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5 Lowlights From The 2014 NRA Convention

Memo Pad Politics Slideshow

5 Lowlights From The 2014 NRA Convention


guns don't kill people

AFP Photo/Karen Bleier

After successfully beating back congressional attempts to strengthen gun laws, and watching firearm sales rocket to a 27-year high, one might think that the National Rifle Association would be in a good mood at its annual convention, which took place in Indianapolis over the weekend.

But that wasn’t the case; as in past years, the gathering was dominated by the twin themes of paranoia about a coming government gun grab, and anger at liberal elitists who want to take away your freedom.

The weekend was filled with events and speeches illustrating the NRA’s warped worldview — but some veered even further away from the mainstream than expected. Here are five of the lowlights:

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Gene Simmon April 28, 2014

    I was not there, but sure wish I could have been. I bet there were plenty of good deals on guns and related items. What do you all think? As far as what some speakers said, well, shouldn’t they be allowed to talk? I bet there were lots of good thing said as well.

    1. Independent1 April 28, 2014

      So you wanted to be there to drink in the koolaid of lies from the NRA?? For what??

      If you have the misguided idea that owning a gun will protect you, you are sadly mistaken. Owning a gun will only make the possibility you may be killed by a gun go up by almost 5 times.

      And in case you have some idea that gun ownership in America is expanding, you couldn’t be more wrong about that too – more and more Americans are realizing that the NRA is lying about everything!! Guess why LaPierre is lying!! Because he can see that gun ownership is falling off and he only has a job if the NRA stays viable.

      See this from the NYTimes:

      The share of American households with guns has declined over the past four decades, a national survey shows, with some of the most surprising drops in the South and the Western mountain states, where guns are deeply embedded in the culture.

      The gun ownership rate has fallen across a broad cross section of households since the early 1970s, according to data from the General Social Survey, a public opinion survey conducted every two years that asks a sample of American adults if they have guns at home, among other questions.

      The rate has dropped in cities large and small, in suburbs and rural areas and in all regions of the country. It has fallen among households with children, and among those without. It has declined for households that say they are very happy, and for those that say they are not. It is down among churchgoers and those who never sit in pews.

      The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

      In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

      1. whodatbob April 29, 2014

        Interesting article. As a relatively new gun owner I suspect Mr. Webster is incorrect in his thought that the increase in gun sales is limited to current gun owners, but many people are becoming first time gun owners.

        When a gun is purchased from a licensed dealer an NRA application is included in the paperwork. Sure makes it easy to join, I did not. The NRA is an extremist organization as radical as the Mayor Bloomberg and his kind on the other side.

        As long as both extremes control the debate reasonable gun control is impossible.

        1. Independent1 April 29, 2014

          You’re so right! There needs to be a balance, and unfortunately, the extremists on both sides are not allowing much of anything to change.

          I didn’t really believe that the current gun sale surge was all purchases by existing gun owners, but since there doesn’t appear to be as much of a rise in the percent of those owning guns as one might expect from the hoopla, there must be a fair number of existing gun owners who are giving up their guns to somewhat offset the increased new sales that it appears are taking place.

      2. ralphkr April 30, 2014

        Well, Independent1, if being a gun owner makes me five times more likely to be killed then I must be extremely lucky because I own multiple guns and have for many decades. Of course, the case could be made that your claim could be true because, on more than one occasion, I have removed people from the gene pool because THEY had guns and were shooting at me. On the other hand, I would not have been where they could shoot at me if I had not been armed and called to the area to preserve the peace or, more importantly, bail out a fellow LEO.

        1. Independent1 April 30, 2014

          Ralph, I don’t do the studies that make the stats, I just report what I find. The actual number is 4.46 times and it came out of a study that was done of around 625 assault cases that involved a shooting. I’m sure there are a number of people who own guns that have used them very successfully for self-protection similar to what you have, so you can only imagine how many others have been very unsuccessful and have ended up on the wrong end of a shooting for the average from the study to be that someone packing a gun has 4.46 times more likelihood of being injured or killed than someone not packing a weapon.

          Here’s an excerpt from the study where I got those figures (I’ll post the link so you can review the entire study if you’d like):

          The issue of “home defense” or protection against intruders or assailants may well be misrepresented. A study of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides (Kellermann et al, 1998). Over 50% of all households in the U.S. admit to having firearms (Nelson et al, 1987). In another study, regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home (Dahlberg, Ikeda and Kresnow, 2004). Persons who own a gun and who engage in abuse of intimate partners such as a spouse are more likely to use a gun to threaten their intimate partner. (Rothman et al, 2005). Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession (Branas et al, 2009). It would appear that, rather than being used for defense, most of these weapons
          inflict injuries on the owners and their families.


