An email campaign launched this week (pictured, below) featuring the endorsement of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) depicts a rifle pointing at President Barack Obama’s head, and a message about an imaginary “million rifle ban” the president is allegedly seeking to implement.
“Death threats against this president are up 400 percent as compared to President Bush,” Ladd Everitt, director of communications for The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told Raw Story on Thursday. “We are living today in a supercharged, partisan political climate where threats of violence and violent rhetoric are everywhere, and you would think that anyone — anyone, no matter what their political views or disagreements with this president — would have the common sense and decency to not create a banner image for a conspiracy theory-fueled email that shows a gun pointing directly at [the president's] head, while simultaneously preaching to folks about some ridiculous Obama gun ban that exists only in a fantasy world.”
Everitt added that he believes the campaign is purely an appeal for donations based upon a popular conspiracy meme within gun advocate circles. “The way that the gun lobby raises money is to create fantasies about gun confiscation,” he said. “That’s been going on since the NRA took a hard-right turn in the ’70s. They tell people that modest policy efforts by Democratic presidents are a pretext to a forced confiscation of all firearms, and that’s what Sen. Paul has been doing with this group.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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