The NRA is Losing Control

UPDATE: Chris Cillizza of CNN takes a look at how and why the gun violence debate isn’t petering out in the same manner that it has after other high-profile mass shootings:

The reason for that is simple: Dozens of Stoneman Douglas students have become articulate and vocal spokespeople in support of future gun control legislation. These students are becoming household names as they rally in Tallahassee, and next month in Washington, to keep the national spotlight on the gun issue.

A cadre of young adults speaking out in the wake of watching their classmates be gunned down is a very powerful force that had not been mobilized in anything close to this manner before.


NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch (top) and CEO Wayne LaPierre

Firearm advocates are having a difficult time defending their positions in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. High school students in Florida are organizing themselves, and inspiring others, to push their elected officials to enact stronger gun regulations. Diehard gun rights supporters such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and even President Trump are striking a different tone as a result.

This is all very distressing to folks at the National Rifle Association (NRA), who are not dealing well with the blowback. Here’s NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC):

“Many in legacy media love mass shootings,” Loesch said after walking on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to a standing ovation. “I’m not saying you love the tragedy, but you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold.” [Pols emphasis]

Her comments echoed a video that NRATV released Wednesday, which slammed the mainstream media for being the “casting call for the next mass shooting.” Loesch also said she is debuting a one-hour show on NRATV next month to combat the mainstream media.

Loesch’s absurd comments were merely a warm-up act for NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, who later delivered a speech that was heavy on the crazy. From NPR:

LaPierre defended Second Amendment rights and warned of a “socialist agenda” intended to strip firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

“As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” LaPierre said, adding that 20th century community organizer “Saul Alinsky would have been proud of the breakneck speed for gun control laws and the breathless national media eager to smear the NRA.”

LaPierre, who was not listed on CPAC’s official schedule, accused Democrats of making gun control a political issue in order to achieve their ultimate goal to “eradicate all individual freedoms.” [Pols emphasis]

“What they want are more restrictions on the law-abiding — think about that,” LaPierre said…

…”I hear a lot of quiet in this room, and I sense your anxiety,” LaPierre said, turning to the political consequences of the debate. “And you should be anxious, and you should be frightened. If they seize power, if these so-called ‘European socialists’ take over the House and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our Americans freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.” [Pols emphasis]

We wouldn’t blame anyone for being outraged at the commentary from Loesch and LaPierre today, but our first reaction here was a little different: The NRA is going completely off the rails.

When Loesch says that “crying white mothers are ratings gold,” and LaPierre says Democrats “want to eradicate all individual freedoms,” they are ignoring all rational-minded observers and appealing instead to the sort of people who believe that mass shootings are elaborate staged conspiracies instead of very real tragedies that are a uniquely-American problem. This absurdist anger speaks directly to the NRA’s particular choir but demonstrates to everyone else that groups like theirs are indeed the caricatures of gun-hoarding, fear-mongering lunatics that critics have long alleged.

The NRA does not typically embrace this kind of conspiratorial talk so whole-heartedly. That LaPierre and friends are so openly venting their fears and breaking away from prior restraints is a very clear indicator of just how quickly Americans are moving toward a real approach of combating gun violence in 2018. Fear is truth.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Of course Democrats are making gun control one of their political issues! The NRA has made combatting even the most sane gun control policies a political issue since the 1970's. Someone needs to stand up and speak.

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Is there a more loathsome creature on this planet than LaPierre?

    Perhaps there are vicious, bloodthirsty, cannibals remaining in some remote tribe of native types somewhere..but I think he is even worse and scarier than them. At least, they eat what they kill.

  3. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    "even President Trump are striking a different tone as a result" is complete nonsense.

    "Trump Suggests Bonuses for Gun-Trained Teachers, Praises the NRA"

    "Trump: Gun-free zones are "like going in for the ice cream" for school shooters"



  4. DavieDavie says:

    I think this sums up the NRA's reason for going ballistic (pun intended):

  5. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I've never owned a gun other than a BB gun as a kid; I'm not anti-gun, I've just never felt the need to own one for 'protection' or for sport (I'd rather fish).  All this NRA hair-on-fire bullshit never ceases to amuse me, if it wasn't so damn sad and pathetic to watch.  Let's not forget the real reason for #2.  

  6. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    The Pro-Trump Media Has Its Match In The Parkland Students

    The pro-Trump media chose a political enemy effectively born onto the internet and innately capable of waging an information war.

    They use platforms like Twitter to call out and put pressure on politicians. They address prominent critics like Bill O’Reilly not with bland, carefully written statements, but by dunking on them, and they respond to misinformation in real-time with their own viral, emoji-laden posts. Rather than take the bait on the crisis actor narrative, they opted to have fun with the conspiracy theories by mocking them. “I’m thankful that there are people out there finding my doppelgangers for me. I’ve always wanted to have a party with a room full of people who look like me,” Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland student, told BuzzFeed News. By dismissing the conspiracies for what they are — a tired, rather boring page in the Infowars playbook — Gonzalez and her classmates have stripped them of their power. Before the pro-Trump media can finish its line of attack, the students, unfazed, have moved on, staying one step ahead of their political enemies and owning the story.

    • MADCO says:

      Register voters
      Get out the Vote.


      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        If these courageous kids are willing to take on one of the toughest fights in American politics, we, the Boomers, owe them our unwavering support and encouragement. 

        We ( my gal and I) are setting aside March 24th in order to devote the day to helping our teenage colleagues.

        Time to pile on my brothers and sisters and kick some Trumpublican ass.        

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          Even in the sticks where I live, where maybe 20% of the students and 60% of the adults supported Trump in the election, kids did not come to school on the day of the massive nationwide  student protests Wednesday.

          It wasn't a "walkout", per se, but social media rumors spread like wildfire that we would have shooters at our local schools. So 70% of the students stayed home that day. it still sends a message that students don't feel safe at school anymore – that the NRA has essentially painted a target on our backs.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            I find it offensive that the Trumpublican Party isn't at all listening to these kids. Even at their age, they can clearly see the hypocrisy of the people who have the power to fix it. Throughout my life, particularly when I was young, nothing motivates me quite like being taken for a fool. 

            All Trump can do is try to convince them to buy into the NRA line….but I don't think they will buy it. As time passes, the NRA is digging its own grave..


            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              The NRA doesn't care what students think.  It cares about the money it makes from the gun manufacturers.  Nothing else matters to them.  Even Jesus would never forgive what they do.

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

    The Myth about the Good Guy with the Gun…..

    OTOH, I'm guessing Trump would consider this guy to be a hero since he didn't allow himself to get caught — in harm's way.

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