Eric Holder, circa 1995: We must ‘Brainwash’ People on Guns

Well, well, well — we’ve got more vetting being done from the folks at, this time of Attorney Gen. Eric Holder back in 1995 saying that the government must “brainwash” people on the issue of guns.

While I believe that this video is not so much the “smoking gun” (pun intended) as many may want–much like with the Obama video released by a little more than a week ago–the touchiness of many Americans on the gun issue combined with Holder’s anti-gun bona fides and overall lack of credibility will make this a bigger find than it might otherwise have been.  Considering who Holder is and what he has done, I certainly don’t like it.

See for yourself.  The video and excerpt below are courtesy has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Holder was addressing the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.

“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

In a way, I understand where Eric Holder is coming from — at least with regard to the last sentence.  As a conservative, I have absolutely zero problem with people making their own choices on whether or not they see a reason to carry a firearm, whether that reason be for personal defense, or because it’s “hip,” just like I see no problem with people making their own decision as to whether they want to smoke cigarettes.

While I have never smoked–outside of the occasional cigar here and there, that is–I carried a Sig-Sauer P226 (among other guns) when I lived in the outskirts of Philadelphia before moving to South Carolina in June 2010.  I made the conscious choice that I wanted to be the master of my domain when it came to protecting myself and my family, that I did not want to bet our lives on the response time of law enforcement or the sudden beneficence of a ne’er-do-well.

The problem with Holder’s statement, the latter part at least, is that while the statement itself is fairly innocuous–let the people decide whether or not they want to carry a gun–the actions on the part of the Department of Justice and federal government have been anything but.  Holder has used his position and his agencies to attempt the orchestration of a progressive course of action on the gun issue.

As I wrote in Creating Chaos to Facilitate Failure, Holder’s hope in signing off on Fast & Furious was that the violence on the border due to American-bought guns crossing the Rio Grande and ending up in cartel hands would reach a fever pitch, and that the American people on their own would clamor for a broadspectrum solution to a government-invented and -exacerbated problem.  Much like ObamaCare was designed to increase the burden on insurers and, with it, the costs of premiums to the point where ordinary Americans were clamoring for a broadspectrum government-oriented solution to a government-invented and -exacerbated problem.

In a way, Holder’s comparison to cigarettes is perfect.  If a conservative method of government intervention would be possible, it would be something like the advertisement we see here in South Carolina featuring an older woman struggling to speak with a gaping wide-open stoma, in that such an advertisement causes people to re-think their own decisions with regard to cigarette smoking.  Holder’s response, and really the response of federal, state and city governments, has been to outlaw smoking everywhere, inflate the cost of cigarettes through exorbitant taxes, and otherwise actively interfere in the lives of smokers.

There’s a difference.  I’d say that the federal government did not “brainwash” people on cigarettes, but rather intervened to an extent that smoking became an expensive pain in the arse.  Holder’s “brainwashing” on guns is more of the same — at least, that’s his hope.  In the meantime, I’ll continue being a bitter clinger.




  1. Randy Wills says:

    And so will I, Jeff. So will I.


  2. whats_up says:

    Two interesting points to note.

    1. Gun rights have actually increased under Obama’s watch.

    2. It is interesting that the Republicans havent jumped harder on fast and furious. Perhaps that is because it would lead to information that a similar program albeit smaller happened under Bush with their tacit approval.

  3. Jeff Schreiber says:

    On the first point, you have a causation problem. Gun rights increased because of the SCOTUS decision in Parker/Heller — which the Obama administration opposed through amicus briefs and what not. So, to say that Obama had a hand in expanding gun rights is absolutely ludicrous.

    On the second point, you are decidedly more fair and correct. The problem, however, is that under the Bush administration the program was scrapped because of the inherent problems with gun-walking and the assessed inability to track/control the guns being walked. It was deemed ineffective insofar as the desired goal–tracing guns to cartels–was concerned. The Obama administration’s goal has been different, as the Obama administration was hoping to use a failed gun-walking program to instill new gun regulations. I’ve written about it here before, I think in “Creating Chaos to Facilitate Failure,” though it might have been another piece — leaked memos PROVE that Fast & Furious was designed as a means of back-door implementation of new regulations.

  4. whats_up says:

    @ Jeff,

    I was referring to the law that Obama signed that allowed citizens to carry arms in Federal Parks. The facts would support that Obama is not very interested in limiting 2nd amendment rights. I am not aware of any bill that he has championed or even talked about that does these things.

  5. T.I.M. says:


    (I’m using this venue as I can’t get your “email me” link to work.)

    Firstly, as to whats_up, Obama has promoted anti-gun legislation up to the point of wanting to confiscate all guns, and saying he doesn’t think any citizens should have the right to armed self-defense, even in their homes.

    As to the larger point: Obama, Clinton, et al like to work with the U.N. The U.N., in cahoots with George Soros-funded groups, is working to remove lawful guns from the hands of citizens — including here in America, which could, by some reasoning, fall under “international law”. This could include a renewable (with inspections) manufacturer’s license for anyone who so much as takes a gun apart to clean it.

    I’m in the middle of a fascinating book, “America Disarmed” by Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA) which describes not only efforts at disarmament, but a vast stack of evidence of United Nations corruption and graft — and cover-ups. Sickening, but well worth the dense read.

    And finally, the N.R.A. has put out a “Defeat Obama Fact Sheet” with bullet points on the choice between Obama and the Second Amendment. I’ve told them that every gun owner, gun store, range, trainer, etc, should have and share copies. I’d be happy to scan and send it to you if you think it would help. Just let me know at my email address.

  6. Gail B. says:

    Thanks for this story. I posted a link to it at

  7. whats_up says:

    @ T.I.M.

    Could you provide links to Obama saying these things. I have never heard him utter any of those words. Perhaps you could also point out the actual bills that Obama has supported since you claim that he has done so.

    You are aware that the UN can do nothing in America without our permission? No one has given them permission that I am aware of, do you have something to show that this is the case?

    No offense but I have found that “what people said” on the internet usally means something that was heard by so and so and then posted, when in reality nothing was said.

    Thanks for the links.

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