The NRA held it’s 2014 Stand and Fight Rally over the weekend, with Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) giving a speech addressing more than just far right pro-gun sentiment, but spanning subjects including national security, waterboarding, and warning shots. She talked about the first shooting at Fort Hood, about prayer in schools, and about, of course, the right to carry a weapon, condemning identification or registration.
Interestingly, throughout the speech her rhetoric was closer to that of a stand-up comic than anything else, with a punchline for everything and buzz words chosen specifically for her audience to boo. “Do you know why those clownish little kumbaya humming fairytale inhaling liberals want to be tough all of a sudden and control your guns? It’s cause guys like Al Franken and Harry Reid, they are not satisfied with just taking your money and your job and your truck and your property and your rights and your healthcare.”
After joking that kids could go to school with Tarantino-level language but faced criticism if caught praying, she called Democrats hypocrites, quickly adding that, “I do have to apologize for that I am sorry, not all intolerant anti-freedom leftist liberals are hypocrites” — pause for effect — “I’m kidding, yes they are.”
She was quite critical of “they” and “them,” referring to Democrats in Washington at present, and appealing to voters on key issues clearly in hopes of motivating them to head to the polls on election day and vote, discussing military budget cuts and stating that more Americans have registered for gun ownership than for Obamacare. She criticized national security, saying that Obama’s “policies … poke our allies in the eyes and coddle adversaries instead of putting the fear of god in our enemies,” adding that if she were in charge, “they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
She hit heavily on terrorism for the emotional effect, focusing on words like “terrorism” and “Jihad,” instigating and utilizing a fear of Muslims by discussing Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting at Fort Hood in terms of “that evil Muslim terrorist” and “his Allah Akbar praising Jihad.” While the political and policy related message is one that many Democrats would likely take issue with, it’s the conservative reaction that is perhaps more notable. It comes as no surprise that the recent increase in anti-gun ads and efforts, such as with Michael Bloomberg, is being responded to with strong words and even stronger legislation, as per Georgia’s recent law. But the religious references in Palin’s speech, specifically the use of the word “baptism,” has also sparked criticism among the religious.
“Not only is this woman, putatively a Christian, praising torture,” said Rod Dreher of The American Conservative, “but she is comparing it to a holy sacrament of the Christian faith. It’s disgusting — but even more disgusting, those NRA members, many of whom are no doubt Christians, cheered wildly for her.”
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