A recent membership recruitment video out from the National Rifle Association is causing a stir among the anti-firearm left. Critics are claiming the video’s message, which decries leftist control of the nation’s media establishment and efforts to incite massive street protests, is a call to violence against the left.
The video released by the NRA about two months ago features a monologue delivered by conservative commentator and NRA spokesman Dana Loesch.
They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance. All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding — until the only option left is for police to do their jobs and stop the madness.
And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.
After journalist and author Jeff Sharlet characterized the ad as “a call for civil war” in a tweet this week, liberal blogs and news outlets lined up to decry its message.
This new NRA ad is barely a whisper shy of a call for full civil war. https://t.co/N33s2KyvVz
— Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) June 28, 2017
ThinkProgress suggested that it would cause NRA members to commit hate crimes, declaring: “[T]he election of President Trump at the end of a campaign where he demonized immigrants and embraced white nationalism led to an explosion of hate incidents throughout the country, with 261 occurring between November 9 and February 9. Forty-two percent of those incidents involved specific references to Trump, his election, or his policies.”
Huffington Post, meanwhile, called the ad spot “outrageous.”
And the liberal Vox declared that the “chilling” video is an dog-whistle call to violence against the left.
From the outlet: “It’s not hard to figure out what the narrative is here. A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The “only way” to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA — an organization that exists solely to help people buy guns.
“The ad isn’t an outright exhortation to violence. NRA ads never are. But the NRA has a very long history of using apocalyptic, paranoid rhetoric about the collapse of American society in order to sell people on the notion that they need to act now to preserve their gun rights.”
Writing for Esquire, Charles Pierce asks what the NRA is trying to accomplish with the message before deducing that the ad “tends toward incitement.”
But does it really?
There are a few important things to remember here. First, conservative Americans aren’t worried about a “liberal insurgency.” They’re concerned about the deeply rooted liberal establishment increasingly appealing to the least intelligent among its base to stir up trouble. The goal of that establishment– made up of long-entrenched coastal elites and holdover bureaucrats still forcing the previous administration’s will from marbled halls in Washington– is to stymie reforms which could grow from the newly conservative Washington majority.
Second, this isn’t “apocalyptic, paranoid rhetoric.” Have you watched the news lately? Conservatives are being portrayed as murderers outright by the liberal establishment. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently said “people will die” as a result of conservative healthcare reform. Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot as he practiced for a congressional baseball game earlier this month. Before his condition was even downgraded from critical, leftist outlets were suggesting that Scalise may have learned a lesson from the ordeal. No joke. Meanwhile, liberal actors are using celebrity microphones to celebrate the memory of John Wilkes Booth, the French Revolution, and the assassination of Julius Caesar. In each case, the current president has been supplanted in the victim’s role.
For thousands of gun-owning Americans, many of them single-issue voters focused on the 2nd Amendment, this is a troubling reality. More troubling still, is the anti-Trump left’s advocacy of total faith in the government conservatives wish to shrink combined with its call for universal disarmament.
Make no mistake, the left is certainly hinting at– or, at least wishfully mentioning– violence to counter growing conservative sentiment in the U.S. And despite their attempts to label conservatism as “fascism,” history tells a far different story. If you disagree, do a little research and re-watch the NRA’s ad once you’ve learned whether pro-government or government-limiting factions are responsible for more unnecessary deaths throughout the course of human history.
In that context, the NRA’s call for truth and personal responsibility for self defense are pretty unassailable.