Just like clockwork you can count on Conservatives to ramp up the gun paranoia whenever an election rolls around. They’re coming for your guns! Buy more now! Hurry! Gun sales fly off the charts, gun manufacturers make a fortune, and, well … nobody ever comes for those guns. RWNJs will connect anything and everything back to gun rights, and no matter how far fetched it sounds to a rational person, there will be believers. The latest convoluted connection between natural events and gun grabbing comes to us from WND and Morgan Brittany, host of the conservative show PolitiChicks. According to Media Matters:
A columnist for conspiracy site WND asked [her] whether the Obama administration has “orchestrated” Ebola and other crises in order to declare “martial law” and seize everyone’s guns.
Evidently, Ms. Brittany had recently attended a dinner party laced with conspiracy nuts, and a conversation about Ebola predictably snowballed into fear mongering that the government has a coffin ready and waiting for you – because they want your guns, of course. Here’s what she told WND:
One of the men brought up the fact that Washington has known for months if not years that we were at risk for some sort of global pandemic. According to a government supplier of emergency products, the Disaster Assistance Response Team was told to be prepared to be activated in the month of October for an outbreak of Ebola.
Hmm, that’s just like the fact that they knew 60,000 illegal children were going to be coming across our southern border eight months before it happened.
Questions were then brought up about the stockpiling of ammunition and weapons by Homeland Security over the past couple of years and the $1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins supposedly stored in Georgia. Why was there preparation being made for FEMA camps to house people in isolation? These were the questions being seriously discussed.
Obviously Ms. Brittany either believes this nonsense, or is quite content to sit back and let idiocy reign as long as it’s directed at the current President, and gets the gun paranoia boiling. Let’s look at the “plot”, point by point:
1. Risk of global pandemic:
Anyone who doesn’t realize we risk some sort of global pandemic on a daily basis is a fool. The number of countries without adequate sanitation, coupled with the speed with which people can travel the world, is a recipe for the spread of disease. Consider the site Health Map: it plots diseases throughout the world on a daily/weekly basis. In addition to Ebola, there are cases of Dengue, Cholera, Hepatitis, Swine Flu, and Marburg Fever; in fact currently, it seems there as many if not more cases of Dengue as Ebola. Any developed country not prepared for disease on a grand scale would be derelict in protection of its citizens.
2. The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART):
This was originally a Canadian unit established around 1994 as an answer to “the need for a rapid-response capability to provide effective humanitarian aid”. The U.S. does not have one centralized DART; states and cities have established their own to support police departments and municipalities. The claim about an October preparedness command has been thoroughly debunked.
3. 60,000 children crossing the border:
The government didn’t “know” 60,000 children would cross the border “8 months ahead of time”, it was a projection for 2014 based on data (you know, that critical thinking stuff Conservatives hate so much):
Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 2013: Whereas the number of children apprehended averaged 6,800 between federal fiscal years (FY) (October 1-September 30) 2004 and 2011, the total jumped to over 13,000 children in FY2012 and over 24,000 children in FY 2013. HHS/ORR, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimate that more than 60,000 unaccompanied minors could enter the United States during 2014.
4. “Government stockpiling ammunition”:
When even Breitbart admits this is a myth, you know it’s full blown ridiculous:
The concerns surrounding DHS stockpiling ammunition are nothing but more fear-mongering and largely unwarranted.
You can read their full myth vs. fact report here, and I must say, it’s the most rational thing I’ve ever seen come out of that site. Another thing important to note: Some of those government orders were placed as far back as 2003; try as they might, Conservatives, can’t place Obama in the White House at that time.
5. “$1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins” From Fact Check:
These containers aren’t “disposable coffins” for bodies; they’re placed in the ground to protect the coffin from water seepage and to maintain level ground above, according to Snopes.com.
Conspiracy theories about the containers started appearing in 2007… [Oops, no Obama in the White House then either] tens of thousands of the vaults were stored on leased land in Madison, Ga., back in the 1990s by the manufacturer, the nearby Vantage Products Corp.
…the burial vaults aren’t owned by the government, or FEMA, or any one individual; they have either been sold to funeral homes for pre-need arrangements, or are being stored until sold.
Everything eventually circles back to gun control paranoia for Conservatives. Is it because Americans are in imminent danger of losing their 2nd Amendment rights? Hardly. When you have nothing to offer your voters in the way of substance, you prey on their fears; and Conservatives know the best way to do that is talking about gun rights. Anything that keeps the working class from thinking about income inequality, jobs, wages, or the lack of Conservative solutions, and deflects their anger toward President Obama (not that most of them need help in that area), keeps Republicans and the Tea Party from needing any kind of actual plan.
The more Conservatives and the NRA hype their “Coming for your guns” meme, the more money the gun makers, lobbyists, NRA, and yes – Wayne LaPierre make. That’s all it’s ever really been about. As Consortium News put it:
The bottom line is that it really is the bottom line: money. The NRA and its gun lobby pals keep the market jumping.
So firearms and ammunition manufacturers, including Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Rugar, and Olin (Winchester Ammunition), give the NRA millions. Depending on the company, this includes direct contributions, percentages of sales and sometimes even free NRA memberships with a purchase.
That’s why, as I’ve mentioned, things start going off the gun paranoia charts around election time. At the NRA’s 2014 convention in April, spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen began dutifully blowing the horn:
“This really is a do-or-die year for the NRA and for Second Amendment rights.”
Of course it is. Again. Indiana’s Fox 59 reported at the time:
“Our freedom is under attack and we simply have no other option than to take action if we are to repel this attack,” reads the narrative description of the NHR-ILA Grassroots Workshop: Stand and Fight in the 2014 Elections. “This is the time to prepare for the inevitable battles we will face in the future.”
Rep Mike Kelly (R-PA) told a conservative site in March of this year:
You have to constantly be ringing that bell, ‘They’re coming for your guns, they’re coming for your guns.’ Because as soon as we back off, we lose. And if we let them convince us that they really don’t want to take our guns away, then we lose.
They would lose more than they think; without constant stoking of the phony gun paranoia machine, red state voters might actually pay attention to how badly they’re being screwed by their own party.