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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.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooows

Republican talking points = one hoax after another.

– Growth in a Time of Debt

scholar.harvard.edu/files/rogoff/files/growth_in_time_debt_aer.pdf

– FBI 2011 Civilian Justifiable Homicide

www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-15

NRA taken apart piecemeal by Media Matters:

http://mediamatters.org/...

and

http://mediamatters.org/...

Bust a lie and you bust the liar. Bust a sytemic hoax and you beat back a dishonest world view.

Originally posted to the departed on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  bedding most males? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, gerrilea, Temmoku
    When Is a Hoax More Than 6 Inches of Lies?

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:28:07 PM PDT

  •  That's it? (11+ / 0-)

    the only survey we're allowed to believe is one that never actually asks the participants if they used a gun to defend themselves?

    Ok then.

    What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:38:29 PM PDT

    •  Humility is in order about all such numbers. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, LilithGardener, PavePusher

      The best-conducted possible survey would still leave us in doubt about how many of the self-reported defensive gun uses were justified.

      (If defensive gun use worked perfectly, by the way, the number of self-defense shootings would be zero. Counting shootings is almost backwards.)

      It may be over-optimistic to think that facts win in the long run. There are popular misconceptions that have gone on for centuries.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 02:39:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I don't understand is that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, AdamR510

        it's a given that men have lied about their johnson and what they use it for, for decades, for centuries even, yet some people think that self-reported uses and reasons for owning/using a firearm should be accepted as truth.

        Look at all the "accidental shootings"; which are in the majority really are not accidents in my opinion. I see those cases as the ones the police don't want to investigate.

        When the victim and all of the witnesses depend financially on the gun owner, there are powerful incentives to lie about what really happened.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:26:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So defensive gun uses only count if you (16+ / 0-)

    pull the trigger?

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 02:03:20 PM PDT

    •  One claim of defensive use was really hard to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, murrayewv

      accept. It was proposed by the young woman who testified to congress that the AR-15 was her weapon of choice. She claimed to represent many thousands of young mothers who would also choose the AR15, to defend themselves and multiple children when they are home alone, against marauding bands of criminals.

      NRA hammers away with fantasic claims related to violent crime
      What we know about firearm defensive use, is hard to reconcile with her fantasy. 1) we know that a gun locked up in a safe separate from its ammo is hard to justify as an immediate tool for self defense, 2) unsecured firearms, especially if they are loaded, in the home pose a significant hazard of unintentionally shootings by children and suicides by teens, and that it's impossible to carry an AR-15 around the house in a hip or shoulder holster while caring for children.

      No. .

      But we were supposed to accept her testimony as legitimately representing young mothers, who live in an environment so dangerous, yet one from which they have no choice to move away to some place safer, and simply must be allowed to carry a loaded AR15 across their back while they look after their homes and children.

      No one bothered to ask what she would do with the loaded firearm when she takes a shower. Does she leave the young children unattended with the firearm? Or does she lock the firearm up in the safe?

      I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but that one really strained credibility.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:20:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Having been trained to arms by my father (4+ / 0-)

        along with my older siblings, when the time came when a gang tried to break into our home, that training saved our lives.

        Will my testimony appease your arbitrary standards?

        When my sister and I saw the intruders trying to break down our front door, I ran upstairs and told her we needed to load our fathers firearms.  I loaded the 357 and she got the 12 gauge ready.

        When they finally broke the door down, I was standing right in front of them, gun loaded and in my right hand pointing downwards to the floor next to my leg. There was about 12 on the porch and another 6 or 7 in the front yard of our home.  

        I gave them a choice leave now or take another step and be shot, as I pulled the weapon up and pointed it directly at the leader.  He stepped back and then appeared as though he was about to try to take the weapon from me when my sister cocked the 12 gauge.  They fled.

        No shot was fired and no one was killed.  I was 13 yrs old and a firearm saved 4 lives that day.

        Does this count?

        As for you meaningless question about being in the shower.  Firearm safety, training and exposure saves people's lives.   Can a firearm save you ever time, no. But does that me people shouldn't try to take responsibility for their lives and the lives of their children?

