Just three short days after last month’s Aurora, Colorado shooting, the National Rifle Association (NRA) sent a mass mailing fundraising letter that stated President Obama’s re-election will bring the “confiscation of our firearms.” The letter, signed by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, also stated the “future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake… And nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.”
“The night of November 6, 2012, you and I will lose more on the election battlefield than our nation has lost in any battle, anytime, anywhere. Or, we will win our greatest victory as NRA members and freedom-loving Americans.”
The NRA fundraising letter, “dated July 23, which was sent to NRA supporters including to people in Colorado, doesn’t mention the gunfire during the showing of the new Batman movie July 20 in Aurora, Colorado,” a report published today at Bloomberg News states.
The Aurora, Colorado shooting is nation’s largest mass shooting to date, with a total of 70 victims, including 12 people who died.
Bloomberg adds the “four-page solicitation from NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre was sent to drum up funds to underwrite an advertising and grassroots campaign to defeat President Barack Obama and elect gun-rights supporters in Congress.”
The solicitation letter says that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms” and potentially a “ban on semi-automatic weapons.” The suspect in the Aurora, Colorado killings, 24-year-old James Holmes, had four semi- automatic weapons at the theater, police said.
The letter says the money will be used for “hundreds of thousands” of TV and radio ads, “especially in a handful of key swing states.” The group also plans to buy ads in newspapers and on the Internet and send mail to “millions” of gun owners, LaPierre wrote in the letter.
The “extremist rhetoric” LaPierre uses in the letter would offend the “mainstream public” in the days after the Colorado shooting, said Dan Gross, president of the Washington- based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“They know the public wants answers and solutions to a problem that Aurora is one tragic example of,” Gross said. “So this kind of rhetoric isn’t going to fly, but it’s just the kind of rhetoric that helps them raise money behind the scenes with a small group of extremists.”
Ian Millhiser at Think Progress observes:
For the record, gun rights have actually expanded under President Obama. The most significant guns legislation he signed was a law allowing people to carry guns in national parks. And Obama has stubbornly refused to support new gun regulations even in the wake of three mass shootings — Tucson, Aurora and the recent Sikh temple shooting — that occurred on his watch.
These facts have done nothing to temper the NRA’s rhetoric, however. Indeed, NRA head Wayne LaPierre claimed last year that Obama’s entire record of keeping his distance from the guns issue is “all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country.”
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