          1. ralphkr April 30, 2014

            Sorry, Independent1, but I fear that my post was a combination of facetiousness (making fun of those who state as absolute what are generalities generated by statistics) and striking back at those (not you) who are adamant that I am an evil person because I own and use guns.

            The main thing the study shows is that too many careless untrained people have fire arms. Of course, the same thing could be said about operators of automobiles which kill far more people than firearms.

            I must also say that I do not agree that suicide by firearm should be included with homicide as wrongful death caused by a firearm since there are many ways to commit suicide and, after having been on the scene of various suicides, I must say that there are far less messy ways to accomplish a suicide than using a firearm.

          2. Independent1 April 30, 2014

            Ralph, If you combine the suicides with the homicides, the number of people killed each year by guns and cars is almost the same; cars are just barely account for more deaths each year than guns. (And that doesn’t count the 200,000 who are injured every year by accidental gunshots with about 70,000 needing medical care from an ER.)

            My sense is a lot of people commit suicide with guns who wouldn’t commit suicide any other way- because I believe people’s perceptions are that with a gun ‘”it’s sure and final”. Whereas, with almost any other way to commit suicide, aside from jumping off a cliff or bridge maybe, there’s a big chance it won’t be final.

            I also think the NRA’s rhetoric similar to “millions of people use guns everyday for self-protection” leads a lot of people to buy a gun, thinking that using one to protect themselves is easy, simply because the NRA makes it sound that way. So they don’t realize that they really need to learn how to really use a gun before they get into a self-protection situation. And so they don’t get any training on how to use a gun and therefore end up being wounded or killed when they try using the gun they bought for the first time to supposedly protect themselves.

          3. ralphkr May 1, 2014

            I don’t agree with NRA that millions of people use guns everyday for self-protection since there are far fewer verifiable instances available than their claim however, there are a number of instances every year. We do agree that a person needs training if they have a firearm and I must say that I have seen people with military training freeze when facing live fire so a person needs more than just training in how to handle a weapon but also in how to handle extremely tense situations. Very few people shall take the time to practice time after time after time so that when push comes to shove their actions shall be automatic

          4. Independent1 May 1, 2014

            What you point out about people freezing in tense situations could be the reason why of about 11,000 homicides a year, less than 3% are justifiable homicides for the purpose of self-defense (less than 330 out of 11,000). And that’s despite the fact that the majority of firearms related homicides occur in states with high percentages of gun ownership.

            For example, Montana has one of the highest rates of gun ownership, close to 60%, while it also has one of the highest rates of firearms related homicides. Which to me clearly shows that a lot of those killed by a firearm have to be gun owners, who either couldn’t get to the gun they owned in time to protect themself, didn’t really know how to use the gun they owned well enough in an emergency situation or as you pointed out, just froze and couldn’t get a shot off in time to save themself.

          5. idamag May 2, 2014

            There are always someone who knows one exception that negates all the studies. I remember them finding an abundance of dangerous pathogens in standing water and advising people not to drink it. A guy, I worked with, said he always drank out of standing water when he was a kid and he was still alive so that was bunk.

    2. Bill Thompson April 29, 2014

      I’m sure they would’ve appreciated the entertainment you would have provided but then a man in all that makeup might have gotten you shot.

    3. awakenaustin April 29, 2014

      Sure they should be allowed to speak. No one said they couldn’t speak. I think most of the focus was on their stupidity and paranoia.
      Maybe you should get copies of the speeches, read them, summarize them and get back to us with all the good things they said. You know, as a counterbalance.

  2. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh April 29, 2014

    French Republicans? Isn’t Wayne LaPierre a Republican and French? Methinks Mister Levin needs to apologize to Wayne, unless said French Republican is too stupid to understand that he meets the ethnic and political criteria established in Levin’s scree.

    1. ps0rjl April 29, 2014

      Logic is not required at the NRA convention. Only rabid paranoia that a few guns can help alleviate.

  3. stcroixcarp April 29, 2014

    Once again the NRA proves itself to be a treasonous terrorist organization. Maybe they need Sarah Palin style baptism.

