Timothy Johnson

Author ››› Timothy Johnson
  • White NRA Radio Host Lectures John Lewis On “What The Sit-Ins Were About In The Civil Rights Movement”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    As civil rights hero and noted sit-in organizer Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) led a sit-in on the U.S. House of Representatives floor to demand votes on gun violence prevention measures, the host of the National Rifle Association’s radio show gave a lecture on “what the sit-ins were about in the civil rights movement.”

    Shortly before noon on June 22, Lewis and other Democratic members of Congress sat on the House floor, refusing to return to regular order until Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) agreed to call a vote on background check legislation and legislation to prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. The sit-in lasted through the night and has continued today through posting time.

    During the June 22 broadcast of the NRA’s radio show, Cam & Company, host Cam Edwards said of the sit-in, “I don’t know what to call it” and proceeded to give a lecture on what a sit-in is, referencing famous lunch counter protests during the civil rights movement, before concluding “That’s what the sit-ins were about in the civil rights movement.”

    Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and famously organized numerous sit-ins, including lunch counter protests, to protest racial discrimination during the 1960s.

    Edwards went on to attack the Lewis-led sit-in, characterizing it as “House Democrats demanding the authority and the power to ignore the Fifth Amendment when they see fit,” a reference to the claim that Democratic legislation to prohibit gun sales to suspected terrorists violates the due process clause of the Constitution.

    In fact, any gun sale denials are already subject to a due process procedure. If someone, for example, is erroneously flagged as a felon and denied the purchase of a gun, they have the ability to have the denial adjudicated by filing an appeal. Democrats have also expressed willingness to ensure that legislation to prevent sales to suspected terrorist affords due process to individuals who have sales denied.

    Edwards closed out his lecture about sit-ins with a bizarre analogy that compared efforts to destroy ISIS to what he claimed Democrats are doing to the Bill of Rights, claiming, “These are House Democrats demanding the authority and the power to ignore the Fifth Amendment when they see fit, to view the Bill of Rights as an impediment to lawmakers, to treat it as such and to try to degrade. Kind of like what they say with ISIS right? Degrade and destroy. We’re kind of witnessing the degradation and the destruction of the Bill of Rights right now.”

    From the June 22 broadcast of Cam & Company:

    CAM EDWARDS (HOST): Again, the pro-- I don’t know what to call it, a sit-in, again, generally speaking we saw the sit-ins in the civil rights movement that were advocating for individuals being able to enjoy the same rights that other Americans enjoyed, right? That’s what the protests were, that’s what -- we’re sitting at this lunch counter and we’re not leaving until we get served. Not we’re sitting at this lunch counter and we’re not leaving until you remove this item from the menu. We’re going to sit right here and we’re not leaving until you recognize us as human beings, as Americans who have the same rights that that guy has over there and that she has over there. That’s what the sit-ins were about in the civil rights movement. This, on the other hand, this isn’t Congress demanding more rights for Americans, this isn’t Congress demanding rights for themselves, this is Congress demanding power. These are House Democrats demanding the authority and the power to ignore the Fifth Amendment when they see fit, to view the Bill of Rights as an impediment to lawmakers, to treat it as such and to try to degrade. Kind of like what they say with ISIS right? Degrade and destroy. We’re kind of witnessing the degradation and the destruction of the Bill of Rights right now. Where again you’ve got self-professed thought leaders who say it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment, the Constitution itself is outdated, and then you've got lawmakers who just want to ignore the Bill of Rights.

  • NRA Radio Show Compares Participants In Rep. John Lewis’ Gun Violence Sit-In To “Criminals And Terrorists”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s radio show compared participants in a sit-in in the U.S. House of Representatives being led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) to “criminals and terrorists” reasoning that like terrorists, the sit-in participants were not following the rules.

    While the House was in session on June 22, Lewis and other Democratic members of Congress sat on the floor of the House, refusing to return to regular order until Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) agreed to call a vote on legislation to prevent gun violence.

    CNN.com described the move as “a dramatic protest inside the House of Representatives” that was “rich with historic symbolism.” Lewis, who as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organized numerous sit-ins to protest racial discrimination during the 1960s, has been described as “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced.”

    During the June 22 broadcast of the NRA’s radio show Cam & Company, as the sit-in proceeded, host Cam Edwards claimed, “So in order to push legislation that the sponsors say would not have prevented the attacks in Orlando, Florida, they’re also going to flout the House rules. Kind of like, you know, criminals and terrorists flout the rules that we have in place right now and will continue to do so?”:

     

     

  • Morning Shows Give GOP A Pass For Blocking Gun Safety Measures In Senate

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Morning news shows broadcast on ABC, NBC, and CBS inaccurately reported that the Senate rejected four “gun control measures” during procedural votes the evening of June 20.

