For Immediate Release
NRA Once Again Embracing Anti-Government Rhetoric
New Study Details Links Between NRA Election Volunteer Coordinators and Tea Party Movement
WASHINGTON - Fifteen years ago former National Rifle
Association (NRA) member Timothy McVeigh--motivated by his fear and
the federal government--bombed the Alfred
in Oklahoma City.
Today, the NRA and other members of the gun lobby are again embracing
validating anti-government rhetoric according to the new 21-page
Policy Center (VPC) study "Lessons Unlearned: The Gun Lobby and the
Siren Song of Anti-Government Rhetoric" (http://www.vpc.org/studies/
The study offers examples of the NRA's
language, details NRA marketing to Tea Party supporters, and reveals
nine states between NRA State Election Volunteer Coordinators, the Tea
movement, and other factions of the "Patriot movement."
The study's release comes four days before
"Second Amendment March" in Washington,
D.C. The April 19th event,
held on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City
bombing and the federal government's siege at Waco that contributed to
anti-government anger, has been publicized by the NRA and received
support from the organization.
The study finds that, echoing the language
of the resurgent
Patriot movement, the NRA routinely presents the election of Barack
Obama as a
virtually apocalyptic threat not only to gun ownership, but to the
future of the
In a December 2009 direct-mail letter
echoing the language
of both the Tea Party movement and the Oath Keepers, the NRA urges the
to join an "army whose highest allegiance is not to any individual or
political party but only to the cause of freedom."
In the letter, NRA Executive Vice President
LaPierre--who speaking at the 2009 CPAC convention told cheering
"our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the
"...massive armies of anti-gun, anti-freedom radicals marshaling against
us for an attack that could make every other battle we've ever fought
look like a walk in the park...an attack aimed at completely rewriting
nation's values and the future of our country in ways that you and I
won't even recognize."
In the first four months of 2009, the NRA's
activist magazine, America's
1st Freedom, profiled key members of the Obama administration, likening
a "‘who's who' of gun-ban advocates."
o A January 2009 article entitled "Beware
Rahm" asked,"Will Rahm Emanuel be able to stab a knife into the
Constitution and scream that the Second Amendment is ‘Dead! Dead!
o A February 2009 NRA profile of Attorney
Holder attacked his record under "the infamous Janet Reno," the
Clinton Administration attorney general who is widely blamed in pro-gun
for the Waco
o A March 2009 cover proclaimed, "The Whole
World is Watching-Hillary Clinton Takes the Reins: Will the new
secretary of state defend the U.S.
constitution, or will she invite the global gun-ban movement into the
o An April 2009 cover featured Secretary of
Arne Duncan with the headline: "What would this man teach your kids?
Anti-gun extremist Arne Duncan takes over as Secretary of Education."
The organization now also markets NRA
emblazoned with the Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flag, which
has become the symbol of the Tea Party movement. The description for
NRA Gadsden tee shirt reads: "What goes around comes around.
In the late 18th century, oppressed American patriots voiced their
tyranny by exclaiming, ‘Don't Tread on Me!' Perhaps
it's time once again for Freedom-loving citizens to rally 'round
the legendary slogan of the famous Gadsden
The VPC study states that "the NRA incites
and others, offering words that outside of the purported protective
direct-mail and official publications would be chilling." It cites
an August 2008 NRA direct-mail letter warning of the threat posed by a
Obama administration: "Our Constitution and our system of
government guarantee that every American has the opportunity to write
her name in the history books of tomorrow--to leave his or her imprint on the
our nation. But in the end, history is always written only by a select
sacrifice of themselves to fight for the causes in which they believe."
The study concludes, "Such language offers
to the most violent of acts...Based on past history, the overriding
should be that the NRA's words may, in fact, once again be revealed as
The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.