Rand Paul Points Gun At Obama

Update: Thanks to reader Jamie C. for pointing out that The National Association for Gun Rights appears to have taken notice of the media attention and reversed the direction of the gun in this image on its website.

A new scare campaign backed by Senator Rand Paul and aimed at gun owners literally features an image of a gun pointed at the President’s head.

The National Association for Gun Rights, which Rand supports, is alleging (with no factual support other than their fevered imagination) that President Obama plans to ban millions of guns. The emails with the image are signed by Paul. The group are also fundraising off this allegation, which echoes those made by the National Rifle Association.

President Obama has not advocated for any form of national gun ban. In fact, he signed a bill that allows gun owners with carry permits to carry loaded guns into national parks.

Ladd Everitt, director of communications for The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told Raw Story:

We are living today in a supercharged, partisan political climate where threats of violence and violent rhetoric are everywhere, and you would think that anyone — anyone, no matter what their political views or disagreements with this president — would have the common sense and decency to not create a banner image for a conspiracy theory-fueled email that shows a gun pointing directly at [the president's] head, while simultaneously preaching to folks about some ridiculous Obama gun ban that exists only in a fantasy world.

Death threats against the President are 400% higher than those against Bush.

Last week, a New York man who made a death threat and a Virginia man who made threats and said “Ted Nugent was right” were arrested. Nugent made comments alluding to assassination should Obama be reelected in April.

I reported in April on how stickers were being sold with ‘Liberal Hunting Permit’ on them and how violent, extreme rhetoric has become pervasive on right-wing websites, including Fox Nation.

In March, the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) reported on “truly stunning growth” in the anti-government “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy.

Last September, the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement officials entitled “Sovereign Citizens: A Growing Domestic Threat to Law Enforcement” that describes the movement (who believe they are not obliged to pay federal taxes, follow most laws, or comply with requirements for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations) as “domestic terrorist” after a series of violent incidents including murders of police officers.

Rhetoric has consequences

Just a sample of some of the domestic terrorism incidents since 2008 include the murder of three Pittsburgh police officers by a disturbed man convinced the government intended to confiscate his guns, as well as James David Adkisson, who plotted to murder and kill people in the San Francisco ACLU. A white supremacist bomb plot narrowly avoided in Spokane before the MLK march. Firebombings and vandalism of local Democratic campaign offices.

There was the pipe bomb attack on a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. A Republican editor of a county Republican newsletter advocating a coup d’etat. Then there is the ongoing terrorism against abortion providers, including the murder of Dr. George Tiller, gunned down at his church by an individual who was encouraged to act in part by the rhetoric of Bill O’Reilly who frequent refereed to the doctor as “Tiller the Baby Killer.”

SPLC warned in February that, based on the documented growth of violent attacks:

If the primaries generate more attacks on the nation’s first black president based on complete falsehoods — that he is a secret Muslim, a Kenyan, a radical leftist bent on destroying America — it’s likely that the poison will spread. And if he wins reelection next fall, the reaction of the extreme right, already angry and on the defensive as the white population diminishes, could be truly frightening.

In this context, Rand’s actions are truly irresponsible.

Related stories:

America’s Right-Wing Loves Violent Rhetoric

Anders Breivik’s Father Considered Suicide

America’s Dangerous War of Words

Photo credit: National Association for Gun Rights email


Joe C.
Joe C5 years ago

David C. which is true, alcohol does not kill people drunk drivers. We are fighting a war on drugs, which by the way also kill people, and we are not winning. An idiot takes a gun and kills people and it is headline news but a drunk drivers crashes into a bus stop and leaves 4 dead bodies and you let it go. If we don't need the 2nd amendment we also don't need the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. Honest people have nothing to fear from these amendments Look at the people in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan they are living without guns and the 1st, 4th. 5th and 8th amendments!

David C.
David C5 years ago


Re David F’s point. (David, let me know if I miss your point). What I hear him say is “Guns don’t kill people, people do” could be expressed more generally as:

“Man-made tools or implements that are intended to kill don’t kill people, people kill people”

The primary purpose of guns is to kill or injure. They may be used for non-lethal uses like target shooting, but they were originally intended to kill or injure. A bomb is similarly intended to kill or injure, it is therefore analogous to a gun. If the NRA “Guns don’t … , people do” is logical, then “Bombs don’t kill people, people …” is equally logical.

