Sunday, March 25, 2018


The NRA isn't even pretending to feel the pain of school shooting survivors anymore:
... Colion Noir, a host on NRATV ... took to the airwaves on the eve of the Parkland teens-led March on Washington, telling them: “No one would know your names” if a student gunman hadn’t stormed into their school and killed three staff members and 14 students.

“To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else’s Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his,” Noir said.

... The man he references, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy Blaine Gaskill, is the 34-year-old SWAT-trained officer who engaged a teenager who shot his ex-girlfriend at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland....

“They’re running Season 5 of their gun-control reality show, featuring the freshest cast of characters yet in their modern march on Washington — except this time for less freedom,” he said. “These kids ought to be marching against their own hypocritical belief structure.”

James Joyner of Outside the Beltway writes:
... attacking the teenagers themselves? That’s simply tacky—and a strategy sure to backfire on the NRA and its supporters.
Amanda Marcotte tweets:

Joyner and Marcotte are missing the point.

Lashing out at these kids wasn't a poorly thought-out blunder. Chest-thumping obnoxiousness is precisely what the right-wing base wants from the NRA (and the GOP). It's the reason Donald Trump beat seventeen other Republican candidates, and a major contributing factor to his general election turnout in 2016. It's what some right-wing pundits are honest enough to admit is the appeal of many of the things Republican politicians do.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, Wayne LaPierre delivered a defiant, inflammatory speech in which he denounced the media, videogame developers, and "monsters" running amok in our streets -- but his words about the victims and their families, however perfunctory, at least feigned sympathy:
The National Rifle Association -- 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters -- join the nation in horror, outrage, grief, and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
That's not the NRA's style anymore. The organization's core audience (which is also the GOP's core audience) wants aggression, hostility, and contempt. It wants these things as ends in themselves -- sure, they're seen as a means of getting what the base wants, but they're also satisfying on their own. This hostility, whether from Steve King or Colion Noir, Donald Trump or Dana Loesch, is a major reason that male identification with the Republican Party has been rising in recent years, according to Pew. We know the NRA is selling apocalyptic fear these days -- but it's also selling "fuck you, leftists" as an antidote to that fear -- and as the rhetorical equivalent of blowing the crap out of some targets with an AR-15 at the gun range.

The Colion Noir video (and his other recent rants against the Parkland kids) may seem obnoxious to us, but that's okay with the NRA -- to the intended audience, obnoxiousness is the point.

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