It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that hunting animals vulnerable to extinction is the opposite of saving them. But the National Rifle Association wants us to believe otherwise. The organization has recently tried to pass itself off as an ally to elephant lovers everywhere, valiantly fighting for the survival of these gentle giants. But to the NRA, the best way to save elephants is to fight laws that remove the “right” of hunters to kill them for ivory.

Of course, this would be far more shocking we weren’t talking about the NRA, an organization that responds to every shooting crisis with cries for more guns and a rejection of background checks, as if more weapons make the world a safer place. Yes, based on the NRA’s track record, the fact that this blindly pro-gun group supports the sale of (often illegally obtained) ivory is sadly predictable.

But what’s truly sickening is that, rather than openly condemning protection legislation, the NRA floated a “Trojan elephant” to the inboxes of caring people who genuinely want to save these animals.

According to Deadline, they targeted elephant conservationists through a group called the Elephant Protection Association, or EPA. Before you begin to think there’s anything remotely legitimate about the EPA, know that their effort to “save the elephants” is coordinated by Shannon Alford, staff lobbyist for the NRA.

The EPA sprang to life after the Obama Administration passed stronger regulations on ivory in response to out-of-control elephant slaughter. But the EPA wants you to believe that banning ivory doesn’t protect elephants at all. For an organization that was established to protect elephants, it seems awfully preoccupied with protecting the people who kill them.

The NRA and its EPA sockpuppet hope that you love elephants so much you’ll support their efforts to allow Americans to contribute freely  to the endangerment and possible extinction of this animal. We can only hope this cynical ploy backfires spectacularly and the NRA is made to look every bit as foolish as it deserves.