RobRielleWho: The Energizer Bunny of “Fake News”

He just keeps going and going.  Even as his paper’s circulation — and newsroom population — keeps shrinking and shrinking.

Since the dawn of time, Rob Christensen has been hailed by all sides as Mr. North Carolina Politics.  Never mind that he’s the only drive-by to ever be forcibly evicted from an NCGOP convention.  Never mind that he followed John Edwards around for a year and never noticed the blonde with the camera. 

He is so often so wrong — and so misinformed — I, and many of my friends, began to believe his column was a gag or something.  Something like what The Onion would publish.

Here he is NOW telling us how (1) We’re too stupid to ignore the NRA,and (2) Kay Hagan lost because she crossed the NRA.  Here he goes:

We act as if the unending massacres that are occurring at concerts, high schools, baseball practices, college campuses, churches, military installations, movie theaters, elementary schools and so forth are acts of God – like hurricanes or tornadoes.

We pray for the victims and their families, we fly flags at half-mast and we shake our heads in sorrow, as we should.

But thinking of them as beyond our control ignores the connection between the carnage and the world’s most lax gun laws.[…]

Okay.  The sheriff in Vegas told the world there was no way in hell this could have been “prevented.”  You might have had a chance if you put this whole country into one big authoritarian Tel Aviv airport-style lockdown.  (Anybody ever flown into Tel Aviv?) 

But even THAT doesn’t stop horrible acts of violence and terrorism from going down in Israel.  Rob & co. LOVE to trumpet the gun laws in the UK.  Never mind all that mischief involving Northern Ireland and the IRA (while all those laws were on the books, BTW).

Wait. Rob was NOT DONE:

Why the U.S. government seems paralyzed in the face of these gun massacres is vividly illustrated by North Carolina’s 2014 Senate race.[…]

Soooooo — Vegas was the fault of Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan? (So observant from the guy who got SCOOPED by the National Enquirer.) 


In a pro-gun state, Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan had a pro-gun record. Hagan was a moderate banker-lawyer from a military family, where her children all received hunting licenses when they were born. As a senator she voted against banning high-capacity magazines of more than 10 bullets. She voted to allow firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains, voted to repeal Washington’s handgun ban, voted for preventing gun ownership from affecting insurance premiums, and opposed a U.N. arms treaty which gun advocates feared could be used to limit gun rights.

She WAS all that — in the General Assembly.  Washington tends to change people.  (See Burr, Richard and Tilli$$$, Thom.)


But after the 2012 massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, then-President Barack Obama pushed for greater checks on gun sales.

What emerged was a modest bipartisan proposal by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that would require criminal and mental-health background checks for guns sold at gun shows and online.

The bill received 54 votes in the Senate in April 2013, including Hagan’s, short of the 60 needed to break the Republican filibuster.

That vote, arguably, cost Hagan her Senate seat.[…]

Nope. Dishonest. Hagan was dead meat as soon as she provided one of the deciding votes for ObamaCare — just after arriving in Washington — and cozied up to Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer.  Gun issues were barely mentioned in the 2014 race,


[…]The NRA found its candidate in Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis, who had helped the gun lobby group push through the state legislature two bills – one in 2011 expanding the “castle doctrine” giving North Carolina residents the right to use deadly force to defend themselves in their homes, and one in 2013 expanding the places that gun owners could carry concealed weapons to include school parking lots, public parks and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Again, NOT QUITE.  Tillis was lukewarm to cold on all of those gun bills in the House.  If he had not been running for the Senate – and needing conservative primary votes – they would have disappeared down a rat hole on Jones Street.

Kay Hagan would have lost if my dog had been the GOP nominee.  People were ready for her to go.  Tillis benefited from a crowded GOP primary that split the conservative vote to his benefit.  He also had the name ID — from being on the TV news every night as speaker, —  and the PAC connections. It makes it a lot easier to raise money when you can promise favors for people in The General Assembly. 

The NRA is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the RNC.  The RNC and the congressional leadership hand-picked Tillis.  He’s THEIR kind of guy.

There were many others in the primary — Greg Brannon and Mark Harris, for instance — who would have been much better on guns than Tillis. The NRA did the bidding of their masters at the RNC.



The NRA spent $5.5 million to defeat Hagan, the most it spent on any race in the country that year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


Tillis won the race with 48.8 percent of the vote to Hagan’s 47.2 percent. Tillis said the NRA not only helped him defeat Hagan, but allowed him to emerge from a competitive GOP primary.

The tightness of that race — given the out and out hatred of Hagan — indicates what a bad candidate Tillis was and how much nose-holding was going on at the polls.  A third party candidate, Sean Haugh, ran to Hagan’s left and swiped enough votes from her to give Tillis his razor-thin edge.  Tillis would have lost a head-to-head match with Hagan. (Tillis campaign insiders even admit their polling right up to the end suggested a defeat for their man.) 

“I know firsthand about the power of the NRA grass roots after receiving the NRA Political Victory Fund’s endorsement in April 2014, which came at a critical time, just weeks before the hotly contested Republican Senate primary,” Tillis wrote in the Washington Times piece.


Before the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Congress seemed poised to pass legislation to loosen gun regulation – such as a bill regarding the purchase of silencers and a measure, sponsored by North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson of Concord, to make it easier for concealed carry permit holders to take their weapons to other states. Those proposals are probably on hold.

*Of course.  Put the stuff on hold that actually MAKES SENSE.*


Now there is movement by the NRA and some Republican leaders to discuss tightening the regulation of so-called bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds per minute. This was apparently how the Las Vegas shooter was able to kill at least 58 people in minutes.

This is unlikely to make much of a dent in the carnage. But it’s something.[…]

Soooo — it’s not going to make much of a difference, but DO IT ANYWAY ???

Most gun deaths in this country are the result of suicide.  Second place? Domestic violence.  Why not tackle THOSE TWO issues instead? 

The ATF approved bump stocks for sale in 2010 — the Obama era — because they don’t truly make the weapons “automatic.”  (The gunman’s perch high above the concert, and so many people in such a tight spot, made it quite easy to hit 59 people out of a crowd of 30,000.) 

You can cave into people like Rob and surrender more of your rights to your government masters.  Or we can introduce some true common sense into the discussion.