From “Operation Wetback” To Newtown: Tracing The Hick Fascism Of The NRA

Reaganra

Mark Ames at NSFW (via Doug Henwood):

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 impossible 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.” That’s not a typo by the way.

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