    In fact, only two of the votes involved  “gun control” measures. Those measures were blocked along nearly party-line votes by Senate Republicans. The other two votes were on amendments offered by Republican senators. One of those amendments would have weakened the current background check system for gun purchases while the other offered an “unworkable” standard for blocking gun sales to suspected terrorists.

    Senate votes on two gun safety measures proposed by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) represent the most significant votes on gun safety legislation in the Senate since the April 2013 GOP blockade of background check legislation proposed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Murphy’s and Feinstein’s proposals each failed to get the 60 votes necessary to break through Republican obstructionism.

    In brief news reports on June 21, however, Good Morning America, Today, and CBS This Morning all glossed over the important distinctions between the four gun amendments the Senate voted on, and in some cases reporters for the morning shows credulously repeated the GOP Senate’s false characterization of its two proposals.

    • Good Morning America reported “The Senate has rejected all four gun control measures proposed after the Orlando nightclub shooting. The measures to expand background checks and block gun sales to people on the terror watch list were voted down, mostly along party lines.”

    • Today reported, “Four votes last night on what to do about guns in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre. In the Senate on Monday, these gun control measures came up for votes, but not one got the needed 60 votes necessary to move forward. … Republicans had also offered proposals that would prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns, but the Republicans were also demanding some due process provisions that Democrats could not accept.”

    • CBS This Morning reported, “New gun control measures appear unlikely after the Senate failed last night to pass four separate bills. Each fell short of the 60 votes needed. Democratic Party bills called for expanded background checks and banning anyone on a terrorist watch list from buying a gun. The Republican versions required people on watch lists to wait 72 hours, they also supported more resources for background checks.”

    In addition to not clearly identifying Senate Republicans as the driving factor behind obstructionism of gun safety legislation, the morning show reports on the Senate votes failed to accurately explain what was in the two GOP counterproposals.

    The GOP amendment described by CBS This Morning as supporting “more resources for background checks” would have actually weakened the background check system. The amendment, authored and introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), has been in existence for years, having first been introduced as a GOP alternative during Senate votes in 2013 on background check legislation. While purporting to better fund the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the legislation would actually invalidate large numbers of records in the system that prohibit people from passing a background check due to an adjudication of severe mental illness. Grassley’s amendment has been used by GOP senators who wish to claim to support improving the background check system while not actually voting for NRA-opposed legislation that would make improvements. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has notably used this tactic for years.

    The GOP amendment that Today reported “would prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns” would not actually prevent any sales to suspected terrorists. While GOP backers of the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), made arguments about due process provisions  (even though the Democratic alternative also included due process protections), the language of the GOP amendment creates “an unworkable standard” for blocking dangerous sales, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Specifically, the amendment, which Cornyn has previously put forward as an alternative to Feinstein’s “terror gap” proposal, would only give Department of Justice officials 72 hours to prove in court “not only that someone is suspected of being involved in terrorism, but that he or she will actually commit an act of terror.”

  • In Reporting On Trump’s Call For Armed Clubgoers, Some Media Miss NRA’s Extremism On Guns In Bars

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    After presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said clubgoers at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, where a gunman killed 49 people June 12, should have been carrying guns, many media outlets noted that Trump had staked out a position on guns in bars that was even more extreme than the National Rifle Association’s.

    Several media outlets, however, also incorrectly reported that the NRA opposes guns in bars generally.

    In fact, for years the NRA has made state-level efforts to allow concealed guns to be carried in bars so long as the person with the gun does not consume alcohol. The alcohol prohibition would largely operate on an honor system, as most concealed carry laws require that the gun remain concealed at all times unless being used for lawful self-defense or some other legal purpose.

    In recent years, the NRA has backed legislative efforts to allow guns in bars in states including Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia.

    On June 17, Trump said while discussing the Orlando mass shooting, “If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here -- right to their waist or right to their ankle -- and … one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes 'boom, boom,' you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight." (Trump later dishonestly claimed he was referring only to the arming of employees or security guards.)

    Two NRA officials were asked about Trump’s remark during Sunday show appearances on June 19. NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox said people drinking in clubs should not carry guns while NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said, “I don’t think you should have firearms where people are drinking.” The NRA later clarified that LaPierre was expressing opposition only to people drinking while carrying guns in bars.

    So while Trump’s position is further out there compared to the NRA’s position, the NRA’s position itself is out of the mainstream.

