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.

16 thoughts on “The Hick Fascists of the NRA and Obamacare

  1. Almost, if not every, problem this country faces today goes back to the beginning – the the accomodations that politicians in larger, more urban (and growing industrial) areas, were forced into with their more rural agricultural ones.
    The original concession was on slavery, where a black person had to be given some sort of percentage of worth (short of 100%) as a part of the population, so that the Southern agrarian areas wouldn’t be dominated politically by their more populous Northern neighbors.
    And, hence, our eternal problem with race, and racism. It all comes from urban v. rural areas, and the struggle for power.

    And so also, today’s gun culture comes from this same urban v. rural argument. In rura, and Frontier areas, guns were not only necessary to feed and protect your family and farm/home and any animals, but for survival itself – especially out on the Frontier. The Native-Americans kind of frowned on “Manifest Destiny,” since their destiny was manifestly to be crushed under the wheels of Conestoga Wagons, and progress.

    In the ever-growing cities of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, guns were a growing hazard for at least a couple of reasons:
    -Since bullets flying in crowded streets and building tended to injure and/or kill others besides the intended target;
    -And guns became something that only the criminal element really needed or exploited.
    Sure, wealthier urban people tended to have guns in their homes, not only for protection, but because many of them could afford to travel to rural areas, and enjoy hunting as a sport, and not as a means to feed their families.

    Urban areas became the first homes for immigrants of many nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and colors.
    While rural and frontier areas remained predominantly white.
    Many of the people moving from the cities, were not welcomed by the people when they decided to move out. They were outliers from the predominantly white, Protestant, new natives – and were often made into outcasts.

    And then, we had the great migrations Northwards of African-Americans, starting after the Civil War, and kept further increasing as the North became more and more industiralized, and the South stuck to agricultural Both industy and agriculture depend on cheap labor. But only Southern agriculture had had slavery, and then, after Reconstruction, defact slavery or indentured servitude. Industrial giants were rewarded with increased wealth as they increased workers salaries so that they, too, could purchase the goods and materials made by the industrialists. There was no such incentive for the owners of large farms and plantations.

    And so, with the migration of the African-Americans to the more urban, industrial North, not only did the big cities now see to have a lot of Jews, and Irish, and Italians, and Russians – but, blacks, too.

    I don’t want to turn this into some massive comment (beyond what it is already), but I think you can see where I’m going when I say that today’s gun culture had its roots in the age-old American battles of race, and city slickers, and country fold.

  2. Show me an armed, polite society, and I will show you a hypocritical, repressed tyranny. It is polite because its swaggering thugs don’t dare speak the truth, and no-one ever dares to tell them the truth. Therefore F&#K the polite society.

  3. erinyes,
    I suspect “The Whore of Babblin’ On” is MIA, ’cause FOX finally told her to collect her money, and STFU!

  4. I’m surprised Mrs. Palin is MIA on this subject.

    She’s too busy bitching about Obama as Time’s Person of the Year.

  5. 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.

    I am deeply suspicious that the drug Prozac (fluoxetine), which first hit the market in 1987, could be a significant contributor to these deadly outbursts of violence.

    Fluoxetine is now generic, making it even cheaper and more readily available. And there are other newer drugs in this class that work the same way. I think that the people taking these drugs have no idea what risks they are taking.

    • I am deeply suspicious that the drug Prozac (fluoxetine), which first hit the market in 1987, could be a significant contributor to these deadly outbursts of violence.

      Hysteria and nonsense. I’ve taken other SSRIs similar to Prozac, large doses even, and I’m very certain the notion that they cause violence is beyond absurd. The ignorant rumors to the contrary are just more prejudice against people with psychiatric illness or mood disorders.

  6. I think the world is supposed to end tomorrow. So I just want to let you commenters here at the Mahablog know it’s been a great experience sharing with you over the years and you all are a great bunch of people . Maha, you’ll alway remain the best..You’ve provided some wonderful insight and wisdom over the years, and I’ll take that with me in eternity (hopefully).

