On June 12th, just two days before a gunman opened fire on a baseball field and wounded House majority whip Steve Scalise, the NRA posted a disturbing ad on Facebook that many see as nothing short of a call for armed insurgence against fellow Americans. Although many on Facebook immediately voiced their displeasure, it seems that the video is only just now being spread through other social media channels and is earning a new round of passionate opposition.
In the ad, conservative talk show host Dana Loesch (who has appeared in other NRA spots) stares straight at the camera and delivers a diatribe against a faceless “they” – a catchall term used to imply everything from liberals to newspapers to “comedy shows”—which the NRA blames for sowing the seeds of discord in this country through lies and manipulation. The video ends with Loesch proclaiming that “the only way we save our [emphasis theirs] 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.”
Under the video’s post on Facebook, many were quick to snap back at the NRA for what they see as a message that is, at best, irresponsible and, at worst, a flagrant incitement of violence.
On Twitter, activists such as DeRay McKesson pulled no punches either.
This NRA ad is an open call to violence to protect white supremacy. If I made a video like this, I'd be in jail. pic.twitter.com/LD65yMUMVn
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 29, 2017
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
The NRA just released an ad that is part authoritarian, part incitement to violence, part call for a civil war. This cannot be our politics. pic.twitter.com/1mzZf8fNku
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) June 29, 2017