  4. ps0rjl April 29, 2014

    The crazies are in full bloom!. So one speaker believes liberals should not own guns? Nobody cared about me using guns when I was in the Marines doing Vietnam. I guess it was okay for me to have one then so I could defend chickenhawks like Wayne LaPierrre.

    1. terry b April 29, 2014

      Well said. As are many of the post out here. The crazies are out in full bloom. Stupidity and ignorance seems to plague our country because these groups of people seem to grow year after year.

    2. midway54 April 29, 2014

      Thanks for your service….and for a well-stated post.

    3. merr7242 June 10, 2014

      We appreciate your service. You will notice that none of these NRA folks or GOP politicians went to nam, Gulf War, Iraq or Afghanistan. They just like to talk like they are big men.

  5. jointerjohn April 29, 2014

    How revealing it is that Ms. Palin chose to associate a Christian sacrament of forgiveness and rebirth to vicious hideous torture. I’m sure her Jesus is on board with this, you know he was a big fan of torture. So, where are the Christian leaders on this subject? Why haven’t they come out to condemn her analogy? The idea of torturing some non-Christian people of color just too appealing?

    1. Independent1 April 29, 2014

      Sadly, a large portion of the supposed Christian establishment in the world today is CINO (Christian in Name Only).

      1. jointerjohn April 29, 2014

        Well heck, ain’t no fun in being a Christian if you can’t tell other people how to live their lives. If you take that away from it feeling superior is about the only thing left that I can enjoy!

        1. Independent1 April 29, 2014

          You go it!! There’s apparently nothing more rewarding to some people than for them to feel so self-righteous about the fact that they are the only ones who know precisely what God is thinking that they can go about telling everyone else just how they should be living their lives.

        2. merr7242 June 10, 2014

          I’m assuming that you are just being sarcastic but, it is really true. One thing I learned is that if you need to tell everyone the good deeds you have done, you didn’t do it for the right reason.

    2. holyreality April 29, 2014

      John the Waterboarder?

      That doesn’t sound like way to get prospective believers to sign up.

  6. terry b April 29, 2014

    Sarah Palin loves to back up the countries claim that she is the dumbest person to ever have run for national office. She talks about backing up the right to own a gun but is totally for stripping women of the right to choose. She loves the idea of stripping people of their right to vote. If the NRA would actually back up those rights as well as the right to bear arms, more people would actually be more interested in backing them up. Not possible because logic and common sense are two things that many of their members are totally bereft of.

    1. midway54 April 29, 2014

      Now, now, you are offending the dupes and yahoos among the NRA crowd by those remarks about their queen, Shrieking Sarah Palin who rants frequently at Fox “News” where many of them obviously gather to be worked into a frenzy against them un-American libruls.

    2. Independent1 April 29, 2014

      You may have seen this article about Justice Stevens’ opinion on the 2nd Amendment, and I’m sure many NRA lovers will dispute what he says, but if he’s right about the 200 years of belief that the 2nd Amendment only applies to those involved in militia activity (which really is no more) then they average citizens right to own a gun is not different than their right to drive a car – which obviously can be controlled, licensed and recorded for anyone to see – which is something gun owners seem so adamant to oppose.

      In case you haven’t seen Justice Stevens’ thoughts on how the 2nd Amendment was viewed for more than 200 years until a right-wing Supreme Court changed that in 2008, here’s a snapshot of his thoughts:

      For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”

      Here’s a link to the whole DailyKos article on his thoughts:


      1. terry b April 29, 2014

        I’m not used to such articulate and intelligent posts on these kind of sites. Your post is top shelf and thus I felt that I had to respond to it like this. Needless to say, I’m impressed.

        1. Independent1 April 29, 2014

          Thanks! I like to think that I help the dialog on the NM, although I’m sure I don’t always accomplish that as I do get testy sometimes, but I try.

          1. holyreality April 29, 2014

            I remember some famous zombie saying something about casting pearls before swine.

            But maybe I remember incorrectly.

    3. jnap April 29, 2014

      Palin is all for torture but what if it was one of her kids that was being tortured?

  7. jmprint April 29, 2014

    Sarah Palin makes me sick at my stomach, just listening to her, as if her kind are the only ones with rights to the constitution. She is an idiot.

    1. latebloomingrandma April 29, 2014

      And her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Plus, her version of Christianity is far from any truths. Making a sacrilege out of Baptism shows where her heart lies and it’s not with the Prince of Peace.

