combined - attendees were also greeted by a billboard by Mad Dog PAC reading, "The NRA Is A Terrorist Organization."

The convention, its stage emblazoned with "Defend Your Freedom," came days after mass shootings at a Nashville school and a Louisville bank, and on the second anniversary of a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx that killed nine people; last year's ever-fearless NRA held their convention days after the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Thoughts and prayers all around; the show must go on. Still, NRA organizers boasted the convention was "the safest place in the USA to be today" because - WTF - guns were banned as too dangerous. Thus did GOP Presidential hopefuls comfortably, dutifully assemble to kiss the blood-spattered ring of beleaguered NRA CEO, ghoul and thug Wayne LaPierre, who warned, “Gun-hating politicians should never go to bed unafraid of what this association, and all of our millions of members, can do to their political careers." Some pols phoned it in: Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Ron DeathSantis, who fresh from his pudding bragged that, even after the slaughter of 17 innocents at Parkland, he's "resisted calls to take up gun control even when such a stand is superficially unpopular,” as though Floridians are only superficially opposed to being gunned down in America's usual killing fields - schools, malls, synagogues, grocery stores etc. He also ran an ad trashing Trump for evidently once suggesting - horrors - maybe the killing should stop.

In person, a long list of mostly unknown speakers echoed him; those with higher profiles battled to go ever lower. Asa Hutchinson warned "Joe Biden and the gun-control extremists (to) give up your pipe-dreams of gun compensation in this free society. Stop endangering our lives with gun bans and stop tramping on the rights of the American people every time tragedy happens." Vivek Ramaswamy called for more firepower and less CRT in schools, and shutting down the FBI/ATF: "What does the AR-15 stand for? It stands for freedom." New Hampshire's Chris Sununu mocked Biden, bragged he vetoed a gun law - cheers - and told the feds to "shove it." Mike Pence got booed in his own state - "I love you too" - urged more armed guards, sent prayers to the latest dead kids. South Dakota's newly big-lipped, hair-extensioned Gov. Kristi Noem won cheers when she declared "I am the NRA" to prove it's not just old white guys - cameraman pans to audience of old white guys; ominously intoned, "Liberals and Joe Biden want our guns because it will make it easier for them to infringe on all our other rights"; proposed after massacres, "families gathered together (and) prayed for wisdom and discernment on how to heal hearts and minds"; and eerily boasted her 2-year-old granddaughter "already owns a shotgun and rifle and soon will need them." (Twitter: "And my dog has three books and a calculator.")

But Trump, “the most pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment president,” took the gun-nuttery cake, vowing, “I will be your loyal friend and fearless champion," like during "the China virus" when "I proudly designated gun dealers as critical infrastructure." Before the Die-Hard revenge fantasies, he made bombastic claims about his "epic struggle" against Dems who "want to take away your guns while throwing open jailhouse doors and releasing bloodthirsty criminals...to abolish your borders and impoverish your families...to demonize patriots and persecute Christians while pushing the transgender cult.” Whew. It was then he went on his "refrigerator-theft blast" about "these gangs of hundreds of young people (who) go and attack an apartment... department stores" (in Dem-run cities) and "they’re running out carrying refrigerators (and) air conditioners and big stuff. Big, little, everything. Fur coats, not fur coats, everything...They empty out the stores." And then the police are "standing there, they're shaking, they want to do their job, but they're not allowed to do their job because of these radical lunatics," even though they won't admit most violent crime is "committed by a brutal class of hardened repeat criminals. That’s who’s doing it. In San Francisco..." Also, tents in D.C. - "I had to take them down immediately" - and "incredible monuments" and "beautiful lawns" and "the only one they want to prosecute is Donald Trump, let's get him, it's unbelievable."

Yes. It is. This evil, inept, barking mad clown - who says our mass slaughter "is not a gun problem" but a spiritual problem maybe abetted by "genetically engineered cannabis" - is the leading GOP candidate for president. Twitter had thoughts: "Seems totally real. In fact, many people strongly say they see people running with 300-lb refrigerators strapped on their backs while wearing fur coats...They don't even put the fridges under their coats like the old days...They're taking gas stoves too just in case...With tears in their eyes?...Never mind the diamonds and tablets - grab that fridge!...They’re taking the refrigerators 'cause there isn’t strong enough water pressure when they flush the toilets on account of the birds being killed by windmills...I have seen peoople, thugs if you will, carrying 1 fish, even 2 fish, I even saw them with a red fish and a blue fish, just lawlessness everywhere...Since I'm anti-fur, I would suggest the looters stick with 'non-fur' coats. Also, Sub Zero is the fridge you want...They grab 16-ton weights, moons, Mjollnir, everything. Sometimes they just pick up the store and run with it!...And they take things that happened, that didn’t happen, we'll take that for $500...And by the way, they’re coming for you: the liberals, the Blacks, the Jews. The drag queens want to steal your children. Have you bought a gun today?"

All the while, in a broken country where many hateful, lost, white, straight men "stand back and stand by," hungry for control - "Strength. Boots, smashing faces...My rifle is my best friend - without it I am useless" - the shooting and killing goes on and on. America's most lethal weekend so far this year, Feb. 17 through Feb. 19, saw 10 mass shootings of over 50 victims: Nine children shot at a Georgia gas station, six people killed in a Mississippi town, eleven people shot in Memphis, five people shot in New Orleans, six people shot on a Chicago expressway. This last week has been almost as bloody. Thursday night, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot in the head in Kansas City for knocking on a neighbor's door while black; miraculously, he survived, and prosecutors Monday night charged an 85-year-old white man with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. This weekend, with the NRA's obscenity underway, 38 people were shot, eight fatally, in gun violence across Chicago. Also this weekend, days after the Louisville bank shooting that killed four, a mass shooting at a sweet 16 birthday party in Alabama killed four and injured 32; a shooting at a crowded Chickasaw Park in Louisville left two dead and four injured. On Saturday, Mayor Craig Greenberg responded to the bloodshed with, "This is not who we are." Really? Lookit these kids at the NRA fest. Thank God, at least none of them got their hands on a book.

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