One day after hosting a “listening session” with parents, teachers, and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Donald Trump sang the praises of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump wrote in a Tweet Thursday morning.
In the tweet, he directly mentioned Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive officer, and Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist.
What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
During Wednesday’s listening session, the parents and students were calling for the president to take action to prevent future mass shootings with tougher gun laws.
Clearly, their pleas went in one ear and out the other as Trump suggested arming teachers as a solution and tweeted his pro-NRA remarks the following day, just moments before LaPierre spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Bloomberg reported.
During his speech, LaPierre criticized Democrats and liberals for “politicizing” last week’s massacre. He also asserted that so-called “elites” want to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”
Sticking true to form, LaPierre also emphasized the tired narrative that stronger gun laws won’t deter people from committing crimes.
“They fantasize about more laws stopping what other laws have failed to stop,” he said. “... So many existing laws were ignored.”
He added: “They don’t care if their laws work or not. They just want to get more laws to get more control over people. But the NRA, the NRA does care.”
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch also took to the podium at CPAC and had the audacity to proclaim that "many in legacy media love mass shootings."
"You guys love it," she said. "Now I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you, and many in the legacy media in the back (of the room)."
"And notice I said 'crying white mothers' because there are thousands of grieving black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don't see town halls for them, do you," Loesch asked. "Where's the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where's the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?"
Alas, Loesch's calculated attempt to use an outrageous declaration about the media and racial disparity to detract from the role that the NRA has played in all of America's gun violence was unconvincing, at best.
Ironically, all of this passionate, persuasive talk comes a day after Loesch found herself fumbling for words during a CNN-hosted town hall with Florida shooting survivors. She was hit with boos and jeers for giving generic answers to specific questions and failing to actually contribute anything of substance to the conversation.
She and LaPierre didn't have to worry about any pushback while speaking at CPAC in front of a group of like-minded pro-Second Amendment individuals. Therefore, they were free to spew all of the nonsense they wanted, and they did just that.
If these are the people Trump stands behind and considers "great American patriots" who will "do the right thing," then we shouldn't hold our breath for stronger common sense gun control measures to come about any time soon.