I didn’t realize that the “clenched fist of truth” theme wasn’t a one-off ad starring Dana Loesch but part of a campaign. Here’s the latest, in which Grant Stinchfield uncorks a Trumpian broadside against the “violent left” and their media apologists. For the moment, the NRA’s in the same bind as Trump: Deprived of a marquee villain in the White House like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to galvanize supporters, they’re feeling around for lesser threats who might fill the void. Antifa rioters are an obvious choice but there probably aren’t enough of them breaking windows often enough to keep the alarms raised. The media is a better option since they sin in ways great and small every day and everyone on the right has their own list of grievances about them. And the NRA’s base is decidedly right-wing: Per a recent Pew survey, 77 percent are either Republican or lean Republican, making them prime targets for an anti-journo message. For the moment, Trump’s running for reelection a la the old Bush 41 joke, “Annoy the media, vote Republican.” This is the gun-rights version of that. Annoy the media, support the NRA.
Gotta do something to hold the base’s interest while the federal government is controlled by Republicans, eliminating any risk of new gun-control legislation. Gun sales have been surprisingly stable lately, though: Although they were down sharply earlier this year, the number of background checks conducted in May 2017 actually exceeded the number conducted in May 2016.