Miller Supporters: We "Don't Have All The Facts," But We Just KNOW Democrats Are Anti-Gun
The NRA and Gun Owners of America hold an incredible amount of sway over the American electorate. The organizations use their massive membership lists to drive public attitudes about what is happening with gun rights at any given moment. Sometimes that results in a conventional wisdom on the right that is disconnected from reality.
Today, Steve Benen highlighted a conversation between MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and a group of Joe Miller supporters in Alaska. The supporters were adamant that the Obama administration is bent on destroying the Second Amendment, and one of them claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder "is the most anti-gun Attorney General this country has ever had." When Maddow asked him what Holder's done to earn that label, the Miller supporter shot back, "What hasn't he done against guns? Let's ask that question. Let's look at his voting record beforehand."
When Maddow pointed out that Holder doesn't have a voting record because he's not been an elected official, the man was at a loss. Watch:
Notice that the only specific point any of the Miller supporters offered against Holder was not about gun rights, but rather the trumped-up "New Black Panthers" story (which we've written about here). That's because there is simply no factual basis for the belief that this administration is "coming for your guns."
In fact, the Obama era has been very good to gun rights advocates — President Obama signed a law in February that allows firearms in national parks, and the Supreme Court struck down citywide handgun bans — and very frustrating for the gun-control crowd. The Brady Center, probably the biggest gun control lobby in the country, has given Obama failing grades on all seven of its major issues.
But GOA and the NRA, with help from websites like Human Events and their mascots in Congress, keep up the drumbeat about UN treaties and "gun-grabbing" politicians despite the lack of evidence to support their paranoia. Fundraising emails like this one from Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) go out dozens of times a year to remind gun owners to be afraid (and give generously). Talk radio hosts and retired sheriffs rub elbows with Broun and other politicians at rallies to warn that "they" are coming for you without ever explaining their evidence.
In an election year, that echo chamber apparently isn't enough. The NRA has already run 4,314 TV ads this election season, according to ad data reviewed by Political Correction. This example sums up the fact-free fear-mongering tactics the right-wing gun lobby relies upon:
No evidence. No argument. Just ominous words in a solemn voice, and a challenge to the viewer: act now, before they come for your gun, and before you notice there's no evidence in our ad.
This kind of brain-dead advertising and emotional rhetoric goes a long way toward explaining how Joe Miller's supporters can be so utterly misinformed, but so convinced that they are in the right. "I don't have all the facts," says one woman in the Maddow clip, "but I know he's anti-gun." She's certain because the gun lobby has trained her to be certain; she offers no facts because the gun lobby doesn't either.