      1. whodatbob April 29, 2014

        Most Christians, particularly conservative Christians are totally out of touch with Christ teachings. I am a Christian and attend Mass most Sundays and Holy days.

  8. midway54 April 29, 2014

    I am a gun owner, and not a member of the NRA crowd headed by a nitwit. His simplistic, immature much of the time blather must be insulting to the intelligence of many of the more rational members.

    1. idamag April 29, 2014

      I am a gun owner. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a gun nut.

    2. whodatbob April 29, 2014

      I am a gun owner and refuse to join the NRA, a wacko extremist group.

    3. Sand_Cat April 29, 2014

      I’m not a gun owner, but I’ve thought more than once that I may need one some day to defend myself against those “responsible, law-abiding” members of the NRA and the other armed lunatics.

      Best bumper sticker I’ve seen recently:
      How many armed psychopaths does it take to change a gun law?

      1. Duckbudder April 29, 2014

        I am also a gun owner, and a Vet. I’m not afraid that Obama’s commin’ to take my guns. I’m not afraid to walk unarmed in public. I believe I have a right to own a firearm. I also believe I have a responsibly to handle it safely. That being said, the only person I am totally comfortable with handling a gun in my presences is me.

        1. WhutHeSaid April 29, 2014

          I believe that it’s people like you they had in mind when authoring the 2nd Amendment. Responsible and reasonable — and sane. Kudos to you.

          1. Duckbudder April 30, 2014


        2. Sand_Cat April 30, 2014

          And I have no problem with you or your gun. It’s nice to hear some sanity from gun owners. Hope there are lots more like you from whom we haven’t heard because the lunatics are shouting louder.
          When I was a kid, always wanted a gun, and I enjoyed shooting with my younger brother, but as I became an adult, that wish went the way of my desire for a motorbike.
          I would not support any gun law which kept the guns from sane, law-abiding citizens, but my definition of sanity doesn’t include the need to maintain an arsenal because the UN or anyone else is supposedly plotting to take away guns and all one’s “liberties” when no one’s looking and the belief that domination by such anti-gun conspirators is just around the corner, one background check away. As I’ve said before, I have never felt all that comfortable with gun control except when I listen to the NRA or others planning to defend their “liberties” from a fairly elected government acting within its legitimate powers. Most of that crowd seem to vote – if they vote at all – mostly for people who make me start to worry about my liberties.

          1. Duckbudder April 30, 2014

            What good will an M-16, or AK47 be against a Tank, or Helicopter? When I was young I enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. Now it’s just what I do to prepare for winter. Cut fire wood, put the storm windows on, and put some meat in the freezer. I have ammunition for my deer gun that must be close to 20 years old, it’s been a long time since I fired more than one shot in a season.

          2. idamag May 2, 2014

            After everyone has an assault rifle, they might want something effective against assault rifles and try to make grenades, bazookas, and drones legal for everyone.

      2. midway54 April 30, 2014

        Unfortunately, in some areas one of them might decide in a rage to decorate the vehicle with the use of a screw driver.

  9. browninghipower April 29, 2014

    I often wonder why the only planes that crash have liberals on board. Hmmmmm…one can only fantasize about the planes carrying the likes of these assholes, eh?

    1. STMBT April 29, 2014

      I am a gun owner also. and not a member nor agree with the bull%&#t that the NRA spreads.
      When a person leaves his home with a gun, He leaves with a chip on his shoulder from the get go. just dareing someone to knock it off.

      1. idamag May 2, 2014

        Damn, you are good at descriptions. I have been trying all kinds of descriptions of these people. The word belligerent came to mind. “Chip on the shoulder” says it all. Some of them might be hoping for a confrontation.

  10. mah101 April 29, 2014

    In a civilized nation, these people would be considered sociopathic. This is the public version of yelling fire in a crowded theater – it is harmful to our nation.

  11. Michael Ross April 29, 2014

    The only thing Pratt got right is that people are saying “enough, no farther.”

    What he conveniently left out, of course, is that people are saying it to the pro-gun purists, not to the government. It’s the NRA that America has had enough of, and the only reason more people are not saying so openly is because they’re afraid of getting shot.

    1. whodatbob April 29, 2014

      Nobody is worried about being shot. A lot of us are shouting enough is enough to the extremist on both sides of this debate. and each side answers the others wacko statement with an even more extreme statement. The anti gun extremist are just as bad as the gun fanatics.

