A spokesman for the National Rifle Association is warning the families of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward not to get “so emotional” over the heinous murders of their children that their feelings influence their thoughts on gun control.
NRA spokesperson Colin Noir is accusing the parents of Parker and Ward, whose children were fatally shot on live television by former colleague Vester Lee Flanagan, of succumbing to “grief-inspired advocacy” because Barbara and Andy Parker have vowed to make stronger gun control legislation their mission in life.
Noir, who is the face of an NRA campaign to reach a younger audience, said in a video message that he “has no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child,” but that “sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us."
“And to the parents of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, I have no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child. Grief-inspired advocacy can be extremely effective and powerful and I say run full speed to find a way to end violence like this. However, sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us. I'm deeply sorry for your loss.”
This is not the first time the NRA has made ludicrous, insensitive arguments that emotions are clouting individuals to think clearly on gun legislation in the wake of the shootings in a shrewd and desperate attempt to steer the public debate away from gun laws. As Media Matters reports, in June 2014 an online post by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action wrote gun safety groups "use grieving victims to invoke an emotional response and spread misinformation falsely claiming that enacting their agenda would have prevented these tragedies and will prevent future tragedies."
In his rant, Noir accused politicians like Hillary Clinton, President Obama, “and the rest of the gun control Wu-Tang Clan [as being] so full of it" because “they try to take advantage of people's ignorance about guns and their emotional response to horrible events to win votes and push an agenda that fosters an unhealthy dependence on the government.”
Yet what Noir and the NRA fail to miss in their propaganda spiel is that these parents are indeed affected by their emotions but instead of hopelessly wallowing in their grief have found enough strength to fully take action on one of the most pressing policy issues the U.S. faces today — and that deserves praise and encouragement, not a degrading lecture that feeds the NRA’s repulsive self-interests.