In responding to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s CPAC speech, gun control advocate Ladd Everitt falsely claims that the NRA has long called for armed insurrection, but can provide no real proof of that claim.
Everitt argues that NRA spent the run-up to the election urging group members to be ready to grab their guns and defend freedom to the point of “insurrection” if Donald Trump lost. But his argument is more than suspect, and the supporting data is even weaker.
At CPAC 2016, LaPierre said “[the November 2016] election must set our nation back on its rightful course where individual freedom is respected, justice is restored, laws are enforced, government gets off our backs and leaves us the hell alone and elected officials start telling us the truth.” He railed at President Obama for “try[ing] every day to restrict the rights of law-abiding people” and bragged, “When it comes to … fighting for our fundamental freedoms, no one fights harder, longer or stronger than the NRA.” And looking forward to the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton, LaPierre warned, “If you want to turn this election into a bare-knuckle brawl for the survival of our constitutional freedoms, bring it on!”
This equals “insurrection” for Everitt, who posits out of thin air that the NRA has spent 40 years telling “its supporters that they have an individual right to shoot and kill government officials if they behave in a ‘tyrannical’ manner.” Everitt’s “proof” of this is an op-edhe wrote with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Joshua Horowitz in October 2016.
Think about it: The “proof” Everitt provides to substantiate the claim that the NRA encourages shooting and killing government officials who behave tyrannically is nothing more than a link to an op-ed he wrote with another gun controller.
That op-ed was written in USNews, and it contained quotes from former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, then-candidate Donald Trump, the American people, and various Trump supporters, all of whom suggested freedom would be at risk if Hillary Clinton won. Some of them even suggested a Clinton win would usher in a “revolution” and that “People … [would] march on the capitols.”
Notice, Everitt is not quoting the NRA. Nevertheless, the op-ed ends by suggesting all such talk finds its source in an NRA that “has been telling its supporters that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to shoot and kill elected leaders, law enforcement officers and military service members if they believe government is behaving in a ‘tyrannical’ manner.”
The gist of the piece is that the NRA believes in “insurrection” because Everitt says it does, no questions asked.Everitt argues that NRA spent the run-up to the election urging group members to be ready to grab their guns and defend freedom to the point of “insurrection” if Donald Trump lost.
In the same recent HuffPo piece, Everitt parenthetically inserted his own definition of “freedom,” then went on to build a case against the NRA using his own faulty and baseless interpretation.
In that case, he quoted LaPierre as saying, “Make no mistake. If the violent left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods, or into our homes, they will be met with the resolve and the strength and the full force of American freedom [guns] in the hands of the American people.”
In truth, LaPierre did make that statement. But he never mentioned guns—that’s just what Everitt decided to try to convince people that LaPierre meant.
Everitt then went on to build the rest of his case against the NRA by analyzing LaPierre’s advocating the use of guns against left-wing rioters, when, in fact, Everitt had created the whole argument himself by inserting the word “guns” in the quotation.
In truth, Everitt isn’t the first gun-ban advocate to use himself as a source to bash the NRA, or to paint the Association and LaPierre in a bad light for something that was never said. But he is the most recent—and perhaps the most blatant.
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, or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.