    Several outlets misreported the NRA’s extreme position in guns in bars, amid confusion over both Trump and LaPierre attempting to “clarify” remarks made about guns in bars:

    • USA Today: “But NRA officials said Sunday that having armed patrons in bars with alcohol was not such a good idea.”

    • NBC’s Peter Alexander on the June 20 broadcast of Today: “Trump’s argued that if more people at that Orlando nightclub were armed with guns strapped to their waist, and that they fired back at the shooter, the carnage would have been much less. But even the NRA pushed back against that, insisting it does not believe people should carry guns in drinking establishments.”

    • Associated Press: “Donald Trump is backtracking from his contention that victims of the Orlando massacre should have been allowed to carry arms into the nightclub where they were attacked -- a stance even the NRA says is untenable.”

  • MSNBC And CNN Give Platform To Gun Extremist Weeks After He Suggested Dissatisfied Voters Shoot Politicians

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    CNN and MSNBC hosted Gun Owners of America (GOA) executive director Larry Pratt to discuss the ongoing debate over possible new gun laws following the Pulse nightclub massacre even though just weeks ago Pratt suggested that gun owners unsatisfied with election outcomes could “resort to the bullet box.”

    The recent claim about the “bullet box” is just the latest inflammatory claim from Pratt, who routinely suggests that politicians who favor passing stronger gun laws should fear being shot by a GOA supporter.

    In comments flagged by Right Wing Watch, Pratt recently responded  to Supreme Court decisions he disagreed with by saying on his radio show that “we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty” before suggesting that gun owners may “have to resort to the bullet box” rather than resolve political disputes through voting.

    During June 20 appearances on CNN Newsroom and MSNBC Live, Pratt caused both anchors to become incredulous with his outrageous claims about the Orlando, FL, shooting.

    On MSNBC, Pratt repeatedly insisted that the shooting took place in a “gun-free zone,” even though the club employed an armed guard -- an off-duty police officer -- and in the initial stages of the attack, he engaged in a gunfight with the suspect, with two on-duty police officers joining him. 

    When MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts said, “But this wasn’t a gun-free zone. … Well there was an armed guard. … It’s an off-duty police officer that was there, reportedly exchanged fire with the shooter,” Pratt bizarrely responded, “That doesn’t make him armed.”

    On CNN, Pratt caused anchor Carol Costello to burst into laughter by suggesting that people should be able to carry guns in bars, with a rule that the proprietor “control the amount of booze” sold to those people.

    Pratt routinely makes inflammatory claims and takes extreme positions, including saying that the Second Amendment was "designed" for people like President Obama, supporting putting guns in kindergarten classrooms, and warning the federal government that "we'll point our guns at you if you try to act tyrannically."

    Pratt has also flirted with conspiracy theories including that the government staged the 2012 Aurora, CO, movie theater massacre and 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to build support for more gun regulation, and he has given credence to the claim that Obama will start a race war. In October 2015, Pratt claimed that Jews in Europe lacked "determination" to stop the Holocaust.

    Pratt was forced to leave the presidential campaign of Republican Pat Buchanan in 1996 after The New York Times reported that the campaign co-chairman "had spoken at rallies held by leaders of the white supremacist and militia movements" during the rise of the militia movement in the 1990s. Pratt has been a "contributing editor" to an anti-Semitic publication, and his articles on gun ownership have appeared in a white supremacist "tabloid" published by the racist Christian Identity movement. The GOA donated "tens of thousands of dollars" to a white supremacist group during the 1990s, under Pratt's direction.

     
  • NRA’s Anti-LGBT Spokesmen Discuss Orlando Gay Nightclub Shooting On Sunday Shows

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The two National Rifle Association officials who appeared on Sunday political talk shows to respond to the June 12 massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, both made anti-LGBT remarks as recent as a month ago.

    One week after a gunman wielding an assault weapon killed 49 people and wounded 53 others during a terror attack at Pulse nightclub, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation and NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) executive director Chris Cox appeared on ABC’s This Week to advocate against passing stronger gun laws in response to the mass shooting.

    As in the NRA’s official response to the shooting, which was authored by Cox, both Cox and LaPierre failed to mention that the shooting targeted a gay nightclub.

    Both LaPierre and Cox made anti-gay statements during a May 20 event at the NRA’s annual meeting. During the annual NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, Cox and LaPierre both delivered speeches that led into the NRA’s endorsement of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    Cox spoke first, and attacked societal acceptance of transgender people as “perverted” and “twisted” just seconds into his remarks. Cox lamented that “the America we know is becoming unrecognizable. Everything we believe in, everything we’ve always known to be good, and right, and true has been twisted, perverted, and repackaged to our kids as wrong, backwards, and abnormal.”

