Musing about law, books, and politics

It’s Not Just the NRA: It’s the NRA, White Supremacy, and Russia

From the New York Times: A hate-filled manifesto was posted on line minutes before the El Paso massacre which spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners.

It’s well known that during slave days, militias were “beefed up to enforce the plantation system.”

How did militias intended to subdue enslaved people turn into guns for white supremacist killers? A short history lesson from:

Before the 1970s, hunters and gun enthusiasts were members of both political parties.

For the first two centuries of our history, ‘the Second Amendment received little notice . . . scholars paid it little attention. Lawyers rarely raised it in court.”

Then came the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s—the Civil Rights and women’s rights movements.

As part of the backlash against the loss of white male (adding mostly Christian) dominance, the NRA turned into a right wing extremist group. Beginning in the 1970s, the NRA undertook a concerted legal and propaganda campaign to persuade conservatives that liberty meant unfettered access to guns. The demand was for no gun regulations.

From Timothy Snyder: When Putin took a close look at the U.S. for weaknesses to exploit, he noticed the uncontrolled gun violence in America.

Putin understood that there was no better way to stoke discord in the U.S. than to pump more guns into the hands of ordinary people? Outsiders (like Russians) understand right away that the idea that “gun ownership equals freedom” is nonsensical.

In The Road to Unfreedom, Snyder writes that by 2016 Russians including Butina and Alexander Torshin were seeking to infiltrate the NRA. Remember Maria Butina, the Russian agent who was cosy with all those big shot Republicans and the NRA?

Butina entered the US with a persona perfectly calibrated to appeal to the far right wing. She told an “irresistible” story of herself: A “scrappy” girl from Siberia fighting for gun rights in Russia.

Russia “beckoned” (Snyder’s word) to America’s far right wing, presenting Russia as the savior of white majority rule.

It’s no coincidence that the shooters are white supremacists and Putin’s regime is built on homophobia and fear of people who are different.

I’ve argued that the GOP gun lovers and Trump supporters don’t really understand what they’re getting into. They might think they want an America modeled on Putin’s Russia— but of course, they would not be allowed to keep their guns in Putin’s America.

Putin’s goal is to stoke discord in the U.S. Some on the far right wing want Civil War. The white nationalists and authoritarians who have taken over the GOP know they are a shrinking majority.

They see that the future is diverse and multiracial. They’re desperate to return to a bygone era of when white men ruled supreme in the US.

In the coming 15 months, we need to work like we’ve never worked before to turn this around.