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Gun Appreciation Day’s Sponsors Raise a Few Questions

By Hatewatch Staff on January 18, 2013 - 4:39 pm, Posted in Patriot, White Nationalism

The past few weeks have seen a plethora of over-the-top reactions and a flurry of right-wing freak-outs over new proposals regarding gun control in the wake of the horrific shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which a lone gunman armed with an semi-automatic rifle shot and killed 20 children and seven adults, including himself.

One of the reactions is the organization of Gun Appreciation Day (GAD), an event scheduled for tomorrow and organized by Political Media, which calls itself a “Republican New Media consulting firm.” GAD has been touted in conservative media outlets and across the extreme-right blogosphere, encouraging supporters to attend local gun shows and go to local shooting ranges and gun stores in support of the Second Amendment.  The website wants to “put the fear of God” into politicians who “infringe” on the Second Amendment and hopes that you’ll donate money to help combat “Big Media and the liberals’ dirty tricks.”

The chairman of GAD, Republican operative Larry Ward, who’s also the CEO of Political Media, even advertised the event on the apocalyptic, anti-gay, anti-Muslim and conspiracy-addled WorldNetDaily website. Ward decries the “liberal gun control crowd” that, according to him, “is using every trick in the book to try and stop us.” One of those alleged tricks, according to Ward, is “to insinuate that our efforts to protect the Second Amendment are racist.”

That’s funny, because as Media Matters noted this morning, GAD’s list of sponsors included American Third Position (A3P), a white nationalist political party. A3P was initially established in 2009 by racist skinheads in California. Attorney William “Bill” Johnson, one of the current leaders, was responsible for pushing the Pace Amendment in California in 1985, which called for the deportation of anyone with “any ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” Kevin MacDonald, one of the other current leaders, is a professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach who is known for his anti-Semitic views and writings. The A3P website has stated that the party’s goal is to “restore and preserve the legitimacy of White identity, White heritage, and expressions of White interests.”

After the story was posted at Media Matters and then at Huffington Post, the A3P button on the GAD website disappeared (but you can still see a screenshot of it at the MM link above).  GAD then released a statement without specifically mentioning A3P, claiming that the event is “not about racial politics” but rather about gun politics and that they “mistakenly missed” a group that might detract from GAD’s overall message.

GAD may have removed A3P, but a few of its other sponsors might also raise a few eyebrows. They include the hard-right, anti-government and conspiracy-ridden Oath Keepers, a group founded in 2009 for ex-military and law enforcement personnel who pledge to uphold the Constitution against foreign and domestic forces, including the “New World Order,” an imagined cabal that will take over America and enslave its citizens. The core of Oath Keepers beliefs are its “10 orders we will not obey,” which relate directly to Patriot fears of a government conspiracy,  such as alleged plans by the U.S. government to impose martial law and force Americans into concentration camps. Individual Oath Keepers have also had run-ins with the law (see here, here, and here).

Another sponsor is Wake Up America, a group committed to “awakening Americans to the threats to our freedoms and liberties.” Its list of experts includes anti-Muslim and nativist activists like Gen. Jerry Boykin, now the executive vice president of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council; Walid Shoebat, who claims to be a former terrorist and who charges that the Muslim Brotherhood is part of a biblical prophecy to bring about the end times and that President Obama is part of the Brotherhood; NumbersUSA, a group that is part of a network of nativist groups created by John Tanton, who has ties to white nationalists; and Michael Peroutka, a lawyer who is a member of the neo-Confederate League of the South, a group that opposes “race-mixing” and claims slavery was “God-ordained.”

Tea Party Nation is also listed as a sponsor. Its president, Judson Phillips, has promoted the “birther” theory that Obama was not born in the U.S., while the group’s bloggers have defended the racist National Origins Act of 1924 in one instance and, in another, lamented that the “White Anglo Saxon Protestant population in America is headed for extinction.”