    Citing examples of America’s supposed downfall, Cox went on to say, “Who are our kids supposed to respect and admire? The media tells them Bruce Jenner is a national hero for transforming his body, while our wounded warriors, whose bodies were transformed by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades, can’t even get basic healthcare from the VA.”

    During his speech, LaPierre said the Obama administration was “in the toilet” because of efforts by the administration to prevent schools from discriminating against transgender students.

    While ostensibly an organization focused on issues relating to guns, members of the NRA’s leadership have attacked LGBT people for years, including blaming a mass shooting on same-sex marriage, claiming gay people “created” the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and labeling or supporting the depiction of gay people as “despicable,” “perverts,” and “degenerates.”

  • 20-Plus Years Of Anti-Gay Hate From The NRA

    ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    While the NRA is ostensibly an organization focused on gun rights, members of its leadership have attacked LGBT people for years, including blaming a mass shooting on gay marriage, calling societal acceptance of transgender people “perverted,” claiming gay people “created” the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and labeling gay people “despicable,” “perverts,” and “degenerates.”

  • NRA Urges People To Buy Assault Weapons Days After Terrorist Uses Assault Weapon In Massacre Of 49

    Many AR-15 Manufacturers Are NRA Corporate Donors Including Company That Manufactured Gun Used In Orlando Attack

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Days after a gunman used an assault weapon in a terror attack that killed 49 people and wounded 53 others, the National Rifle Association released a video urging Americans to buy assault weapons to protect against terrorists and other threats.

    According to the NRA video, Americans should buy assault weapons to “protect their life, liberty, and happiness.”

    During the early morning hours of June 12, a gunman launched a terror attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, killing and wounding dozens before he was killed by law enforcement. According to law enforcement, the gunman used a Sig Sauer MCX assault weapon.

    On June 15 the NRA directly responded to the Orlando attack with the release of an NRA News commentary video called “The AR-15: Americans’ Best Defense Against Terror and Crime.” Sig Sauer is a sponsor of NRA News program “Defending Our America.” Numerous NRA corporate donors, including Sig Sauer, sell AR platform assault weapons.

    In the video, NRA News commentator Dom Raso criticizes President Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for their advocacy of an assault weapons ban in the wake of the Orlando attack.

    The NRA video then made a number of arguments praising the abilities of the AR-15 -- which also serve to explain how the gunman was able to kill and wound so many people in a short period of time.

    Speaking to his experience as a firearms trainer, Raso claimed, “For the vast majority of people I work with there is no better firearm to defend their homes against realistic threats than an AR-15 semi-automatic. It’s easy to learn, and easy to use. It’s accurate, it’s reliable.”

    Raso went on to claim the Founding Fathers would have supported the AR -15. From the June 15 NRA commentary video:

     

     

    DOM RASO: I guarantee if the Founding Fathers had known this gun would have been invented, they wouldn’t have rewritten the Second Amendment, they would have fortified it in stone. Because they knew the only way for us to stay free was by having whatever guns the bad guys have. This firearm gives people the advantage they so desperately need and deserve to protect their life, liberty, and happiness.

  • Washington Post Duped By NRA’s Attempt To Seem Reasonable On Guns For Terrorists

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    UPDATE:

    After the publication of this post, The Washington Post added and reorganized language so its article now states that the NRA expressed “general support” for Republican proposals rather than "general support" for a bipartisan solution. The primary Republican proposal was authored by Sen. Cornyn and is not a meaningful step toward blocking gun sales to suspected terrorists. The Post gave no indication that it had made revisions to its article. 

    ORIGINAL: 

    The Washington Post erroneously reported that the NRA expressed “general support” for proposals to block gun sales to suspected terrorists. In fact, the NRA has supported, and continues to support, a proposal that has been described as having “an unworkable standard for blocking dangerous sales” to individuals suspected of having ties to terrorism.

    Under present federal law, there is no prohibition on individuals on either a terror watchlist or the no-fly list purchasing firearms from gun dealers. On June 15, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, “I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.”

    The NRA responded, also on Twitter, claiming, “Our position is no guns for terrorists -- period. Due process & right to self-defense for law-abiding Americans.”

    A June 15 Washington Post article cited the NRA’s tweet as evidence that the gun group was “expressing general support” for proposals such as a nascent bipartisan effort being developed by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and “a gun-control group led by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg”:

    Trump’s announcement, made via Twitter, came as Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), locked in a closely watched reelection battle, told Ohio reporters that he is ready to back a federal ban on weapons sales to anyone on a terrorist watch list if a compromise can be reached. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has worked on bipartisan gun-control legislation in the past and is also facing a tough reelection, is in talks with a gun-control group led by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to come up with such a measure, the group said.

