A while back, I wrote a post about the stigmatization of gun owners. It seems that many people had noticed a similar trend and were alarmed about it. They should be, of course. Once a group of people is marginalized sufficiently, all manner of horrors can be both ascribed to them and done to them. It’s the secret to how the Nazis handled the Jews, after all.
While I’m not saying we’re the same as the Jews, I am saying similar tactics are being used.
And even the other side is seeing it. For example, in an interview with The Trace, gun grabber Robert Spitzer notes what he calls “marginalization” of the NRA.
Mike Spies: We arrive at this NRA convention at an interesting moment. On the one hand, the NRA is facing persistent criticism from the public and a growing movement by major financial firms and consumer brands to cut ties with gun companies and the group. On the other, the NRA broke a fund-raising record in March.
Robert Spitzer: Yes, there’s several points to make on those observations. First, the NRA is on the defensive right now because of not just Parkland, but the political firestorm that’s developed since the shooting and this new student-led reform movement, which is really not like anything we’ve seen before.
Here’s the thing about the corporate response we’re seeing: The fiscal consequences for the NRA are probably little to none. In the short term, I don’t think this impacts the group significantly. But in the long term, it contributes to the NRA’s marginalization as an extremist, zealot group that has become more severed from the larger American public.
It’s a little like the treatment of the tobacco companies in years gone, when corporations and people began to say, “Yeah, cigarettes are legal, but they kill millions of people, so we’re not going to be associated with them anymore.” I don’t think it’s a defining moment by itself, but it’s one more log on the fire that contributes to the idea that you can oppose the gun lobby and survive.
In other words, a group that advocates for keeping our rights is an “extremist, zealot group.”
This ladies and gentlemen is part of the stigmatization effort. You’re on board with gun control, or you’re an extremist, a zealot. This language is intentional. It’s chosen at a time when those words are generally associated with terrorism. Spitzer isn’t stupid. He knows this, and he knows this kind of rhetoric will paint gun owners in the same light with people who blow up buses and pizza joints in Israel.
The goal is to push people away from the NRA and gun owners in general. The goal is to isolate us and make it politically and socially untenable to be a gun owner.
What people like Spitzer don’t get, however, is that his opinion is irrelevant to us. I don’t care that he thinks I’m an extremist, for example. And, since we can see what they’re doing, we can counter it.