And they were very effective. They exploited these fairly rare events in order to stop legislation requiring gun registration and trigger locks and outlawing sales of cop-killer, teflon-coated bullets. It was simple, really, just a matter of appealing to the fear white conservatives have for brown people.
A look at the February 2006 edition of their official journal, American Hunter, shows us that they're still at it today (p.6):
Police say an attacker grabbed Swita around the neck as he unlocked his front door. Swita fired two shots hitting the crook in the head and killing him. "Was I scared? You bet, both times!" Swita said.
He entered the room and fired several shots at the intruder...hitting him once in the torso...the wounded man was found collapsed in the street.
"Why," you may wonder, "are they publishing this in a hunting magazine." Well, they're doing it for a couple of reasons. First, they're in the middle of waging "Make My Day Law" campaigns to allow you to shoot people who scare you while you're out shopping or taking a walk. These laws have already passed in 10 of our most frightened states and are currently being considered in 13 others.
Second, they're preparing the reader for a second set of stories about the dangers they face, this time from animals rather than brown people (p.20):
Later we learned a bear biologist had conducted tests on the hunter's bear and realized that he knew this particular bear. It had been notorious in Highland Lakes. The bear was wanted for a number of burglaries.
Robert Brooks from Danville, California was hospitalized with a broken ankle after a passing car catapulted a deer into him.
Hollywood and the Discovery Channel love to repeat the claim that no human has been killed by a wolf in North America. What they really mean, of course, is that no officially documented killing of a person has ever occurred. But now that claim is no longer true...The body of a 22-year-old man was found at Wollaston Lake. An autopsy found that wolves likely killed him...
and finally this (p. 48):
[The elephant] came at me like an express train...I turned and ran. After running what I thought was a reasonable distance, I turned (while still running) to see where it had stopped only to find its trunk 3 feet from my head and trying to grab me!...The elephant's tusk grazed my head twice. His foot wedged me in a small depression. On turning to look upward, the sky was full of elephant. It was then that I heard a shot.
Some might wonder why the NRA needs to villainize game. They might ask, "aren't logical arguments about managing wildlife enough to justify hunting?" But they miss the point by asking such questions. Wildlife management issues have never motivated anyone to vote. The NRA's base needs to be frightened into voting. They need to feel like their vote is protecting them from an enemy as dangerous as brown people, homosexuals, the media, and sex.
That's why the NRA's strategy never changes. The rhetoric they employ for their "gunplay in the streets" campaigns is virtually indistinguishable from that used in their hunter's rights campaigns. Only the enemy is different.
I wonder if I should make Patriot Pampies in hunter orange.