The American Family Association’s Buster Wilson has been warning for the last few weeks that President Obama is getting ready to confiscate guns en masse. When Obama announced his twenty-three executive actions yesterday, gun groups largely shrugged them off, but not Wilson. In his latest effort to stoke fear, he’s warning that the Obama administration may take guns away from pastors and radio talk show hosts like himself who denounce homosexuality:
Wilson: What if the Attorney General, and listen the reason I say this might happen is because if you remember the first report put out by the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, when the President became President of the United States, she put out a paper talking about the people who are the categories of people who might be homegrown terrorists. In that list she put people who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here, they put a lot of good, decent categories of people in that paper. Well here’s what number four says, the Attorney General can put who he wants to on the list of people who are too dangerous to get guns. What if he decides radio talk show hosts who don’t believe in gay marriage, they’re dangerous, so they shouldn’t get guns; what about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality, they’re too dangerous get guns; that could happen.
Contrary to what Wilson said, the fourth executive action simply directs the Attorney General to make sure that people who are already prohibited from owning a firearm do not do so, not to come up with any new categories:
Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
Not only did Wilson clearly distort the plain wording of the executive actions, but he also grossly misrepresented the DHS report on right-wing terrorism.
He said that the DHS report tacked “good, decent” people “who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here.”
The 2009 report [PDF], which concentrates on racist and anti-government militias, only mentions abortion in a single footnote as an example of how violent actions can be driven by a single issue, such as the bombings of clinics or the murder of abortion doctors. The only references to the Second Coming or Christianity are to the racist, anti-Semitic Christian Identity movement – whose members have engaged in violence – and a note about how End Times and doomsday prophesies have in the past radicalized certain individuals or groups.
As for immigration, the DHS only addresses the connection between anti-immigrant militarism and hate crimes against Hispanics, like violent border vigilantes, not political activism on illegal immigration.
The author of the report, Daryl Johnson, is actually an anti-choice, Mormon gun owner and a Republican. His warnings were prescient – right-wing extremists recently committed a massacre in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and a shooting at the Holocaust Museum.
But to Wilson, completely twisting Obama’s gun orders and the DHS report on right-wing extremism are all par for the course of a job of an AFA spokesman.