The Hick Fascists of the NRA and Obamacare

I had forgotten that one of the compromises made to get the ACA passed was to stop physicians from keeping tabs on psychologically challenged people with guns. Via Joan McCarter, see “Gun Owner Rights and Obamacare – Yes It Is In The Law.” The author, Carolyn McClanahan, is a physician.

One of the best methods to defuse potential violence is heartfelt conversation. By openly questioning each other in a non-judgmental manner, we can often discover a person’s pain, motives, and ability to act. Unfortunately, the gun rights lobby, mostly funded by the National Rifle Association, has time and time again inserted their hand in attempting to shut down that conversation.

In the Affordable Care Act, the gun lobby’s section is in Title X, starting on page 2,037, line 23. “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights” contains five provisions mostly dedicated to shutting down conversation about guns in medicine. What do these sections contain?

You can read the article for details, but in a nutshell the provisions put restrictions on what a physician may ask a patient about firearm ownership, and it is unlawful for the physician to actually write in a patient’s files if the patient owns firearms.

In other words, the provisions make it all but impossible for the health care system to determine whether a depressed or agitated or even psychotic patient is a potential mass shooter.

And this brings us to “The NRA As Paranoia Vector & Neofeudalist Tool” by Annie Laurie. Annie Laurie links to Mark Ames, who is tracing the hick fascism (his phrase) of the NRA:

… Until now, I have largely avoided getting dragged down into the gun control debate, in part because gun proliferation doesn’t explain why “going postal” first exploded into the culture in the late 1980s, and has worked its way into the American DNA ever since. Gun control or lack thereof doesn’t explain why these kinds of rampage shootings only appeared in the late Reagan era and spread ever since then. And there must have been my own personal prejudices too — I grew up with guns, and despite a couple of bad episodes involving guns and a drunken violent stepfather, I have a reflexive contempt for people who haven’t gone shooting and tell you that gun control laws are the answer.

Well, guess what? Their knee-jerk solution is more right than mine.

Passing gun restrictions today probably wouldn’t do much to slow down rampage massacres, at least not for awhile — but the politics of sweeping gun control laws could have a huge transformative effect over time. It’s no longer possible for me to ignore that fact.

Which means it’s also no longer possible for me to ignore the National Rifle Association, and its hick fascism politics that’ve been poisoning our culture ever since the NRA’s infamous “coup” in 1977, when the NRA was taken over by far-right fanatics led by a convicted murderer and onetime US Border Guards chief named Harlon Carter — whose previous claim to fame was when he led a massive crackdown on Mexican immigrant laborers called “Operation Wetback.” …

What the establishment didn’t get about Harlon’s new souped-up NRA gun-cult until too late — in fact what most still don’t get — is that the more batshit disconnected from demonstrable reality your message is, the more fanatical and organized-for-war your organization will be. If you can get people to make that leap of faith —well, then you’ve got real power. Reagan understood that sort of power well: Pandering to the far-right John Birch Society cult won him California’s governor’s seat in 1966, and in 1980, he promised to implement Harlon Carter’s radical pro-gun agenda as soon as he took office. Unfortunately that pro-gun push got delayed by an assassination attempt on Reagan’s life, but nearly bleeding to death didn’t change Reagan’s mind (or what passed for Reagan’s mind)…
Back then, Merwin K Hart’s gun fanaticism was an ugly freakshow popping out of the political margins, but today it part of the landscape, and the only question is how can we get rid of it, rather than what’s it doing there in the first place.

Because it’s now so deeply ingrained that owning guns is a form of radical subversive politics, the people who still engage in real politics have the pick of the litter. That first became really clear in the depths of the 2008-9 collapse, when a lot of people who thought of themselves as radicals and anarchists made a lot of feckless noise about how they were arming and preparing for the collapse and revolution. They could’ve gone out and organized something and maybe built a politics of people power or even a politics of what they call revolution, a politics that actually changed things. But instead, they locked themselves in their homes and apartments with their guns and fancied themselves political revolutionaries just waiting to be swept up. But no one came. No one bothered or cared. And really, why would any plutocrat or evil government agency bother with the suckers, all harmlessly atomized and isolated and thoroughly neutralized by the false sense of political empowerment that their guns gave them, while you do the real work of plundering budgets, bribing politicians and writing laws even more in your favor?…

Regarding Reagan, Lawrence O’Donnell reminds us that Reagan supported the assault weapons ban passed in the early 1990s. See “Why I’m For the Brady Bill” by Ronald Reagan.