    The NRA responded to Trump by expressing general support for such proposals: “Our position is no guns for terrorists -- period. Due process & right to self-defense for law-abiding Americans,” the group tweeted.

    But in a June 15 statement, the NRA indicated that its “position on this issue has not changed.” The statement went on to express continued support for a proposal authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

    Cornyn’s proposal would not be a meaningful step toward blocking sales to suspected terrorists. As Everytown for Gun Safety explains, the Cornyn proposal, which was drafted in response to bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), “would fail to address the terror gap, continuing to make it nearly impossible for the government to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns.” This is because the Cornyn proposal “has an unworkable standard for blocking dangerous sales -- requiring officials to show in court not only that someone is suspected of being involved in terrorism, but that he or she will actually commit an act of terror.”

    Additionally, “the counter-proposal would give the government only 72 hours to bring the suspected terrorist into court and meet this incredible standard -- or else the dangerous gun sale will proceed.”

  • NRA Response To Orlando Massacre Barely Mentions Victims, Ignores LGBT Community

    Gun Group Instead Reacts With Political Attack -- In Keeping With Its Past Hypocrisy In Mass Shooting Responses

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association responded to the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history with an editorial written by its top lobbyist that barely acknowledges the victims, fails to mention that the target of the attack was a gay nightclub, and fails to mention the number of victims.

    During the early morning hours of June 12, a gunman launched a terror attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others before he was killed by law enforcement.

    While NRA social media accounts went silent in the immediate wake of the attack, as they do after nearly all high-profile mass shootings, by the evening of June 13 the NRA had issued a response at USA Today written by the organization's top lobbyist, NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox.

    The NRA’s response barely acknowledges the victims, offering no condolences to the survivors or their families, and instead attacks President Obama as weak on terrorism. The response does not mention the LGBT community and does not list the number of victims of the attack. The closest the NRA comes to acknowledging the nature of the attack is a single line that argues, “It’s time for us to admit that radical Islam is a hate crime waiting to happen.” The NRA chose to have Cox byline the response even though just weeks ago he made a number of anti-LGBT attacks during a speech at the NRA’s annual meeting, claiming that societal acceptance of transgender people is “twisted” and “perverted.”

    While the NRA routinely argues that people who call for stronger gun laws following mass shootings are “exploiting” tragedy for political gain, the group itself offered a number of political arguments against the Obama administration relating to terrorism following the Orlando attack.

    According to the NRA, “the Obama administration’s political correctness” bears blame for the shooting, and “Radical Islamic terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws”:

    The terrorist in Orlando had been investigated multiple times by the FBI. He had a government-approved security guard license with a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security. Yet his former co-workers reported violent and racist comments. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s political correctness prevented anything from being done about it.

    Radical Islamic terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws.

    While the NRA blamed supposed actions by the Obama administration for the attack, Obama and his administration have advocated for policies that could have prevented the attack or lessened its severity.

    President Obama has repeatedly advocated for banning the sale of assault weapons like the Sig Sauer MCX used in the attack. (Sig Sauer is an NRA corporate donor and sponsor of an NRA News show.)

    Just two weeks ago, Obama lamented that individuals on terror watchlists are not prohibited from legally purchasing firearms, noting, “I just came from a meeting today in the situation room, in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens. And we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.”

    Indeed, the Senate GOP, at the behest of the NRA, has blocked both attempts to regulate assault weapons and proposals that would prohibit gun sales to certain individuals suspected of having terrorism ties.

    The NRA’s editorial concluded, “The only way to defeat them is to destroy them -- not destroy the right of law-abiding Americans to defend ourselves.” But the NRA’s quick attempt to use the Orlando massacre to argue that permissive gun ownership is needed to ward off domestic terror attacks is indicative of the organization’s hypocrisy on mass shootings.

    When NRA leaders see a facet of a high-profile shooting that they think they can exploit, they comment almost immediately. However, when they think that is not the case, the organization goes silent, aside from attacking anyone making policy arguments surrounding the shooting as disrespectful to the victims.

    The hypocrisy is made clear by the NRA’s response to the June 17, 2015, racially motivated mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, SC.

    While the NRA offered a response the day after the Orlando shooting, slamming Obama and others, days passed following the Charleston shooting without an NRA response. Only on June 20, three days after the attack, did the NRA release a statement, which claimed that “out of "respect" for the victims, "we do not feel that this is [an] appropriate time for a political debate," adding, "We will have no further comment until all the facts are known."