  7. I think the world is supposed to end tomorrow.

    Good one, Swami. Over in my time zone (Sweden) it’s already the final day, but I understand that The Rapture will occur at 11:11 AM, so we’ve still got a few hours.

    Actually, I’m not sure if the Mayans were into Rapture. Since conservatives are convinced that they’ll be Raptured, what happens to liberals?

    Whatever, see you on “the other side.”

  8. Paraquat.. If it’s the rapture then i’m still going to be here. I kissed my chance to be raptured away years ago..Maybe I should have held on to my assualt rifle seeing how I’m not gonna be taken up in glory. I hear it’s gonna get ugly for those of us who don’t get raptured.. at least I got my Glenn Beck survival seeds.. the one’s that goatherd was making fun of me for buying.

  9. Two points: When reading Ames piece I was struck that the right uses religion in the same way. For control over people.

    The second thing, Maha said, partial quote, “Are just more prejudice against people with psychiatric illness or mood disorder”. Boy you opened a can of worms on truth there. I am very concerned with the affect that this will have on people and their fear of going to get help for a mild mood disorder or any mental illness for fear of those exact types of prejudice. I also fear someone with a small easy to treat illness wont get help for fear of having to convince someone your not gonna go shoot up a grade school just because you have seasonal depression or something. THIS and other mass shootings are going to add to the stigma of “being crazy” because you go seek mental treatment to deal with some childhood trama( hell now we are almost all bat shit crazy because few were lucky enough to make it thru childhood without some kinda trama). I am afraid that all mental disorders (even eating) will be thought of in a general sense instead of vast and different. Like with a eating is vastly different from the illness mass shooters have.

    And about the meds. While I have never personally taken them to know what they are like and cannot speak first hand I can speak second hand. I have seen several people on this particular drug and like any medication their affects have been different. I have seen someone unable to fuction become a brilliant mind in a out going body with a real zest for life that was un tamable. She is independent and she lives the great life she always deserved now. And has done great for the past 15 yrs. But my ex’s cousin, who was so dear to us was also on the same meds.He ended his life by a jumper cable hanging in the family barn. I do not blame the drug however, it was no ones fault we just couldn’t find the drug that worked for him soon enough to save him. Another friend who is a outstanding artist and community member tried this drug and was on it for a time but found another medication that works better for her..So what do I get out of this? Well first all three had different diagnoses. And medicine as a whole is NOT a perfected science. We learn more every day. Much of the treatments that I have seen are trial and error, until they find what is best for the person getting the treaatment . And every one of the three people I mentioned had totally different and unique chemistry so it was no shock the medication would not have the exact reaction for everyone. Ironically the one we thought was beyond reaching is doing so well it is a joy to see, the one we thought was furthest from falling off the edge fell(leaving 6 small children behind). I support any drug that works for the person who needs it. Others it may not work for and they need to seek out other options. I can’t take anything with codine in it or i get sick, but it works for others and so I don’t claim it bad for all because it won’t work with me.

    I have watched someone some one joint and throw up. Her chemistry does not like grass. But then we have Snoop Dogg (or is he Snoop Lion now?) who claimed in a recent interview to smoke 81 blunts(rolled in a cigar paper) a day. I can’t drink. It makes me sick, but my gal pal can drink all night and be fresh and ready to go the morning after(God I hate that). Back in my wild days(a long time ago) I watch people take the same drugs like acid and mushrooms and have very different reactions.

    My point is I don’t think the drug is bad, I think it is bad certain people are on it instead of finding the right medication if it is not working for them.

    And a PSA..if you are on any kind of medication for any health problem from head to toe , please take your meds.Your health- all of it- is so important.Be Well

  10. This ought to be the chunk of information that once and for all exposes the NRA for exactly what it is: a guns-at-all-costs-cause-thats-how-we-make-our-$$$$$$$$ organization. To demand gun/mental illness immunity is sick in itself. The fact that this “compromise” was demanded is depraved. To have agreed to it shows the unwarranted power of the NRA and its willingness to kill children.

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