The NRA likes to say that their members and allies are mostly law-abiding citizens, and it’s only the people with serious mental problems with guns who are dangerous. But just about every time say that, someone comes along to make that point problematic. For example:
The CEO of a Tennessee company that specializes weapons and tactical training is threatening to “start killing people” if President Barack Obama moves forward with gun control measures.
In a video posted to YouTube and Facebook on Wednesday, Tactical Response CEO James Yeager went ballistic over reports that the president could take executive action with minor gun control measures after the mass shooting of 20 school children in Connecticut last month.
“Vice President [Joe] Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege, executive order to ban assault rifles and to impose stricter gun control,” Yeager explained in his video message. “Fuck that.”
“I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight.”
The CEO concluded: “I’m not fucking putting up with this. I’m not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I’m not letting anybody take my guns! If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people.”
Mr. Yeager later had a moment to calm down; he pulled the video and posted another one that said basically, “Well, you know, heat of the moment and all that. So I won’t kill anyone unless I have to.” (He also might have had a little visit from the Secret Service.)
Here’s the thing, though. How many other people out there feel like James Yeager, but rather than have a change of heart, actually do something like plan to start killing people? It only takes one. And then the cycle starts all over again.
The NRA and the gun lobby groups are shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak, by not trying to keep the rhetoric from getting to this level, and all of their bombastic talk and in-your-face victim-blaming and finger-pointing is actually hurting their cause. Every group has its fanatical side — for every Humane Society, there’s PETA — and the NRA would do themselves a lot better if they were able to remind some of their members and allies that in the defense of the Second Amendment, they should not be pushing the limits of the First.
Speaking of karma, there was a shooting at a high school in California yesterday. It happened at the same time that the NRA was meeting with Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun violence.