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by GAD’s seeming contradictions in its stance. After all, one of the memes it’s disseminating features an image of President Ronald Reagan, with a brief quote from the Second Amendment on it. Interesting juxtaposition, since Reagan and three others were shot and injured in 1981 in an assassination attempt. The bullet barely missed the president’s heart and lodged in his lung while his press secretary, James Brady, was permanently paralyzed.

Although Reagan actually loosened restrictions on guns during his administration, once he left office, he supported the Brady Bill, which created a national background check and mandatory waiting period for handgun purchases. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Reagan stated in a 1991 op-ed piece in The New York Times that he supported the bill, and that the assassination attempt 10 years earlier may never have happened had the Brady Bill been law then. In 1994, he co-signed a letter along with former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter that urged Congress to enact a ban on the domestic manufacture of military-style assault weapons, which, they said, was “a matter of vital importance to public safety.

  • Larry Moniz

    Why is it that, in American politics, it’s become necessary to verbally abuse those who disagree with a person or group’s political beliefs. The South Poverty Law Center seems to have no problem in the article above with labeling those who disagree with their liberal position as “right-wing freak-outs” rather than as Americans who believe what our founding fathers wrote in the Bill of Rights and which was a primary condition that led to the new-found ratifying the U.S. Constitution. This country was founded on political dissent. Today, many people seem as intent on stifling political descent as was King George III or another Germanic tyrant named Adolph. When will Americans learn tolerance and eschew bigotry, racism and numerous other “differences” in our national melting pot?

  • aadila


    Yes, I believe S&W’s stock price has everything to do with the mobilization of the gun industry’s political wing (the NRA).

    I wouldn’t be the bit surprised if nickel prices rose as a response too, since this is used for manufacturing ammunition.

    Fear is a very lucrative industry. And we all know the Republicans love them a profit.

  • Erika

    Rey, if only the NRA was that honest about how they really view their guns

    (although with guns being an obvious phallic symbol the view of gun as subsitute penis is likely much more prevailant).

    aadila, isn’t that (S&W stock price) what all of this gun paranoia is really about?

    Well, that and male insecurity syndrome with a large helping of racism.

  • aadila

    Sam, thanks for the “props” but just to clarify I’m not against cultural festivals and stuff like that, or even trying to stifle whatever cultural pride people feel as being part of a dominant group.

    All I did was point out the origins of democracy are based upon a union of the weak to protect against the tyranny of the strong. And that’s why in a democracy it makes sense to accept minority pride groups. How else would they be represented?

    Unfortunately the basic message that maybe the right wing might not get much joy trying to horn in cultural pride groups after centuries of privilege seems to have been lost on the poor, poor plutocrats.

  • aadila

    Meanwhile, Smith & Wesson’s stock price has doubled year on year.

    Higher taxes for gun manufacturers, anyone?

  • Reynardine

    All I can say about that song, Erika, is that it sounds like it comes in handy.

  • Erika

    Rey, just in case, the NRA just called for assuring that all waiters have guns ;)

    Sadly things do not end well for our happy couple after their date on gun appreciation day, when the gun nut finds someone new with a larger magazine and never calls back. Good thing for our two timing gun nut friend that guns are not able to kill people by themselves ;)

    (btw, i’m thinking now of a funny rap song called “Take a Look at My Girlfriend” by Charlie Manhattan (i think that is the name of the artist, anyway it the first song on the Live from the Gutter Soundtrack) where the rapper talks about how his gun is his girlfriend which is an interesting twist from the normal view of the gun as substitute penis)

  • Aron


    I’ve tried telling that to every ‘patriot’ I meet. Something tells me the French won’t leap to our aid as quickly as they did last time…

    I also love reminding these dumb bunnies that Lexington and Concord, MA are two of the most liberal towns in the country.

