I call it Elvis Syndrome.
Surrounded by groupies and acolytes and yes-men, it can be easy to lose perspective. When your every utterance is treated as a pearl of wisdom, when there's nobody who tells you "no", you can start to buy into your own hype.
James Yeager has long been known for being willing to embrace controversy within the firearms industry, most recently by threatening to beat up the internet for calling him a coward, but largely remained a cipher to mainstream media and the outside world.
And then, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting and right smack in the middle of a raging national debate about guns in the hands of the mentally unstable, he put up a red-faced and spittle-flecked YouTube video in which he threatened to "start killing people".
The outside world noticed.
Mainstream media noticed.
The unblinking eye turned on his background. They haven't discovered the "duel contract" yet, but they will. His toter's permit got yanked.
He deleted the original video, put out an edited one, and has now appeared in a third video with a man who seems to be his lawyer (put that man on danger pay, James!), walking back his earlier statements but the internet, like rock and roll, never forgets.
Here's my question: In his entire entourage of uncritical nuthuggers, was there not one single person willing to play Smithers to Yeager's Mr. Burns? Nobody to say "Uh, sir, maybe going on camera all bug-eyed and threatening to kill people isn't such a good idea when bug-eyed people have been running around killing people."
And no matter how much you don't want him on your team, he is on your team anyway. He is getting so much attention at HuffPo and DailyKos because to them, he confirms every stereotype they have of gun owners the way Limbaugh listeners think that all Democrat voters are dreadlocked hippies in #OCCUPY_DRUM_CIRCLE. James Yeager has sent the entire gun rights movement downrange with a camera.
Thanks a lot, James. Before you score another Own Goal, how about hiring somebody whose only job is to follow you around and say "No."? You need a Smithers in your life.