When I tell you that an organization called the Gun Owners of America is attempting to manipulate congressional elections by spending lots of money on campaign advertisements in the form of independent expenditures, what’s your first reaction? If the propaganda of the gun lobby has been successful, you’re thinking, “Aw, what’s the big deal? They’re just a bunch of regular folks, trying to get together, and protect their right to own guns.” You’re likely thinking of the Gun Owners of America as people like those you see in this photograph: Country people, enjoying the great outdoors.
It turns out, though, that the Gun Owners of America isn’t really based in the great outdoors. They’re based in the Washington D.C. suburb of Springfield, Virginia, in the corporate center you see here, which is located just outside the Ravensworth Shopping Center.
The Gun Owners of America isn’t really just trying to protect the right of people to own guns, either. The organization protests against votes that don’t have much of anything to do with guns. For example, the group opposed the confirmation of Judge Richard Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hamilton hadn’t taken any action to interfere with the right of gun ownership. He merely expressed the mainstream opinion that judges should interpret the Constitution in terms of “evolving case law”.
That’s a position right wing extremists don’t like, but it doesn’t have anything specifically to do with the right to own guns. Yet, it’s positions like this that have have Gun Owners of America angry with Senator Harry Reid, so now Gun Owners of America is buying advertisements in favor of Republican candidate Sharron Angle, against Senator Reid’s re-election.