  • Sam Molloy

    Where is Aadila? She had the best explanation of why Black festivals and Native American festivals are needed, but White festivals are creepy. The first types edify and encourage peoples that are on the bottom of the food chain, the latter reinforces the dominant paradigm.

  • Reynardine

    Erika, of course you take your gun to dinner. And then, when the waiter brings you the check, you shoot him.

    Folks, I have just uncovered the identity of an(al)observer. It’s Gollum.

  • Kiwiwriter

    “For a look at the extremes these gun nuts will go to, see this link:

    The psychologist who sheltered and took care of several children who escaped the Newtown massacre has been accused of being a “crisis actor” by *massacre deniers*. His address and photos of his home have been circulated on the internet and he has received death threats through every channel conceivable, based on the accusation that he and the children, living and dead, are players in a vast (you name it) conspiracy *to take their guns away*. To borrow an expression from a Sicilian acquaintance of mine: Infamitá!”

    Massacre deniers…I saw their nonsense the other day on, along with the debunking of their idiocies, sloppy research, and general paranoia.

    There is something wrong in this country when a person who commits an act that is a pure, absolute good, in the face of unimaginable horror, becomes the object of death threats.

    The people that are doing so are proof that we have a mental health crisis in this country and that they MUST be kept away from assault rifles with multi-clip magazines.

    By the way, to all the “patriots” who dream of guerrilla warfare against a tyrannical government and re-creating Lexington and Concord, just remember that the guerrilla wars that successfully drove their opponents to defeat had massive support from outside powers: the Yugoslavians, the Chinese, the Viet Cong, and (dare I say it), the Taliban. Even the Americans of the Revolution needed outside help, from France and Spain, and they ultimately won their biggest victories in standard pre-Napoleonic battle lines, at Monmouth, Cowpens, and Yorktown.

    And for those who say that if the Jews of Europe could have stopped the Holocaust if they had been armed…the French, with more rifles, more planes, more tanks (and better tanks), and the Maginot Line, fell to the Germans in six weeks. British, Australian, and New Zealand troops held out on Crete longer than Warsaw.

  • Erika

    Being silly, i have to wonder what one does on Gun Appreciation Day. How does one show appreciation to a gun? Do you bring your guns flowers or take them out to dinner? Or do you send your guns a card?

    Maybe some of these gun nuts can provide the answer of how one shows appreciation to a gun.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    ” What does this post have to do with protecting the country against hate? Because people are standing up for their Constitutional rights makes them ‘haters.’

    If it’s just about gun rights, maybe you can explain why folks like you(RRoberts) don’t seem to be concerned about the company you keep, and how they reflect on the gun rights movement as a whole.

  • adamhill


    You may have stumbled onto this forum, but, judging by your post, it’s obvious you didn’t read much of it.

    It’s obvious too the kind of stereotype you embrace of “leftists” that you imagine write the comments here, a kind of grotesque, lazy, whiny neo-hippie caricature that has, moronically, a bizarre Utopian dream where the government should “dominate” everyone and ban all guns and freedom and differences, and that everyone should love each other and hold hands and sing kumabayah all day long. In other words, a stereotype that bears no resemblance to anyone in the real world. It’s obvious too that you like to use scare quotes for no apparent reason.

  • concernedcitizen

    The only people I see trying very hard to harm civil liberties are the white supremacists who have some sort of stronghold in the area I live in. When you have people who purposely try to disrupt your store purchases, try to harass you in restaurants with bad service, make you wait longer than anyone else in customer service at our local walmart, use methods of intimidation and do it as a group these are the ones we need to be concerned with. They are the trouble makers infringing on the civil liberties of other free citizens all the while yelling of how their civil rights are being violated.
    You must respect those of others if you want your respected.

  • concernedcitizen

    White Supremacy is not love for your own race it teaches a hate for all other races. You spew hate and they reap what they sow.
    “White Anglo Saxon Protestant population in America is headed for extinction.”

