National Association for Gun Rights Under Fire for Photo that Points Gun at Obama’s Head

The National Association for Gun Rights is under fire for its controversial email images, one that includes a picture of a rifle “pointed” at President Barack Obama’s head. 

The image was included as part of an email campaign sent from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in which he argued that NAGR members should sign the ‘Firearms Freedom Survey’ to take a stance against Obama’s ‘Million Rifle Ban.’

Here’s the image and the message from Sen. Paul:

The NAGR email with a letter head of a rifle 'pointed' at President Obama's head.

Much of the reaction to this image and message was predictable in that it (a) misrepresented the facts and (b) contained extremism.

See, many of the online responses said that the “Million Rifle Ban” was imaginary or fictitious, claiming that it was some ruse dreamed up by NAGR leaders to reinforce the perception that Obama is anti-gun. 

Here, for example, is how a blogger from Daily Kos portrayed the email, “The NAGR is alleging (with no factual support other than their fevered imagination) that President Obama plans to ban millions of guns.” 

What this blogger doesn’t know (or didn’t realize or did realize, but didn’t choose to include in his article) is that the “Million Rifle Ban” refers to a very real, very specific factual dilemma. 

The National Association for Gun Rights logo.That is, the Obama Administration has rejected South Korea’s proposal to export approx. 800,000 M1 Carbines (left over from the Korean War) to the U.S. because they “come with a magazine that can carry multiple rounds unlike the Garands,” according to Korean officials. 

Back in January, Washington did sanction the importation of 87,310 M1 Garands, but said no to the M1 Carbines for that “clips that carry multiple rounds” reason (for more on this story, click here).

The whole point of the four-question ‘Firearms Freedom Survey’ is to lobby the president and congress to save these historic firearms from destruction – or, worse yet, from being shipped off to some other country. 

In other words, this isn’t an “imaginary” ban, but a real issue that sportsmen, collectors and gun lovers are concerned with, hence the photo showcasing the M1.

However, because this inconvenient truth doesn’t fit a certain agenda, it’s dismissed and we get the following explanation as to the intent of the email campaign:

These people are deadly serious about ratcheting up the fear among uniformed (sic) and bigoted individuals against the first African American President in our nation’s history.  Two motives are possible: greed for more money for their pissant organization and the hope that some “lone wolf” might succeed in assassinating our President or killing and/or intimidating other Democrats, and associated liberal organization.  I believe that both are in play.

So, according to this Daily Kos blogger, the email had nothing to do with the M1-Korean-Import situation, but was, instead, a coded message to incite violence.  He went on to say:

The Daily KosAnd no my conservative friends, the left and Democrats don’t do this sort of thing when it comes to Republicans, etc.  You are the purveyors of hatred and division in this country.  You are the people calling for armed violence against our duly elected government and its officials.  You are the ones egging on disturbed individuals to kill or other wise commit terrorist acts against people who are liberals, minorities and Democrats.

You are too blame.  Each and everyone of you who have voted for or support the people who have endorsed these vile attacks and conspiracy theories and incitement for taking up arms against our government.

I don’t really know what to say to that, except that it helps when one considers the facts before he/she draws a conclusion about a group of people.  

The truth is that gun owners are great people.  They’re not uninformed and they’re certainly not bigoted.  To realize this, all one has to do is put aside prejudice and get to know us.  But maybe that’s just asking too much. 

As for the image, the NAGR changed it.  Now the gun faces Sen. Paul’s head.  This raises the question, if the NAGR was hell bent on creating chaos and dividing the country, would it even have bothered to change the picture? 

The NAGR letter head with the rifle reversed, so it is now pointed at Sen. Rand Paul's head.