Obama Wants to Send Our Guns Overseas

(Yeah, yeah, we know it's a Glock.)<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zorin-denu/5450047294/">ZORIN DENU</a>/Flickr

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Barack Obama’s stealth war on guns continues apace: The White House is currently working to ease restrictions on exports of guns and other American-made weaponry, a move that could be a boon for domestic gunmakers.

The Department of Homeland Security has reservations about the rule changes, stating in a memo that they could make it harder “to prevent or deter the illegal export/transfer of lethal items such as advanced firearms to criminal groups, terrorist organizations or enemy combatants.” Gunmakers, however, are pleased as punch. “Our industry supports the White House Export Control Reform Initiative,” a lawyer for the firearms manufacturers’ lobby group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the Washington Post.

How is the National Rifle Association going to spin this? The 4-million-member pro-gun group has put an electoral target on Obama’s back, but it also needs to do right by arms manufacturers like Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger, which have given the NRA as much as $39 million since 2005, according to the Violence Policy Center (PDF).

The NRA is a big-tent organization—or, rather, a big tinfoil-hat organization. This rule change could feed right into their Obama conspiracy narrative: The president is just pretending to have no problem with guns, so he can really drop the hammer on gun owners in his second term! As NRA President Wayne LaPierre wrote in the Washington Times last November:

The Obama administration hatched a political conspiracy to deceive Americans and hide its true agenda to dismantle the Second Amendment and our freedom. By delaying its anti-gun legislative agenda, it’s tried to dupe gun owners into believing our fundamental freedom is safe.

The political calculation of the White House is clear: Deceive the voters and get re-elected at all costs and then, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling the Second Amendment and destroying American freedom forever.

LaPierre’s been trying to pull the trigger on this conspiracy theory for a while, as my colleagues Kevin Drum and Tim Murphy have pointed out. Perversely, the NRA needs Obama to hand gun lovers a big win in order for its doomsday prophecy to gain currency. So will NRA members buy that increased gun exports actually signal a coming crackdown? As LaPierre says, “Gun owners aren’t fools—and are not fooled.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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