The hardcore, paranoid members of the NRA are always happy to applaud stories of guns being used to deter crime. Inside the first couple pages of the NRA’s monthly magazine American Rifleman, you will find tales of armed private citizens who used their guns to stop a crime, sometimes with lethal force. You can find the same column online in their The Armed Citizen blog with regular updates basically reminding their members that guns are needed in the hands of every
God-fearing white American citizen person who can afford to buy a Smith and Wesson.
By the way, just in case you didn’t notice, The Armed Citizen is sponsored by, you guessed it, Smith and Wesson – which just happens to be the brand of pistol that I keep in my home office desk, but now this makes me feel a little bit dirty.
Moving on, here’s a story from Tampa that isn’t getting a lot of national press. Let’s also assume it’s a safe bet that the NRA will not talk about this story at all.
Hillsborough deputies arrested a man who spotted someone with a gun, followed him into a Walmart, and tackled him. The problem? The man with the gun had a concealed weapons permit, and the man who rushed him didn’t call 911 or alert store security.
According to the sheriff’s office, Michael Foster, 43, saw Clarence Daniels, 62, in the Walmart parking lot with a gun holstered under his coat.
Foster followed Daniels into the store, put him in a choke-hold and brought him to the ground, the sheriff’s office said. He then started yelling that Daniels had a gun.
A struggle ensued, with Daniels yelling that he had a permit. Security detained both men until deputies arrived.
They confirmed Daniels had a permit for the gun, and arrested Foster.
He is charged with one count of battery. (Source)
So wannabe Rambo here sees a guy old enough to be his father with a holstered weapon underneath his coat, follows him into Wallyworld, then puts a senior citizen in a chokehold and takes him to the ground. Gee, don’t you think there would be headlines on all the right-wing websites proclaiming how a thug attacked a law-abiding elderly person for legally carrying a weapon? Don’t you think that you’d be hearing pundits on Fox News or The Blaze with Wayne LaPierre proclaiming, “Those young thugs! See? This is why we need guns everywhere!” with ads from Smith and Wesson playing alongside Life Alert during commercial breaks?
What the article fails to mention, unless you look at the thumbnail photos of victim and perp, is that the victim was black and the perp was white. While I don’t believe the NRA itself is a racist organization like the KKK is, it certainly has quite a few members who are. In the past, the NRA was a very different organization and even granted a charter for an armed African-American chapter called the Black Guard in North Carolina back in the 1950s – but that was then and this is now. Imagine if the NRA showed an African-American family with guns in the next issue of American rifleman? Or how about a Mexican-American family? What would happen if they featured the Black Guard I just mentioned that protected the Freedom Riders from the KKK back in Monroe, NC in 1961? Their most vocal fan base would probably shit a proverbial brick and they’d be flooded with angry ALL CAPS email messages and Facebook posts.
The sad and obvious fact of the matter is that the NRA is far different now than just a couple of decades ago. Back when I was a kid, it was still more about hunting, target shooting, gun safety and personal defense even though the change had begun at a lobbyist meeting back in 1977. With the election of President Clinton in 1992 and the assault weapons ban in 1994, they quickly realized how much money they could make from gun fetishists and conspiracy nuts, as well as the companies that sold to these people. You likely won’t hear the NRA comment on this case, let alone condemn Michael Foster for his actions. I’d like to be proven wrong, but I highly doubt that will happen.
*Update* The Facebook page NRA News posted about this at 408 CST on 1/22/15 as a news item with a link to a guns.com story. No official condemnation from them has yet to be issued. We’ll update again if that happens.
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