NRA Says "Boo!," Members Go "Eek!"

Interested in how cynical the National Rifle Association is in stoking its members' fears? A script reportedly for a video to be played by the organization at its Annual Meeting of Members coming to St. Louis this April offers a rare, if not unpredictable, insight. According to www.hoffmania.com, the script was shopped around New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago for voiceover talent and is intended to be the centerpiece of the convention.

A brief bit of NRA history. At one time the Annual Meeting of Members was the venue through which voting members controlled not only the direction, but even the leadership of the organization. The infamous "Cincinnati Revolt" of May 21, 1977, is a touchstone of NRA lore. That day, the membership ousted a leadership suspected of being soft on gun control and replaced them with no-compromise, pro-gun hardliners led by Harlon Carter. (A piece of personal history on Carter, as a 17-year-old the future NRA head shot and killed another child. He was convicted of murder, but was later freed on appeal on a technicality.) This version of NRA "people power" couldn't happen today as the result of bylaw changes instituted by Carter and his successors, including current head Wayne LaPierre, vesting most power with the NRA's board. Today's annual meeting is nothing more than a bellicose puppet show, sparsely attended by a small number of the NRA faithful. The attendees lack any real power, with malcontents limited to offering impotent resolutions that have no effect on the day-to-day workings or political agenda of the organization. Participants, many with bored wives in tow, range from old hunters dressed in flannel regardless of the weather--their hearing ravaged from years of unprotected shooting--to next-generation "Second Amendment Activists" who view unfettered gun ownership as the sole guarantor of freedom. The vast majority of convention attendees skip the meeting, preferring to go and play with the abundance of new firearms on exhibit at the manufacturers' gun show that accompanies the convention.

So why do they go? Because the attendees of the Annual Meeting are the true NRA faithful. They write the letters, go to District meetings for Members of Congress, cajole their sympathetic acquaintances, and bore their next door neighbors. For these gunowners, firearms aren't just a part of their lives, they are their lives. They are, as the phrase goes, the NRA. And they must be motivated.

Which is why the NRA is apparently producing a video that, according to the 'voice specs,' requires a voice that will be "compelling, passionate, and at times scare the hell out of the viewer." The NRA offers this helpful advice: "Think of it as more of a speech than a narrative. Finger waving in the air, fist beating down on the podium. Stirring the masses a la Charlton Heston in his prime." The narration--with video cues that include Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, George Soros, "PETA nutcase," gangs, network news logos (except Fox!), the United Nations, and other 'anti-gun' usual suspects--opens with:

So as we gather ... beware the churning skies, sound the alarm, and prepare for the coming fury.

As billionaires buy the laws and lawmakers they want ... as bureaucrats conduct personal crusades ... as zealots indoctrinate our kids ... as criminal gangs infest our neighborhoods ... as the U.N. applies global pressure ... and as anti-gun forces control the U.S. House and Senate ... if an anti-gun president occupies the White House ... then the perfect storm is upon us.

Its arrival will be hastened by a terrorist attack--which experts say is inevitable.

Then, the final disarmament of law-abiding Americans will take place beneath the shroud of anti-terrorism legislation. And most media will play eager accomplices to mislead Americans down a one-way path to surrender.

Against the visual "majestic treatment of NRA seal," the video concludes:

The towering waves of this coming storm are already crashing upon our doorsteps. But we, the law-abiding, firearm-owning citizens of America, will not evacuate, we will not surrender and we will not be overwhelmed.

The screen that cuts to black, and America's savior, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, is introduced.

With the hell now scared out of them, the meeting attendees can now go repeat this nightmare scenario ad nauseam to anyone who will listen.

So who's the sheeple now?