Following the heinous criminal attack on Las Vegas concertgoers, pundit Bill Moyers has continued to demagogue guns, the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party. Moreover, he has tried to convince readers that there is strong support for gun control (even though American voters elected pro-gun Donald Trump over pro-gun control Hillary Clinton less than a year ago).
Regarding guns, Moyers wrote ominously about the “automatic weapon” used in Las Vegas and how the use of that weapon was part of the new “normal.” Yet there was no automatic weapon involved in the attack, which was anything but normal. Instead, there were numerous commonly owned firearms used by a man with no criminal record, no known mental health issues and no stated reason for the attack.
He was meticulous in planning the attack and dastardly in carrying it out. And he complied with gun control requirements like background checks along the way.
In fact—and Moyers won’t tell you this—NRA is still in the business of improving marksmanship and is very involved in various competitive shooting disciplines.Yet instead of conceding the impotency of gun controls and the fact that the Vegas attacker is but one more evil man who made the case that background checks don’t curb criminal violence, Moyers attacked the NRA as an enemy of society; a stain on an otherwise pure utopian dream.
He did this by examining the NRA at its founding in the 1870s—a time when the NRA did things like “improve the marksmanship skills of American citizens who might be called on to fight in another war.” It was a time when the organization “[promoted] in America the British sport of elite shooting, complete with quite hefty cash prizes in newly organized tournaments.”
In fact—and Moyers won’t tell you this—NRA is still in the business of improving marksmanship and is very involved in various competitive shooting disciplines. He also won’t tell you that NRA is the world’s premier gun safety organization, with thousands of NRA certified instructors teaching safety and marksmanship throughout the country year-round.
Moyers traced the history of the NRA from that founding until now, stopping along the way to make points and set up straw men he could attack and knock down near his story’s end.
For instance, he described gun controls the NRA allegedly supported in the 1930s, adding:
NRA officers insisted on the right of citizens to own rifles and handguns, but worked hard to distinguish between, on the one hand, law-abiding citizens who should have access to guns for hunting and target shooting and protection, and on the other hand, criminals and mentally ill people, who should not.
He says that was when the NRA took a more “reasonable approach” to gun ownership. Of course, he completely missed the fact that the NRA still insists that citizens have the right to own rifles and handguns, and fights for that right not only in Washington, D.C., but in state houses and courtrooms all across this land. All the while, the Association remains extremely vocal in its criticism of a lack of prosecution for federal gun laws that are so often broken in murder-plagued cities like Chicago and Baltimore.
Moyers does not see these things. Instead, he simply notes that the NRA had become a political force to be reckoned with by the start of the 21st century and suggests Republicans bought into the NRA’s worldview hook, line and sinker. He believes they did this, in part, for the financial benefit they could derive from the NRA directly and the gun industry indirectly.
However, as has been noted by a number of media outlets lately, the NRA’s political power actually comes from its millions of grassroots supporters who understand the true meaning of the Second Amendment and are willing to vote freedom first, both at the ballot box and with their NRA membership.
Moyers then intimates that the NRA and Republicans left America behind. To bolster this claim he uses a Raw Story column to quote poll statistics showing strong support for gun control, but he provides no link to the statistics nor any information on when the polls were taken or which firm took them.
All the while, Moyers fails to note that nearly every mass public attacker of recent memory passed a background check for his or her firearms.He writes: “Anywhere between 70 percent and 92 percent of Americans favor background checks prior to gun purchases, which is about the highest degree of agreement you will find on any issue in this country.”
All the while, Moyers fails to note that nearly every mass public attacker of recent memory passed a background check for his or her firearms. So what possible good would requiring checks at more points of sale accomplish? Instead of dealing with this question, he blames the GOP for “[pandering] to gun owners and lobbyists” while simultaneously claiming “3 percent of Americans own half of all the guns” in this country.
So, the GOP is controlled by gun owners, yet the largest portion of gun owners only constitute 3 percent of our population? That appears to be exactly what Moyers believes. And he is more than a little disturbed that this “tiny fraction” banded together with other Americans of a like mind and “basically disenfranchises” gun control supporters at the voting booth.
It’s clear that Moyers doesn’t understand the meaning of American freedom, nor the power of individual law-abiding citizens uniting under a large organization like the NRA to play a part in protecting that freedom. Moyers can talk all he wants about this supposed “disenfranchisement,” but the fact that freedom consistently wins out over the Left’s gun-ban schemes tells the true story of how rank-and-file Americans feel about the right to keep and bear arms.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.