For those not in the know tomorrow Jan 19th has been disginated Gun Appreciation Day! (http://gunappreciationday.com ) Organizers of the event have asked that people go gun stores, gun counters, gun shows, and gun ranges to protest the Obama administration's "post Sandy Hook assault on gun rights" in support of the effort.
Among the listing of sponsors including many local and regional shops, websites, Tea Party affiliates, and PACS is a curious entryl American Third Position.
A3P's mission statement from its own website:
"The American Third Position Party believes that government policy in the United States discriminates against white Americans, the majority population, and that white Americans need their own political party to fight this discrimination."
The group also states that it "exists to represent the unique political interests of white Americans. It exists to maintain the identity, culture, and way of life of the American people, whose forefathers, from a vast wilderness, carved out an awe-inspiring extension of Western civilization, in order that their progeny--us--might live in relative peace and prosperity."
But some of the other “sponsors” listed on the event’s website appear motivated in part by the kind of outlandish and paranoid ideas often found among right-wing extremist groups.
One, the Social Security Institute, describes itself as a “nonpartisan seniors advocacy organization.” But its website offers warnings about “world government” which fears that a government gun grab could lead to a U.N. takeover, often referred to in extremist circles as a “New World Order.” And SSI’s president, Lawrence Hunter, wrote recently that “[a] heavily armed citizenry is not about armed revolt; it is about defending oneself against armed government oppression.”
Larry Ward, Gun Appreciation Day’s chief organizer, is listed as a member of SSI’s board, and as the group’s “director of new media.” The website for his company, Political Media, displays SSI’s site as an example of its work. Ward describes himself in his bio on SSI’s site as a protégé of GOP political consultant Dick Morris. Morris himself said last year on Fox News that he feared Obama would try to make the U.S. “a vassal state to a globalist entity.”
Ward popped up at an anti-NRA protest last month, telling demonstrators and reporters that the Newtown, Conn. shootings could have been stopped if teachers were armed, according to a Washington Post report.
Another listed sponsor of Gun Appreciation Day, RightMarch.com, urges supporters to “help STOP Barack Obama from grabbing unconstitutional powers to declare martial law through all of his new Presidential Executive Orders.” The notion that the federal government will confiscate guns as a precursor to a declaration of martial law is a feature of numerous far-right conspiracy theories.
And a post on the website of Conbustible.com, also listed as a sponsor of the event, describes public schools as “progressive indoctrination camps,” and complains that “the givers (sic) shove the producers out of the way as they waddle to the trough for some more free lunch.”
Another post on the site, which is affiliated with the Ron Paul movement, promotes the theory of nullification—that the 10th Amendment of the Constitution lets states “nullify” federal laws they don’t like. The idea, which has little backing among constitutional scholars, is a favorite of Tea Party activists opposed to healthcare reform and other Obama-administration measures, and has been embraced by neo-Confederate hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism.