Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Making You Sick, Then Selling You Snake Oil

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 13, 2007

Avedon, in her recurring role as Not Atrios, asks the following question:

Shouldn’t it concern us that Republicans are constantly talking about how people will all wise up when the next terrorist attack at home comes?

Yes, it should concern us. For one thing, there’ve already been lots of post-9/11 terror attacks at home — Rick Perstein mentioned a few of them back in May, and then there was this recent incident. But we don’t hear much about them (just as we haven’t heard much about the scads of pre-9/11 terrorism incidents in the US) because they’ve been done by conservative white people. Rick Santorum’s not going to go out of his way to criticize, say, white militia members like the Noonday suitcase bombers, because the people that like him also like those white militia members.

Another thing we don’t hear much about is how these terrorists, as well as the brown Muslim ones we hear so much about in the press, actually are aided and abetted by the lobbyists for America’s small-arms industry. As the Washington Post noted in a December 16, 2001 editorial titled “Gun Shows and Terrorists” (now hidden behind the WP’s pay wall), an Al-Qaeda training manual for terrorists found in Afghanistan in 2001 urges would-be terrorists to purchase their weapons at US gun shows, which are very lightly regulated when compared to American gun stores, which must at least do background checks thanks to The Brady Law. In fact, the BATF has essentially been told by the NRA’s puppets in Congress to ease up on gun shows ever since they busted a ton of shifty gun dealers at a Virginia show in 2005.)

The NRA and its friends in the “militia movement” are into the same stock-in-trade: Fear. Their target audience: Those people, generally disenfranchised white males with at most a high-school education and middling to piddling income, who suspect they’re being screwed but either have no clue who’s screwing them — or who know but don’t have the guts to fight the real enemy. The NRA and its allies push fear in general, and fear of non-whites in particular, to these white males, telling them that blacks/liberals/Jews/women/etc. (but never ever ever corrupt corporations or businesses) are the cause of the white guys’ problem — then promptly sell themselves as the solution.

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