Beyond Impeachment: Congress and Corporations Must Take Action to Hold Insurrectionist lawmakers and the NRA Accountable
January 13, 2021
Nexus of hate: 135 of 147 lawmakers who voted to obstruct transition are supported by the NRA
WASHINGTON -- Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement ahead of the Democrats taking up the impeachment of Donald Trump in the U.S. House.
“Rather than express remorse or condolences for the officers killed, the NRA’s first reaction was to use more deeply irresponsible rhetoric about the Second Amendment that will only encourage more violence,” said Igor Volsky, Founder of Guns Down America. “Accountability goes beyond impeachment. Congress should investigate the NRA which supported so many lawmakers that obstructed a peaceful transition to a new administration.”
For decades, the NRA and its top leadership have encouraged insurrectionism, urging Americans to purchase large quantities of firearms and ammunition to protect their liberty and fight against a tyrannical government.
Once the House and Senate convened on January 6, many of the lawmakers beholden to the NRA acted as legislative insurrectionists. In fact, an analysis by Guns Down America finds that 135 of the 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn the election received NRA funding. The gun lobby made a total of $525,813 in political contributions to these members between 2018 and 2020.
Despite head-spinning evidence of illegality, graft, and corruption, the NRA continues to be a tax-exempt organization. As the new administration and Congressional lawmakers investigate the causes of the January 6th insurrection, they must closely examine the role of the NRA and its legislative supporters and hold the gun lobby accountable.
NRA leaders have repeatedly argued that Americans must purchase firearms to protect themselves from a “tyrannical government." Examples below.
- In 2009, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told a conservative audience, “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.” [Source]
- The NRA’s magazines -- its most direct way of communicating with members -- regularly warn readers of government tyranny and dehumanizes political opponents. [Source]
- In January of 2013, NRA board member Ted Nugent alluded to the start of the American Revolution, claiming that the Obama administration “is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George” and that “if you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies.” [Source]
- LaPierre in 2013: "Senator, I think without any doubt, if you look at why our Founding Fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.” [Source]
- In a February 2013 op-ed in LaPierre suggested that Americans need to buy firearms in order to ensure their “survival” from “the siege that is coming” from Obama’s administration. [Source]
- In August of 2015, the NRA promoted an article that depicted Democrats hanged at the gallows following a second civil war. [Source]
- In June of 2017, the NRA released an ad arguing that its members must save America by violently fighting liberals. [Source]
- In October 2017, an NRA ad warned that Trump’s opponents “will perish in the political flames of their own fires.” [Source]
- In June 2019, a host of the NRA’s NRATV said, “I think what America was built on, one of the fundamental tenets of why the Second Amendment is in place was to stand up to a tyrannical government.” [Source]
- In a fall 2019 “Patriot Newsletter,” LaPierre warned, “if we lose this election, it will be Armageddon for the Second Amendment... I’m talking about forcible gun roundups on a scale never seen before in world history – backed up by the brute force of the federal government to arrest and imprison any American citizen who refuses to surrender his or her firearms…. We’re either going to win a great victory for freedom on Election Day next year, or we’re going to lose our guns and our freedom forever. ” [Source]
The insurrection and violence in Congress comes against a backdrop of a significant spike in gun sales and the increasing use of firearms to intimidate Black Lives Matter protesters and democratically elected lawmakers throughout 2020.