The National Rifle Association is drawing ire because of series of recently released videos that, in no uncertain terms, let its opponents know that its gun-wielding members are “coming for them.”
The NRA released the videos using the hashtags “#counterresistance” and “#clenchedfistoftruth” on NRATV.
The videos feature NRA spokesperson and radio host Dana Loesch. Loesch is obviously voicing the concerns and rage of NRA members, who feel they have been marginalized and mocked by media moguls who are scheming to take their guns away. The fury is directed toward “liberal elites,” specially The New York Times, who Loesch accuses of pandering to its "Democratic overlords" and depicting tea party conservatives as “racists” and “toothless hillbillies.”
Of special interest here is the language used in the video.
Loesch uses combative vocabulary to describe her opponents and the attack her group plans to mount on them.
“We've had it with your constant protection of your Democrat overlords, your refusal to acknowledge any truth that upsets the fragile construct that you believe is real life. And we've had it with your tone-deaf assertion that you are in any way truth or fact-based journalism ... Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow.”
The language has come under scrutiny by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the public policy director at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, who believes the tone and language of the video “overwrought rhetoric.”
NRA seems to also have borrowed words from Donald Trump as it accuses its detractors of using “fake news” to derail the efforts of NRA with regards to gun laws.
“They're not inventing this hyperangry, nasty partisan tone but piggybacking on Trump's approach. Of course, NRA voters by and large are Trump voters, so they would be sympathetic to that kind of message," said Robert Spitzer, chairman of the political science department at State University of New York at Cortland.
Spitzer, who himself is a member of the NRA and studies the Second Amendment and firearms industry, says this was a necessary evolution as the group changed its focus from gun safety to conservatives’ right to carry.
“It was Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, it was John McCain. It was Hillary Clinton. It was the United Nations. They've held up the U.N. as ready to swoop in and take everybody's guns,” Spitzer said. “The focus of their ire has changed, but the basic message has been the same.”
The videos led to Mike Nelson, a Democratic congressional candidate in Arkansas and a self-professed gun-supporter, to pen a scathing Facebook post.
"If the NRA does not stop their hate campaign, I will call them out on sedition. Sedition is the willful undermining of the legal authority, the Incitement of Violence."
Banner/Thumbnail: Flickr.com/Gage Skidmore