    No it’s not, the wonderful white people I know are just fine and I believe that the only ones who are in trouble are the hate mongers, because they are running out of relatives to breed with. That’s too bad.

    These hateful supremacists bring a bad name to the wonderful and intelligent white people of America who don’t share in their idiot views or philosophies.

  • Reynardine

    Well, now, an(al)observer, you’ve just admitted it: you’re old enough to have outlived your wits. I hope they catch up with you and tuck you back into bed before you throw your chamber pot at the steam table.

  • anobserver

    I stumbled on this forum a few minutes ago and I must say if anyone can spout hate it appears to be those on the left of these issues. Oh you guys think your writing some noble exercise in the “lets love everyone” and wouldnt the world be a “better place” with no guns, and no hate mantra, but I find those who are on the extreme left of center have this unrealistic view of living in a world in which they would “like it to be” not as “it is”. Then to make matters worse? Want to stand in the faces of the more right leaning citizens and “demand” they fold like cheap suits to thier “visions” of a government dominated society. In my old age my “vision” has become painfully clear that the the progressives have bred an entire dysfunctional generation of overall “worthless” children who think they can “demand” anything they want and do it under the anonymous “guise” of a keyboard. Truth be told while their idealist visions may in premise be a wonderful Utopia, in Practice the world will bring them to their knees in short order. I have to lean with Patriot on this one, probably would on other post I have yet to read also.. You Reynardine, are just a “visionary leftest” that hasnt had your backside handed to you by the very people You stand under as of yet, but dont worry, its only a matter of time when the very people you allow to undermine MY rights will decimate yours..ahh to be a fly on the wall that day..

  • adamhill


    If you want to communicate, learn how to write clearly. I read your post three times and still can’t make out what you’re trying to say.

  • RRoberts73

    #1 – What does this post have to do with protecting the country against hate? Because people are standing up for their Constitutional rights makes them ‘haters.’
    #2 – Why do so called progressive tolerant liberals hate those who disagree with them so much? Example: See Reynardine above.

  • Sam Molloy

    Patriot, the word Terrorist had not yet been coined, but they were called traitors to the Crown and such. They warned that our freedoms would never be completely safe and would always be under attack. The Constitution has been legally amended to allow more freedom many times, and to restrict freedom once. That was Prohibition and it was rescinded about twelve years later. A lot of the SPLC is geared toward expanding freedom for everyone, but, like with any group, people with various agendas of their own hang on to the sides of that bus. Not everybody on here is a darned old Commie.

  • Reynardine

    Pate-rot, note that you are permitted to display your stinking moral diarrhea here.

  • Patriot

    I love the irony of the splc calling others extreme right wingers and racists when all they do is spill venomous hate toward people that believe the Constitution is the law of the land targeting individuals such as Michele Bachmann and ex military as potential terrorists as well as anyone that displays love of their own race. Maybe this dishonorable leftist pro government group should go away. After all, do you actually brig anything substantially good to America or do you just still up controversy? Thank God you didn’t exist in the 1700’s or else you would have labeled our founding fathers as terrorists.

  • Reynardine

    For a look at the extremes these gun nuts will go to, see this link:

    The psychologist who sheltered and took care of several children who escaped the Newtown massacre has been accused of being a “crisis actor” by *massacre deniers*. His address and photos of his home have been circulated on the internet and he has received death threats through every channel conceivable, based on the accusation that he and the children, living and dead, are players in a vast (you name it) conspiracy *to take their guns away*. To borrow an expression from a Sicilian acquaintance of mine: Infamitá!

  • Sam Molloy

    As i have said, I believe it is time for both sides of this argument to tune up our gun laws for everybody’s safety. The term Gun Safety is less confrontational than Gun Control. However I can’t help but notice that since the elimination of all the gun toting Western Hero children’s shows, and all the guns in the Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales, et al, cartoons, and even used computers to turn the cops’ guns into radios in videos of “E.T”, gun violence by young people seems to be worse than when those shows were the norm.