Forgive my frankness but I find your statement that guns will always be needed for individual defense is absurd. 200 million Americans get by without guns, as do 1 billion Indians, 60 million Brits, 20 million Australians. 30,000 Americans are killed every year by firearms – homicide, suicide, accident. Sure, more are killed by autos (45,000) but auto use is what, a million? ten million? times more frequent than gun use. And of course autos are not designed to kill or injure.

Returning to the NRA propaganda lies, Vivianne wrote that the US has never been invaded because citizens bear arms. The US declared war on Britain in 1812 and invaded Canada, Britain invaded the US. Mexico invaded Texas. Britain hasn’t been invaded in 1000 years despite tight gun law

Susan T.
Susan T5 years ago

Politicians do not send out any images "unintentionally". While RP's hand was not on the trigger of the rifle in the image, there are many other choices that could have been made as to how to position the image (it could have been at angle behind some of the text, therefore not pointing at either person, etc etc etc).

RP is a nut job. Please Kentuckians, take a hard look at his votes. Is he really out to help the working folk of America? CHeck out his plan for "saving" Social Security. It raises the retirement age and also decreases the rate of accumulation of benefits for workers earning over $43,000 a year. Yet there is no increase on the top amount of earnings which are subject to Social Security taxes, currently capped at $100,000. Just think about that. Less money coming in on the lower side, no increase on the higher side. Do the math. What do you think will happen to your benefits? Oh and BTW - with his plan, if you make it to age 70, your benefits will be scaled back based on "lifetime expectancy". But go ahead - keep thinking he cares about you.

The Republicans have mastered the art of naming their legislation for the exact opposite of its true effect - check out RP's "Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act"


David C.
David C5 years ago


Few reasonable people would think that RP pointed a rifle at BO but on the other hand, no reasonable person would call refusing a permit to import 0.4% more rifles an Obama gun ban. RP DID call it an Obama ban. To repeat, the only motive I can think of is that RP wanted stir up NRA nuts with a misleading sound bite. It simply is not logical to call restriction on one type of firearm an assault on 2nd Amendment rights. The SCOTUS decision was explicit that restrictions on gun ownership – e.g. prohibiting the mentally ill or felons, outlawing machine guns – WERE constitutional.

Forgive my use of “gun nuts” but there are many unreasonable, irrational, NRA members. “If Obama is reelected he’ll take away your guns” is about as irrational as you can get. Take way 270 million guns??? You are not firing on all cylinders if you believe that. I listened to the clip of an NRA VP telling a cheering audience that there was an Obama conspiracy to take away gun rights. Could any same person would really believe that? It requires paranoid delusions and/or a woeful ignorance of both law and practicality.

NRA propaganda is replete with absurd or untrue statements. An example: The first thing Hitler did was to take away guns. Actually the first thing he did was to outlaw unions. He relaxed gun laws somewhat.

Robby C.
Past Member 5 years ago

David K- All I'm saying is that RP didn't point ANYTHING at BO. I believe you genuinely mean well, so I don't mean to offend you. But where did bombs come into this? Guns have to be chambered, pointed, safety defeated, & trigger squeezed, to hurt. Bombs just explode- they disgust & scare the hell out of me. I know Vet's who've lost body parts b/c of them- TERROR w/a capital "T." I don't agree w/them even in war, much less society! They aren't protected by the Constitution (nor should they be) & have as much to do w/this article as the cost of condoms in MX. Guns are self-defense- a small percentage use them offensively. They'll always be legal for criminals, so as a legal citizen, I won't agree/submit to any kind of ban.

Kids killed by guns? The world's an imperfect place. Justice? Prosecute their parents. US has ~320 Mil people- some will die accidentally, from Nerf balls. More die from automobiles than about anything else- does that make the new BS 2015 EDR black box mandate ok? No. Many, like me, will refuse them 100%!

You'll never stop people from attacking others, so guns will always be neccesssary. I know girls who've been raped, I've seen people get shot, & been shot at myself. Get rid of violence & innocent people can just shoot for fun. But all living animals deserve self-defense. Again, w/all due respect, I don't understand your analogy. I'm as against bombs as you or anyone else could ever be.

David C.
David C5 years ago

Chucky, It’s sad you think people hate you. Have you talked to someone about that?

It never occurred to me that I had less freedom than a gun owner. I would kind of like the freedom of not worrying that some nut with a semi-automatic will hit me when he’s aiming at someone else. I live in a smallish town - in the past year or two, two small children have been killed. One was in a car in the wrong place at the right time. One was sitting in front of her house. Neither was the target. Those guns sure gave the shooters a lot of freedom - the two children and their families not so much.

