This article is not about gun control or any of the issues surrounding it. Any supporter of the Constitution supports the 2nd Amendment, although there are differing opinions on how that amendment should be interpreted and enforced.
Instead this article is about the National Rifle Association and their increasingly dangerous ads. The NRA has been around for a long time and considered by many to be one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C. But following the election of Donald Trump, whom they readily endorsed, their ads have become darker and dystopian in outlook.
Their hired gun, Dana Loesch, a former progressive turned right wing spokesperson, has delivered a chilling message in a series of ads that can only be described as propaganda, pure and simple. In their ad following the 2016 election, the NRA decided to attack the free press, in particular the New York Times.
Listen to some of the words she (the NRA) uses in their attack The New York Times. “Democrat overlords”, “shot across your proverbial bow” “this old grey hag” “untrustworthy, dishonest rag” “laser focus on your so-called honest pursuit of truth” and then the final threat “In short, we’re coming for you.”
This is just one example of the NRA’s attack on every freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights, except for the 2nd Amendment. They have attacked people who DARED to protest. Using a constant reference to an unspecified “they” as the enemy, they are essentially painting anyone who does not agree with them as the enemy. “They” are the ones who are promoting violent protests, “forcing” the police to take action. The ad ends with the words In that ad, “the only way to fight this violence of lies is with the clenched fist of truth.”
But their latest ad, released earlier this week, crosses a dangerous line. The NRA has gone from promoting their own political agenda to a group that is using its power and to a state-sponsored arm of propaganda. They have far exceeded their remit as a spokesman for gun owners.
— NRATV (@NRATV) October 20, 2017
Seriously. “the most ruthless attack on a president …. in American history”? Well, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? Presidents McKinley, Garfield, and Kennedy might disagree with you Ms. Loesch. Also Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Regan who were also shot, but survived. In fact, Roosevelt not only survived he didn’t seek medical help until after he had delivered his scheduled speech.
But this ad goes even further. They paint the people who disagree with Donald Trump, and those who question the legitimacy of his presidency (i.e. anyone who might agree that Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections) as saboteurs wanting to drive a dagger through the heart of our future. They then accuse these same people of wanting to burn down our institutions as we know them and build a utopia out of its ashes of what they burned down.
She then goes on to say “their fate will be failure and they will perish in the political flames of their own fires.”
This type of rhetoric tests the boundaries of what is allowed under our Constitutional right to freedom of speech. They spur on those misguided individuals who accept their claims at face value and could conceivably think that they need to be the ones to burn down Trump’s opponents – not figuratively, but literally.
This ad, these words, could be construed as incitement to riot, which is definitely not protected speech under the First Amendment. Whether it legally meets that definition is one for lawyers and the courts to decide. But this time the NRA has gone too far. They have crossed a line that everyone listening to these ads should recognize as one that must not be crossed. The National Rifle Association is NOT freedom’s safest place. They are treading perilously close to being freedom’s greatest enemy.
Bear in mind also that the NRA released this advertisement AFTER a single man, armed with numerous, modified assault riles, massacred 59 people in Las Vegas and wounded hundreds more. But there is a ray of hope for the American people in this last tweet. It’s called the “Twitter ratio.” Essentially it involves the number of retweets versus the number of comments on a particular tweet. If a tweet receives more comments than retweets, that is not a good thing. People don’t like it. The higher the number of comments versus retweets, the worse the tweet is being received. As you can clearly see, this tweet has a terrible Twitter ratio – 12,198 comments versus 2,730 retweets. In this instance, even if you combine the likes and retweets, the number of comments still greatly outnumber them.