The annual NRA convention was held this weekend in Indianapolis, and its message was clear: you should be terrified of everyone and everything, and only guns can protect you.
There was also a class on "advanced sausage processing, BBQ and smoke cooking techniques."
Sarah Palin returned after last year's triumphant performance to talk about how our rights are being stripped away from us at every turn. Also, Muslims are bad: "That evil Muslim terrorist Major Hasan massacres his fellow U.S. military soldiers at Fort Hood," she said. "His Allah Akbar-praising jihad. They call that workplace violence. Calling that devil a disgruntled employee!"
Palin did not mention the much more recent massacre at Fort Hood, possibly because it came at the hands of someone who was not Muslim and thus did not fit her narrative of Muslims being bad and deserving of torture. Later in the speech, she said the United States is too nice to suspected terrorists.
"If I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists," she said.
Amnesty International considers waterboarding to be a form of torture and in violation of international law.
Palin also encouraged people not to "waste a bullet" on a warning shot but to blow any potential threat away because "ammo's expensive." She added that mothers should carry guns on them at all times to protect their children from the bad guys apparently lurking around every corner.
Several possible presidential candidates stopped by as well, including Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum said everyone in his family is a member of the NRA, including his 5-year-old daughter, and that he buys his wife bullets rather than flowers on special occasions. That's a pretty big deal, since, as Palin said, ammo is expensive. Rubio said that gun control laws would only take guns out of the hands of "law-abiding Americans," making it harder for them to defend themselves while not preventing any "future tragedies." Jindal called people in favor of gun control "liberal extremists" who also "want to take away our religious liberty" and health insurance options. Gov. Scott Walker appeared via video and told people to donate to his reelection campaign, while Sen. Ted Cruz said in his video message that "the Second Amendment is under constant siege by the Democrats in Washington who will use any tragedy to further their gun control agenda."
Of course, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre was on hand to give basically the same speech he gave at CPAC, as Media Matters pointed out, before unveiling the NRA's latest ad, which tells you all about how the world is out to kill you and guns are your only protection, so buy a lot of them, even if it's just to protect you from con artists:
Nice touch saying "hypocrites" over a shot of Chicago, a.k.a. Obamaland, NRA ad people.
Here's a special bonus ad about how NRA members will "crush" Michael Bloomberg and his gun control-funding deep pockets. It stars some of the same people from the other ad and makes no mention of the millions of dollars the NRA gets from gun companies, an oversight I'm sure:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.