By Bill Maher
Last week we got some evidence that the NRA may be an even bigger bunch of assholes than had been previously suspected. We weren't giving them enough credit.
President Obama revealed in an interview in "New Republic" that he loves guns too! He even shoots them. "In fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."
Obama didn't leave it at that, either -- he reached out even further:
"I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake." Obama went on to say that he understood what guns meant to rural folk and that advocates of gun control "have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes."
And naturally the NRA hailed this as an important step and expressed interest at finding common ground with the President of the United States. No, I kid. They immediately bitch-slapped him. Their chief lobbyist, the aptly named Chris Cox, shot back, "The Second Amendment is not about shooting skeet, and it's not a tradition. It is a fundamental right upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court."
See? Fuck you, Count Blackula -- we don't need your bony, skeet-shooting ass.
Why the hostility? Because the NRA has something in common with the Tea-baggers and a lot of the "movement" oriented jerkoffs on the right wing: More than they need politicians and laws and policy victories, they need hate. And fear.
Gun rights can exist without hate and fear. But the NRA can't. Spending cuts and fiscal responsibility can happen in a friendly environment, but the Tea Party can't. It doesn't make sense to dress up like American revolutionaries, after all, unless you believe that somebody on the other side is playing the redcoats.
If Obama comes across as pro-gun, which he is, and nobody's coming for your guns, which they're not, what can you do to stay relevant? You have to fear-monger, right?
No. You also have the option to acknowledge that your agenda has succeeded, that society has moved into your corner, and allow yourself to become a more serene, grandfatherly presence in the national dialogue. What I'm saying is that the NRA should be more like the NAACP.
There's still racism in this country, but after years of overturning the Jim Crow laws and working on getting the Civil Rights Act passed and pushing desegregation, the NAACP is no longer in Emergency Mode. The nation's foremost civil rights organization has become so mainstream and reasonable that Fox News had to invent the New Black Panthers just to give their audience some black people to be scared of.
The NRA could do that: Stand down a little bit. Take a victory lap, host an annual awards ceremony. Just like the NAACP, but with way shittier music. Instead, their lust to collect more and more money has made them assholes. At this point, it's not Obama who needs to stand up to the NRA. It's the NRA's membership.