Denounce the NRA for inciting violence
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UPDATE 8.3.17 NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch just released what might be an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press, telling the New York Times in this tweet, "We're going to fist for The New York Times...we're coming for you."
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Despite widespread criticism of a National Rifle Association member recruitment video that uses a thinly veiled call to arms against critics of the President, the organization refuses to take down the video.
Using incendiary language and selective video clips, NRA spokeswomen Dana Loesch paints the protestors as violent demonstrators in a dystopian nation who “smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” The video ends telling NRA supporters the only way to “save our country” is with the “clenched fist of truth,” which is irresponsible, dangerous and could quite possibly lead to an increase in hate-induced violence that has already seen record-level increases since the election.
The video is so reactionary even staunch Second Amendment supporters and NRA members find it offensive, calling it “appalling” and comparing it to an ISIS recruitment video. Despite the disgust voiced by its own members, the NRA not only refuses to apologize (“not a chance,” said one of its spokespeople), it has doubled down on its dangerous rhetoric, releasing a new video, “Organized Anarchy” in which a Navy Seal veteran and NRA commentator claims protests are creating conditions just like those in the radical Islamist countries in which he fought.
The narrative falsely suggests widespread violence by liberal protestors when in fact protests against the Trump administration have been overwhelmingly peaceful. There was not a single arrest at the half-million strong Women’s March on Washington. At the April People’s Climate March it was noted that even in front of Trump International Hotel, “Interactions with police officers…were friendly, with many protesters stopping to get pictures of themselves with officers.”
The fear mongering, race-baiting, us vs. them, message of the NRA's video does not have a place in our democracy, no matter how polarized we are as a country. It is time for Congressional leaders to use their bully pulpit to forcefully denounce the tactics of the NRA as wholly inappropriate to our political discourse. To stay silent is to be complicit in the NRA’s dangerous, bigoted agenda aimed at nothing more than stoking fear and violence to pump up sales and profits of gun manufacturers.
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