        Being trained to have "situational awareness" can give a potential victim the ability to think clearly and act immediately, without hesitation.  The weapon doesn't have to be in the bathroom with them.  It doesn't have to be at their side every moment.  In fact, I doubt that would be feasible. But shouldn't they try to defend themselves?  It's that the idea behind the anti's position: "Just because it won't stop all crime doesn't mean we shouldn't pass laws."

        Is there any difference here?  Isn't it the same thought? Better to do something than nothing, right?

        BTW, it was because of those events in my life that I have never owned a firearm, I chose not to become a killer.  What would my life become had I killed 7 people that day?

        It's a choice I've made, my choice.  

        That's what I call freedom:

        Making a choice and living with the consequences.

        To each, their own.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:52:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, of course it counts - as 1 anecdote (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino

          Yes, of course it counts as one unverified anecdote that a band of about 20 criminals sought to invade an occupied property for some unstated reason.

          I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If your story is true it does show that firearms, with proper training and deployed by people who are fully awake and are not under the influence of alcohol, can, in fact, be used as a deterrent. But so can a large dog, or several dogs.

          But that is not the argument being made.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:27:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My firsthand real life experience that changed (0+ / 0-)

            my complete perspective on violence is an "anecdote" and unverified????

            Really???

            Well, I do not need your approval.  In fact, the "reasons" why that gang tried to break into our home is immaterial, isn't it?

            After I called the police, they came and TOOK the only defense we had AND refused to arrest the intruders.  

            This was Binghamton, New York, circa 1977.  My father spent 2 yrs getting his firearms back from the gun grabbers that left myself and older sister defenseless.

            Oh, that's right they have no duty to protect the individual!

            Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone

            Note that after 35+ yrs later, I'm still angry at their irresponsible actions.

            And OF COURSE your point was to attempt to discredit the Congressional Testimony, as you just again attempted to belittle MY testimony NOW.

            Can't have facts getting in the way of your bigotry.

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:11:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, gerrilea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino

              you are the one who fails to accept the definition of anecdote or to reconcile your contradictory claims.

              I don't know you or anything about you. All dailykos knows is that you report today, under the influence of whatever is driving you today, that you freely choose to not own any firearms.

              Today you report a dramatic story and by inference claim it as THE REASON you freely choose not to own any guns.

              IIRC, in a prior comment you claim to be a person  prohibited from owning guns in the state where you live.

              There is no way for anyone at dailykos to know whether either claim is true. But the two claims contradict each other.

              And no, pointing that out doesn't make one a bigot.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:22:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hon, I've been discussing this for years. (0+ / 0-)

                Just because you may have missed it doesn't mean squat.

                And I really don't have any contradictory positions here.

                I chose not to own a firearm, this doesn't change the fact that my created government has denied me a right I once had.

                The abrogation of rights is not a progressive value, IMO.

                The concepts are really, really simple:

                freedom of choice
                innocent until proven guilty

                 you are the one who fails to accept the definition of anecdote
                Really???  Is this some Orwellian Doublespeak now?
                World English Dictionary
                anecdote (ˈænɪkˌdəʊt) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
                 —n
                    a short usually amusing account of an incident, esp a personal or biographical one

                [C17: from Medieval Latin anecdota unpublished items, from Greek anekdotos unpublished, from an- + ekdotos published, from ekdidonai, from ek- out + didonai to give]

                Some things in my life might be amusing but those events surely were not.

                Your attempts to belittle and obfuscate is insulting.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:02:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  People determined to feel insulted sometimes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  succeed.

                  Please proceed,

                  to have a lovely day.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:22:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You've followed me around before and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sandino

                  made false accusations. Please just stop.

                  I'm sorry I wasted my time, and took the bait. Won't make that mistake again.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:25:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who's playing "victim" now? (0+ / 0-)

                    I can't "follow you around" on a blog.  We both ended up in the same diary, WOW.

                    You made a statement, I replied.

                    Wow again.

                    Are your statements not meant to be replied to? If that's the case, could you mention it to management.

                    -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                    by gerrilea on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:43:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, just like negligent homicide (0+ / 0-)

      so many deadly gun accidents are not reported just because the toddler didn't actually pull the trigger.

    •  Actually, only if the attacker deceases. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, theatre goon, KVoimakas, gerrilea

      Rather a dishonest use of a stat there.

