How Gun Lobbyists Respond to Conspiracy Theories

Firstly, they generally don’t (unless passively accepting them counts). But when they do, it isn’t pretty. It is usually gross. Here is an example.

We gave you a glimpse into the heart of the Washington state gun lobby’s awful and offensive rhetoric earlier this week. Now it is time for another taste of the same. Remember, if you will, that the speaker at this particular event was Adina Hicks, disbarred attorney and executive director of Protect Our Gun Rights, part of Alan Gottlieb’s “gun rights” and/or make money for Alan Gottlieb empire. Further, given the specific of Hicks’ comments, it is important to remember that this even was on December 3, less than 36 hours after the shooting in San Bernardino. Audio of the excerpted portions is available here. Audio of the full event is here.

On to Hicks:

The fact is that even though we have the statistics and the facts on our side, that draconian gun laws don’t work, that we see it all around the world not just here in the United States, there is an emotional element that the gun control crowd tries to push.

So far, nothing unexpected, right? Just the normal gun lobby lies about data and statistics and claims about “emotionality” among gun violence prevention advocates. (As a bit of an aside, we’d love to have lots and lots more data, but Hicks’ former bosses over at the NRA stopped federal funding for research.)

There is also the usual and expected “but laws don’t do anything” claims from Hicks. Considering she was once and attorney, it would seem reasonable to expect that she knows laws do, in fact, do something. But no; she’s a lawyer for lawlessness.

Well, in all the mass shootings that have happened, in the United States, over the last few years, every single shooter has passed background checks, gone through waiting periods. The guy in Santa Barbara? He even had limited capacity magazines. So there isn’t one gun law in the world that would’ve stopped him; what would’ve stopped him is if more Californians might have been carrying concealed and been able to stop him before he started running people down, shooting them. So again it goes to show. I think Connecticut, that young man, his mother had purchased all the firearms legally. He killed her then broke in, got the firearms, and then shot the children at Sandy Hook. But again, it’s over and over again.

But, from there, the crowd goes into the territory some seriously offensive and off-base conspiracy theories. First, there is this:

All of these shooting events, a lot of ‘em lately there are some commonalities; either the shooter was on SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, it’s mind altering drug, a psychotropic drug, and/or there was coincidently a drill planned simultaneously with the [event.]

And this:

I was listening to the news last night. There was discussion whether or not the shooter, or shooters that were supposedly killed, were wearing vests, bulletproof vests. And I don’t know if this is true, I haven’t verified it yet, but apparently there was a bill in Congress recently about outlawing individuals being able to buy bulletproof vests.

And this:

The Senate was talking gun control the day of [the Columbine shooting]. It was a set up. An inside job. They knew Harris and Klebold where on these drugs, they got them that day. They time these things very well for the emotional pitch about guns.

The problem here isn’t simply that some people believe these things. Somewhere out there you can find someone who believes just about anything. Of course, it is awful that they do. But the real problem is how Hicks, as a representative of the gun lobby and speicifically of Alan Gottlieb’s web of organizations. Here’s her response:

Yeah, and I’ve heard that argument too. That basically because there’s so many drugs out there, because we know the Columbine shooters where on Prozac and . . .

Or, other times, simply “yes” or “I’ve heard that.”

Should the executive director of a major state gun lobby group really be playing into these conspiracy theories? Should she not, instead, tell her constituents the truth? Is it really okay for someone of her prominence and experience to not disagree with “false flag” theories and people who blame SSRIs for every single incidence of violence? It seems to us that it is not okay. Hicks should be ashamed of her comments, or lack thereof.

Next time someone presents you with these things, Adina, here’s a hint about how to respond: you tell them they’re wrong. You tell them that the shootings actually happened, that they weren’t orchestrated by the government to impose control/martial law/whatever, and you tell people that the only common thread between them is easy access to guns. You tell them that because it is the truth and even gun lobbyists should care about the truth.

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