The NRA’s Dana Loesch has the Left freaking out over a video in which she calls on the group’s members to fight back against the “violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth.”
I’m not exactly sure what she means by that — tell the truth? stand up for what you believe in? trust but verify? check multiple sources? — but Shannon Watts, the Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, is positive that Loesch is fomenting upheaval.
“There’s no mistaking the purpose of this ad: it’s meant to drive fear and incite violence. By dog whistling white supremacists and vigilantes with the tacit encouragement to harm their political opponents and ‘others,’ the gun lobby is attempting to ignite a culture war,” said Watts in a statement.
“They’re trying to convince Americans to take up arms against people from other races and political parties,” she continued. “It’s sick and cynical, but Americans and lawmakers are roundly rejecting the hateful and divisive politics of the NRA leadership.”
The video’s gone viral, garnering millions of views on Facebook. And now there is a petition demanding that the NRA take the video down. At the time of writing this, the petition has generated 20,294 signatures, shy of its total goal of 25,000.
“The National Rifle Association has released a truly frightening recruitment video, pitting gun owners against anyone who stands against the current president and his hateful ideals,” states the petition on the website Care2 Petition. “While the video never explicitly calls for violence, the implication is clear. It is a rallying cry.”
Loesch responded to the controversy both in an interview on NRA Tv (see below) and in a comment to the New York Times.
“I hardly think that condemning violence is inciting violence,” the conservative talkshow host told the New York Times. “I think the ad is very clear — there are excerpts from actual riots that are included in the ad, and that’s exactly what I’m addressing.”
Was what Loesch actually said promoting violence? I don’t think so. But I’m also reminded of what pollster Frank Luntz says about messaging in general, “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.”
To that end, if the Left has violence on its mind, which in the wake of the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) it certainly seems like it does, then anything anyone says can serve as a trigger.
My advice to the NRA is, don’t pull the video. Stand your ground. Fight back against the hyper-sensitive and reactionary Left with a swift boot of shove it! (Get it, instead of a clenched fist of truth, a swift boot of shove it? Hehehe.)