Everytown’s Justin Wagner: “The NRA And Oath Keepers Both Traffic In Similar Extreme Rhetoric About Tyranny And The Necessity Of Guns To Overthrow The Government.”
Rolling Stone: Gun Lobby & Anti-Government Militia “Have Increasingly Come Into Ideological Alignment”
This morning, a shocking new report from Rolling Stone, “Meet the Oath Keeper on the NRA’s Board of Directors” alleges that newly elected NRA Board Member Donald J. Bradway appears on the “membership rolls of the Oath Keepers — an anti-government militia, steeped in right-wing conspiracies, whose members have engaged in armed vigilantism.”
While Bradway said he is “no longer affiliated” with the Oath Keepers, he also added “I consider myself to be an ‘oath keeper,’ as I’ve never ‘untaken’ the oath.” Additionally, the report found that nearly 70 people who purportedly signed up for Oath Keepers touted “their bonafides as NRA-certified firearms instructors” in their applications to join.
This latest tie between the NRA and a far-right extremist group is no surprise, given the gun lobby’s extended history of enshrining guns as tools of the far right. As the article mentions, the NRA previously promoted a rally featuring Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and allowed the Oath Keepers to run booths at annual NRA shows. One year, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre himself stopped by and took a picture with the Oath Keepers’ state chapter president.
More from Rolling Stone’s report:
[Bradway’s] ascension to the NRA board highlights a troubling crossover between the nation’s most powerful gun lobby and the anti-government militia — which have increasingly come into ideological alignment.
“The NRA and Oath Keepers both traffic in similar extreme rhetoric,” says Justin Wagner, Senior Director of Investigations for Everytown for Gun Safety, “about tyranny and the necessity of guns to overthrow the government.”
A similar duality exists inside the NRA: Its executives and lobbyists project a slick, corporate image inside the Beltway, but the gun lobby has also long stoked the fires of right-wing militancy among its membership, spreading conspiracy theories that Democratic administrations have secret plans to confiscate Americans’ weapons
The rise of Bradway to the NRA’s board is just one sign of extensive cross-pollination between the NRA and the Oath Keepers. A Rolling Stone review of the purported Oath Keeper membership rolls finds nearly 70 individuals who signed up for the militia up [sic] touting their bonafides as NRA-certified firearms instructors.
Everytown has detailed the gun lobby’s ties to far-right extremism. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with an Everytown expert about the NRA and gun lobby’s ties to far-right extremism.