IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Imaginary threats posed by imaginary proposals

According to the latest polling, 91% of Americans support closing the gun-show loophole and creating a universal background check system. That poses a challenge for the National Rifle Association, which used to support expanded background checks, but now has to characterize them as gun-grabbing radicalism. How does Wayne LaPierre argue against an idea that 91% of Americans endorse?

According to his speech at CPAC, by repeating some of the silliest paranoia imaginable.

"It's gonna be people like you and me. That's who they're tracking. That's who they're after. The names of good, decent people, all across this country, who happen to own a firearm, to go into a federal database with universal registration of every lawful gun-owner in America. That's their answer to criminal violence? Criminalize 100 million law-abiding gun owners in a private transfer? Build a list of all the good people? As if that would somehow make us safe from violent criminals and homicidal maniacs? That's their answer? Are they insane?

"What's the point of registering lawful gun-owners anyway -- so newspapers can print those names and addresses for gangs and criminals to access? You know that's happened before! So the list can be hacked by foreign enemies like the Chinese, who recently hacked Pentagon computers? So the list can be handed over to the Mexican government that, oh by the way, they've already requested that list from our government? In the end there are only two reasons for the government to create that list of registered gun owners: to tax them, or to take them."

As Robert Schlesinger joked, "I guess maybe he's watched 'Red Dawn' one time too many?"

Keep in mind, LaPierre is creating an imaginary threat to an imaginary proposal. His entire fantasy is built on the notion that a background check system necessarily means a national registry -- that there is no effort to create such a registry in reality is an inconvenient detail he prefers to ignore.

Once the non-existent registry is up and running in this make-believe world, the Chinese and Mexicans -- working separately or together -- will want access to it, presumably as part of some kind of invasion plan. Because if there's one thing China and Mexico want, it's an understanding of exactly which 35% of American households have firearms.

This isn't paranoia, so much as it's a stupidity sundae, featuring a layer of paranoia spread over asinine syrup, served on a plate of crazy.

"Are they insane?" Is that really the question Wayne LaPierre should be asking?