I’m a fundamentally very tolerant individual, with a major exception. I’m allergic to stupidity.

Look dispassionately at the Korean M1 issue. I haven’t bothered to determine all the details, please fill in any blanks. In a few words:

A branch of the federal government declined to give a permit for importation of 600,000 semi-automatic M1 rifles.

Put this into perspective: It’s estimated there are about 270 million firearms in the US, about 160 million are long guns, mostly used for hunting. 600,000 semiautomatics would be 0.4% of the current inventory. Do you really think that blocking importation of 0.4% of the current inventory justifies a scare poster:


Nope, this is a wild exaggeration designed to stir up gun nuts

Dare t.

Perhaps idiot control as opposed to gun control ..

Chuck P.
Chuck P.5 years ago


As of Apr 17 Korea's Ministry of National Defense had begun an auction hoping to find brokers who would sell the rifles to Korean War vets here in the States. Apparently Washington still says they can be sold here, but the Koreans are still skeptical.

The number dropped to 84,000 garands. I don't know why. But let's assume the Koreans' skepticism is unfounded. The 600,000 carbines were still blocked as of Apr 17. Out of 684,000 total rifles germane to the point, only 84,000 will have been un-blocked.

Rand Paul is telling an 88% truth.

Not perfect, but it's about 88% better than he's getting credit for around here. And as of Apr 17, his standards are unambiguously higher than those of Daniel c., who wrote the above 'article'.

Now let's talk about YOU. You sure do hate the "gun nuts". Our freedom really pisses you off. You look just like a theo-con hating other people's gay marriage, and a neo-con hating other people's drug use, and a racist hating other people's skin color. No? Then go ahead and tell me that YOUR hatred is special because THIS case is 'different'. Go for it.

Do you know what's the right thing to do when someone hates your freedom? The right thing is to exercise it more, cherish it more, and enjoy it more. And you wouldn't need to be told that, if this was a 1st Amendment issue and someone wanted to ban certain books. I bet you'd be one of the first to go out and buy them. Hell yeah, right? Then go ahead and tell me that T

Chuck P.
Chuck P.5 years ago

@ David C. - This is about the reimportation ban. I'll get to the regional gun control laws and the crime stats another time.

Now. Daniel c. referred me to a link in his earlier comments. It went to a site where an article that he said exists - doesn't. It was his job to have the source he claimed to have, so I wanted him to provide it. But if YOU want to spend time sourcing things for us, great. Whenever you want, I can get you a whole list of stuff.

From Jan 18, 2012:

According to this, the US government SAID they would allow the reimportation of 86,000 M1 garands for sale only to American veterans of the Korean War. But at that time it was not a done deal, and a Korean defense ministry official said, "We have yet to receive confirmation from the United States over our proposal. The U.S. government may change its position at the last minute due to political considerations.”

The same article says that 600,000 M1 carbines are still blocked. The Obama Administration's excuse for originally blocking both sets of rifles in 2010 was that they might “potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes." True enough: you never know when Eric Holder's ATF might run them down to Mexico.

From Apr 17, 2012 - the latest I care to spend time digging up:

As of Apr 17 Korea's Ministry of National De

Robby C.
Past Member 5 years ago

David- I honestly don't understand what you're trying to say. I mean this respectfully b/c I often agree w/your posts & you generally conduct yourself politely. Are you saying bombs should be legal? Guns should not? How did bombs get into this? I don't even like discussing bombs- I don't want to know anything about them. They're not remotely close to guns. They blow up. Guns have triggers that make them fire in a specific direction. A few 100,000 kids killed w/guns? Collateral damage! Blame the parent's. Millions of kids are killed in cars, etc. The world's an imperfect place. There've been millions of situations where guns have saved lives- mostly w/out even a single shot being fired. Most go unreported by our liberal media. Guns are great under responsible, legal ownership. They aren't the prob- people who want to hurt others are. Guns are great equalizers. I know girls who've been raped. One blew the face off a 17yr old rapist (thank God) who would've made her a 2nd time victim. No matter how many bad parent's let their kids play w/guns, I will never back down on 2nd ammendment. RP didn't point a gun at BO & he certainly didn't point a bomb at him. Paul C made up this BS title to work anti-gun-nuts into a frenzy. It worked- words have power. This is like the racist liberals (BO, spike lee, the black-kkk, etc) & their BS over trayvan. You can say M1's shouldn't be legal- your opinion. But they come in full & semi-auto & appear to fire .30cal (won't dest