        1. whodatbob April 29, 2014

          Yes! Both sides, the extremist on both sides. They are the ones driving the debate. Voices of cool headed thinkers on both sides are drowned out by all the babble from the extremes.

          1. Michael Ross April 30, 2014

            Oh really? Name one Democratic extremist. And don’t say “Obama because he’s a socialist!”

            Bill Maher may be a comedian, but you can’t deny that 99% of what he says in that monologue is true.

            There are no Democratic lawmakers who say 9/11 was an inside job, but plenty of Republicans who are comfortable insisting that Obama is a socialist.

            There are no Democrats who want to abolish capitalism, but plenty of Republicans who want to abolish all government aid programs.

            Conservative websites spew forth the most vile conspiracy theories on a daily basis, but Democrats only promote conspiracy theories about Republicans on April Fools’ Day.

            And while Bush used executive orders to force the country into a fraudulently justified ten-year war without any hassle from Democrats, Obama can’t even fart without Larry Klayman, Jim Garrow, Erik Rush, Paul Vallely, Alan Keyes, etc., etc. threatening to overthrow the government and have him murdered.

            Republicans have militias, neo-confederates and militant fundamentalists. Democrats have tree-huggers, nudists and animal rights activists. Bullshit there are extremists on both sides.

          2. whodatbob April 30, 2014


          3. whodatbob April 30, 2014

            99% of Bill Maher’s monologue is true Bull S#$t! The rest of your post does not pertain to the subject. But thanks for responding.

        2. whodatbob April 29, 2014

          Bill Maher is one of us, a Democrat, he is also a comedian not an annalist. As such he bends, stretches, and sometimes makes up facts to get a laugh. A very funny man, loose with the facts, not to be taken seriously but laughed with.

          1. Sand_Cat April 30, 2014

            Not to argue with you too much, but frankly I didn’t see much to criticize in what Bill said in this clip. Perhaps there was some rhetorical excess in the interest of humor, but it seems to me he’s basically right that there really isn’t anyone on the GOP side of the aisle to work with on most issues. There are hopefully some who squirm a lot at the GOP claims, but they are not the “leaders” because they dare not stand against the crazies.

    2. Shitward Testicles May 5, 2014


      Look, I know that you and Eugene Krack hate each other, but I thought it would be interesting for you to know that he started a new blog called “WowWie List”.

      Specter Le Spooky gave me the link, and I read the article. There’s only one so far, and it honestly is not half bad at all. At least it shows one of the few moments where Eugene Krack actually has a heart and that he has an eye for talent. Here’s the link below, I think you might be surprised at the content:

      http://wowwielist.blogspot.com… s

  12. tdm3624 April 29, 2014

    The 2nd Amendment is poorly written. I doubt that the writers could ever have imagined how big an issue this would become.

    1. holyreality April 29, 2014

      Indeed, Madison would shudder at his words being used to arm psycopaths who then shoot up schools, theaters, and other public places.

    2. ThomasBonsell April 29, 2014

      I understand the Second Amendment clearly: the population is to be armed so that well regulated militias could be formed to protect the security of a free state.

      The people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were highly educated and intellectually astute so had no trouble understanding the English language. They assumed that all Americans in the future would also be able to understand language. Boy were they wrong.

    3. idamag May 2, 2014

      I agree with you. If they could have foreseen the insanity and paranoia that prevails, now, they would have put safeguards in the second amendment to close those loopholes.

  13. holyreality April 29, 2014

    The Militia during the early years of the American Republic was a vital source of fighting power to support the government.

    Today a militia is a group of gun-nut white supremecist “patriots” who want to destroy what their sacred Constitution CREATED.

    The 2nd was intended to preserve the right to arm men who would fight to preserve the union, not sack it, not to shoot an unarmed teen, not to shoot up schools and theaters.

  14. idamag May 2, 2014

    cars don’t kill people, its mostly the gasoline.

  15. merr7242 June 10, 2014

    I get the feeling that the NRA is using this paranoia about President Obama will take your guns” to get the teabaglicans lathered up, because they don’t have anything else to say now that Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi is gone flat, Darrell Issa has to win his reelection and doesn’t want any fallout until after November, Fast & Furious was a non-issue, and they run out of steam. Now its another round of “Obama is coming for your guns.” I’m sure every gun owner is very upset. And, as far as Militias go, they aren’t necessary because we have police forces all over the US to keep the peace.


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