But not your normal run-of-the-mill victims.
I want to talk about those victims the NRA has left in its wake as it engineered and fabricated the ludicrous idea that the Second Amendment is now under siege.
Really? The Second Amendment under siege?
It's not complicated. If the Second Amendment is under siege, then that siege has been one of the most spectacularly unsuccessful sieges in American legal history.
The Supreme Court has done nothing but expand, and expand dramatically, the Amendment's reach in its last two decisions in 2008 and 2010.
Concealed carry is now legal in all 50 states. The Second Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled, does indeed allow individual citizens to own guns for their personal self-defense. Over half of the states now have some version of Stand Your Ground laws.
In short, the Second Amendment has a greater reach now than at any at time in recent American history.
Shooting someone in America, and getting away with it, is more feasible now in more states than it has been in decades.
So if leaving your house in the morning involves getting your car keys, grabbing your lunch, and packing your Sig Sauer so you can protect yourself from the crazed, murderous paranoiacs that you see everywhere—maybe even at Starbucks as you grab your skinny vanilla latte—then you're a happy American these days.
The Second Amendment has been very, very good to you. Wherever you go, so too does your 9 mm.
Those who believe, then, in the Besieged Second Amendment theory have been victimized by the gun manufacturers and the gun lobbies who need desperately for this myth to grow and prosper. Their livelihood depends on it.
But let me be clear. These particular victims are not the majority of the members of the NRA; they are not the hunters; they are not the quietly responsible gun-owners in America that walked through my gun-owning, gun-toting boyhood. (You can read more about those folks and that boyhood here.)
I am speaking of the radical fringe, the so-called Insurrectionists or Militia members, who offer up those counterfeit quotations from Thomas Jefferson and tell you that they've "read" American history.
As victims go, they're hard to love.
We have always had these folks among us, but these folks have not always had social media. And the NRA has not always had such open access to them. They have proven to be a target-rich environment, to use the appropriate metaphor, for the NRA.
So as I said, not your run-of-the-mill victims, but victims all the same, who have been convinced that the Amendment that protects one of their passions—owning guns and building their identity on that particular ownership—is fading away.
Any form of gun control, then, threatens their identity. And having one's identity threatened—however it's configured—is unsettling, at least.
So these folks become loyal apostles of the gun lobbyists who feed them their lines and even more importantly, shore up their self-conceptions by accommodating their fantasies. Loyal footsoldiers, literally, in the defense of a fantasy.
And incidentally, loyal brokers in making money for the gun industry.
The real story—that the Second Amendment is safer, more expansive, and more influential on daily American life than it ever has been—does not sit well with their seige mentality.
Nor with the profit margins of the gun industry. And that's the problem.