      Or, perhaps, utterly ignorant of the definition of "self-defense"... >shrug<

      Your hate-mail will be graded.

      by PavePusher on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:32:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, from what I can see... (11+ / 0-)

    ...you are just making up whatever you like and attributing it to a group that you know most people here will join you in disliking.

    Or, can you cite the NRA actually making these claims:

    Obama is weak, Librul society falling apart, lax laws, soft on crime judges, handcuffed police, and an explosion of violent crime.
    With police missing or otherwise occupied chasing hippies...
    We assume that the GCA should be depicted with black helicopters and ninja warrior costumes.
    And, I am asking for actual cites here, not creative interpretations that you would like to read this way.

    If you cannot, then you are just attributing false stances to a group that does not take them.  Maybe it's just me, but that could be creatively defined as a "hoax," in and of itself.

    There are plenty of things to take the NRA to task for, but it seems dishonest to take them to task for things they haven't actually said...

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 02:10:45 PM PDT

  •  Great news (8+ / 0-)
    In fact, FBI says violent crime declined by 15.5% from 2007-2011
    You mean in the complete absence of stricter gun control laws over that period, violent crime has dropped about 15%?

    That's great news! Now, how exactly does this fit into a narrative that says we have a need for strict new gun laws? Clearly it is not needed to stop a non-existent increase in violent crime.

    •  Isn't that average somewhat misleading? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      Didn't overall violent crime statistics drop, but the drop was most in the cities, and some suburban and rural areas saw violent crime increase?

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:07:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good question (5+ / 0-)

        I did not see an easy way to extract that from the FBI data, but there are subscription sites like:

        http://www.policymap.com/...

        That seem to have the capability. I have found some individual maps and tables of crime vs. population density (here and here), but none as a series over time.

        In general, the rate of violent crime per 100,000 goes down with decreasing population density. Packing people in gives more potential for confrontation. Combine that with more people being "city folk", and most of your violent crime is an urban problem. Conversely, fixes to the problem would presumably have the biggest impact in urban areas. And politically speaking, the areas with the lower crime rates per capita and lower populations as a whole are more likely to be resistant to calls for regulating a problem that they do not have. I wonder how the gun control votes in the Senate went in terms of the population density of the states?

        If you come across data showing the trends in violent crime by population density over time, please message me privately as I would love to have the info available.

        •  One thing to keep in mind (0+ / 0-)

          is that big hump in the mid 90s in plots of gun violence over time was largely due to New York, and the crack epidemic that devastated the city.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:10:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  West Virginia Crime rate increased..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, Sandino

        and they are very heavily armed here.  

        The correlation between being armed and being safe from crime is deeply held belief of many.  The story of defending against home invasion by a gang is powerful and gets repeated and amplified.  But it isn't examined deeply and most often, the story winds up not being reported to police to be accounted for in crime statistics.  In fact, a lot of self defense uses of firearms are criminals fighting criminals- that is a large unintended consequence of the Florida self defense laws.  There are definitely home invasions that are fought off- but when they occur in law abiding citizen's homes, those stories are in the newspapers and make CNN headlines- granny with a gun, retired congressman with a gun, etc.

        The facts don't support this home defense scenario being common- but not impossible.  That is the problem with failure to understand data and fully understanding anecdote.  One anecdote trumps a dozen analyses of data.  That is why women insist on getting unnecessary mammograms, even though their value in lower risk groups is low.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 02:07:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought "reliable" statistics were stopped (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, andalusi

          by the NRA?

          That's what everyone around here keeps saying.

          So, how do we know anything?  For or against?

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 07:52:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I love how people throw stats around... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea

            ...then, almost in the same breath, claim that there is some universal prohibition against gathering any data.

            If that were the case, where do all those stats come from, one must wonder.

            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

            by theatre goon on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 09:56:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Violent crime is not the problem (0+ / 0-)

      it is all the deadly gun accidents that the gun nuts inflict on society for the sake of their deadly little hobby and their fear-drenched race-war fantasies.

  •  Your "Major Hoax #2", dispatched: (9+ / 0-)

    http://www.keepandbeararms.com/

    http://gunssavelives.net/...

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/...

    Sorry about the NRA citation, but they do reference the original news articles.  When Mother Jones does so, I'll be happy to use them as a cite.

    Your hate-mail will be graded.

    by PavePusher on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:40:46 PM PDT

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