Anti-gun zealots have recently been creating more and more fake “gun rights” groups, often duping unsuspecting gun owners into contributing to them. What’s most diabolical is that the money collected is then used to attack gun owner’s rights, not protect them.
Probably the best example of a “False Flag” gun rights group is the infamous “Americans for Gun Safety” started in 2001 and bankrolled by Monster.com mogul Andrew McElvey. After digging into the group’s origins and supporters, writer James L. Pate noted:
“With an initial start-up budget of more than $12 million of his own fortune, McKelvey created AGS as a new national coalition of local and state anti-gun groups. AGS was designed to move debate from Capitol Hill into state legislatures and to bring various state anti-gun activists under one umbrella.”
McKelvey (who served on the board of Sarah Brady’s Handgun Control, Inc.) even created “franchise” organizations, with each chapter guaranteed $60,000 a year to staff and equip an office and train volunteers. They also determined that they needed to use less confrontational language, with the goal of deceiving the average (especially non-gun-owning) American:
“The term `gun control` should be dropped and replaced with `gun safety,’ or `responsible gun use,` or `accountability in gun use,`” said the report, prepared in June 2000 by the public relations firm of Penn, Schoen & Berland, longtime consultants to the election campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.”
With virtually no actual members, but staffed by a veritable “who’s who” of the gun control movement, AGS saturated movie theaters in 44 states with 30-second trailers featuring (choke) Senator John McCain, discussing gun rights and “personal responsibility.” Naturally, news anchors eagerly quoted AGS, giving the impression they were a legitimate gun rights organization.
Eventually, after being exposed by 2nd Amendment activists, AGS was folded into a Left-wing think tank (“Third Way”) in an effort to disguise their true intentions even further. “Handgun Control, Inc.” changed their name to “The Brady Campaign” for the same reasons.
Be especially vigilant at the state/local level, where smaller but sometimes more dangerous anti-gun organizations have begun appearing, often funded by big-money anti-gun powerhouses like Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Some disingenuously claim credit for the hard work of legitimate local gun rights groups. Others cleverly get the endorsement of normally very pro-gun legislators, to provide a kind of legitimacy by association.
Just such an incident occurred in Minnesota last month. Veteran blogger Mitch Berg of “ShotintheDark.info” received a letter from a reliably pro-gun State Representative, strongly urging his constituents to “take action and support ‘Minnesota Gun Rights’ efforts as generously as you can, TODAY!”
Only one problem. No one in the local pro-gun community has ever heard of “Minnesota Gun Rights.” Yet they attempt to take credit for the work of the “Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance” (GOCRA) a legitimate grass-roots organization that passed Minnesota’s landmark “shall-issue” carry law in 2003.
Other states have similar stories. “Iowa Gun Owners” is a recent example of a previously unknown group appearing out of nowhere, run by folks with suspiciously anti-gun backgrounds. So stay alert. These “Trojan Horse” outfits sound pro-gun, but often betray their agenda with phrases like “common sense” gun laws, “sensible” restrictions, or “closing loopholes.”
When you get an email from some organization you don’t recognize, do some digging. Check them out with the NRA, and/or with local organizations you know and trust.
Beware of “false flags”…they’re everywhere. And they’re multiplying.