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NowThis: The NRA Has Fear-Mongered About Government Tyranny for Years. But Now That The Government is “Act[ing] Tyrannically,” The NRA is Silent.

June 17, 2020

For years, the NRA has been fear-mongering about government tyranny and police crackdowns. But as shown in a new video from NowThis, the NRA has been silent during recent protests –– even though the Trump administration has “act[ed] tyrannically” and “police forces in riot gear have violently cleared peaceful protestors, [i]ndividuals and members of the press have been assaulted, and President Trump has called for the National Guard to be deployed across the country as a show of ‘domination.’” 

The video begins by asking, “Remember when the NRA got all worked up about tyrannical government?” It then shows several examples (all from before recent Black Lives Matter protests began) of the NRA’s fear mongering on the subject, including the following quotes:  

  • NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre: 
    • “[Government leaders] will use the awesome power of government to annihilate your freedom and they’re willing to use and abuse the full power of government in an attempt to crush us.”
    • “[The government is] interfering now with our ability to engage in free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to speak out for the positions that we hold dear.”
  • NRATV’s Bill Whittle: “My weapons are here to defend me against my government. Ultimately, when it’s said and done, that’s the main reason I have these weapons.” 
  • NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield: “Why the Second Amendment was in place was to stand up to a tyrannical government, and I am in full belief that our Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in there to make sure that we could stand up to a tyrannical government if it ever got to that point.” 
  • NRATV Guest Jenn Jacques: “We the people have to have the firepower and the man power to be able to stand up to tyrants in the government just like this.” 

Then, the video highlights the NRA’s hypocrisy on this topic by noting that the organization’s response to President Trump’s recent actions has been, “Nothing, like it never even happened.” 

Mother Jones’s Matt Cohen also covered this trend last week, writing that “the past couple of weeks have been exactly what the National Rifle Association has for years warned its members about: A mass mobilization of militarized police and unknown federal agents in cities across the country to shut down largely peaceful mass demonstrations of people exercising their constitutional rights—and doing so with force.” But, Cohen writes, “the [NRA] has been utterly silent.”
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