Hoaxes can run on for years, a few for decades. Still, if we are to believe our Ad Biz people at Occupy Wall Street, National Rifle Association is relying on three major hoaxes to organize their lobbying efforts. This is one helluva risky approach -- similar to hiring Rush Limbaugh to be your campaign manager.
Hoaxes go through life cycles. The further go, the longer they rely on the same schemes, the greater the risk of collapse. Eventually they must depend on getting away with lies.
NRA hammers away with fantasic claims related to violent crime, a Mississippi of self-defense gun battles, and overt futuristic threats of a veritable Gun Confiscation Army. So far, these NRA campaigns have been supported independently. They have fed off each other's marketing momentum. Then there was Sandy Hook Elementary.
We consider the details of the NRA hoaxes below the fold. Suffice it for now that we have FBI tabulations of police reports. Get the facts out to another 10% of the population every year and you can smoke 'em.
Two other bizarrely dishonest RWNJ hoaxes have come unraveled recently:
-- Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff from Harvard have been outed for doctoring research data, plus altering an Excel calculation for their NeoCon research paper, "Growth in a Time of Debt" (May, 2010.) Their published results turned out to be dead wrong.
-- Former Secretary of State George Schultz weighed in for the alternated-history fantasizers, claiming that Ronald Reagan was undefeated in his foreign military adventures. He went on the Meet the Press television program and claimed that the Grenada invasion on 25-October-1983 was "the first use of the American military overseas since Vietnam."
Relatives of the 241 service members killed on 23-October-1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, were surprised at that. Same for relatives of the 63 killed at the Beirut embassy on 18-January-1983 though of course they would not be counted as military. Reagan and his people got 392 people killed over there from a combination of incompetence and stovepiping. And then Reagan turned tail and retreated out of Lebanon with no concessions. He was as dumb at doing military as Bush43.
If you're going to perpetrate a hoax, then make it one helluva grip-it-and-rip-it screamer.
Anyway, political hoaxes can be useful. The reason you don't see Democrats using hoaxes is that it is about as risky a tool as you can find. The whole thing can collapse. Go Whigsville on them. More below the fold......
Let's consider what NRA does to recruit from the male paranoid population.
Paranoia on a plate !! Here's the NRA in all its glory:
– Major Hoax #1: Obama is weak, Librul society falling apart, lax laws, soft on crime judges, handcuffed police, and an explosion of violent crime.
In fact, FBI says violent crime declined by 15.5% from 2007-2011. You are as likely to hear a conservative say that Obama is a strong president as you are to hear them repeat the violent crime rate stats.
– Major Hoax #2: With police missing or otherwise occupied chasing hippies, there are “1,000,000 to 2,500,000″ at-home armed defenses every year.
Utterly fantastic. FBI tabulations show 80 at-home civilian defensive killings in 2010. About twice that for non-lethal at-home defensive shootings. Even with people pulling out guns to investigate raccoons, that makes for no more than 10,000 civilian gun uses at residences per year. The very widest definition for "defense" that we can find put the upper limit at 25,000 defenses a year.
Real gun battles between civilians and criminals at houses occur fewer than 25 times a year. And those events occur year after year in the same high risk neighborhoods.
If you don’t sell drugs out your door, the U.S. has 850 gun accident fatalities a year that are more likely to get you. And surely the 19,000 suicides and the 11,000 homicides (including 8,000+ murders) make these "home defense" guns overwhelmingly more dangerous than they are protective.
NRA is off by 100,000 to 1 on this one. Look at it as an opportunity for improvement.
– Major Hoax #3: this is the Gun Confiscation Army, variously described. We assume that the GCA should be depicted with black helicopters and ninja warrior costumes.
That's a special treat for the true gun lovers. A secret army of federal employees is all lined up to break down your doors and confiscate your guns. The solution to this, of course, is buying more guns. If you’re a true patriot then you sleep with a loaded pistol under your pillow.
This is NRA's effort at a graphic novel. What else?
NRA used these themes to recruit America's male paranoids. $3,000,000,000 a year gets spent with "Home Defense" as the check-off for intended use.
That's three-billion dollars.
Wasted. Spent so the buyer does not have to fear being helpless and in the control of a racial enemy. And yes, it's about race. All these conversations get back to race. That's how it works.
No hoaxes, no NRA. Nothing effective politically, anyway.
They got nothing to sell. No steak. No sizzle. And now they've been selling the same underlying lies for 30 years.
The big news going ahead is that NRA is the second largest self-financing group that backs the Republican Party. After anti-abortion Fundamentalists and Catholics, NRA is critical to their GOTV efforts. And its all smoke and mirrors, no substance at all.
Republican talking points = one hoax after another.
– Growth in a Time of Debt
– FBI 2011 Civilian Justifiable Homicide
NRA taken apart piecemeal by Media Matters:
Bust a lie and you bust the liar. Bust a sytemic hoax and you beat back a dishonest world view.