Colion Noir, a commentator and web series host for the National Rifle Association (NRA), addressed his widely criticized claim that the parents of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward should not "become so emotional" in response to the fatal shooting of their children so as to misdirect their "grief-inspired advocacy."
In an interview with Lynchburg, Virginia ABC affiliate station WSET, Noir said that as a gun rights activist he felt compelled to respond to Andy Parker, who said following the killing of his daughter that he would make it his "mission in life" to get stronger gun laws passed.
Noir told WSET, "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm."
The NRA and Noir have been criticized in the wake of an August 30 video posted by Noir where he told the parents of Parker and Ward that "sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us." WSET reported that Noir's claims are "causing quite the controversy online."
The NRA often attacks calls for stronger gun calls by claiming such advocacy is based on emotion rather than logic, despite consensus among academic researchers on gun violence that stronger gun laws help reduce homicide.
More from WSET on Noir's "warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward":
On the other side of the conversation is NRA Commentator Colion Noir. "Turning this murder into a gun control dog and pony show minutes after the shooting, because you can't make sense of what just happened, is ridiculous" said Colion Noir on a Youtube video.
Noir uploaded this Youtube video on Sunday... with a warning for the grieving parents of Parker and Ward. "Sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and everything starts looking like the enemy, even if they are there to help us" said Noir.
The video has gotten more than 54-thousand views, but Noir says he almost opted out of making it. "From the NRA perspective, if they don't say anything they are considered cold and callous, if they say something immediately then they are considered capitalizing off of a tragedy" said Noir.
Noir expresses his condolences to the families of Ward and Parker in the video, but says as a gun rights advocate he felt the need to address Parker's comments. "Let's be very clear about something. The father has projected himself into this conversation, with much vigor. So I am addressing the idea and am hyper-focused on the firearm" said Noir.
The Parkers are already reaching out to leading gun control advocates including Astronaut Mark Kelly and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Colion Noir, a commentator and web series host for the National Rifle Association (NRA), warned the parents of slain journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward against becoming "so emotional" in response to the fatal shooting of their children that they channel their "grief-inspired advocacy" to the wrong effect.
The NRA and other opponents of stronger gun laws consistently argue that calls for new gun laws in the wake of a shooting tragedy are based on emotion rather than logic. Just hours after his daughter was killed, Andy Parker announced on national television that he would make it his "mission in life" to get stronger gun laws passed.
Parker's mother, Barbara Parker, said during an interview on CNN, "We cannot be intimidated, we cannot be pushed aside, we cannot be told that this fight has been fought before and that we're just one more grieving family trying to do something."
On August 30, the NRA's Noir posted a video response to the shocking August 26 murder of Parker and Ward, which happened while they were filming a live news report. The two journalists worked for Roanoke, Virginia ABC affiliate station WDBJ and were killed by a disgruntled former co-worker.
Noir, who is the face of an NRA effort to influence a younger demographic, said in his video post that while he has "no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child," "sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us":
NOIR: And to the parents of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, I have no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child. Grief-inspired advocacy can be extremely effective and powerful and I say run full speed to find a way to end violence like this. However, sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they're there to help us. I'm deeply sorry for your loss.
Noir wasn't as diplomatic throughout the rest of the video, saying at one point, "Turning this murder into a gun control dog-and-pony show minutes after the shooting because you can't make sense of what just happened is ridiculous."
He also claimed that Hillary Clinton, President Obama, "and the rest of the gun control Wu-Tang Clan are so full of it" because "they try to take advantage of people's ignorance about guns and their emotional response to horrible events to win votes and push an agenda that fosters an unhealthy dependence on the government..."
Claiming that arguments in favor of stronger gun laws rely solely on emotions is a major strategy the NRA employs to try and shut down the debate over gun laws every time a shooting captures national headlines.
In a June 2014, a post on the website of the NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), claimed that gun safety groups "use grieving victims to invoke an emotional response and spread misinformation falsely claiming that enacting their agenda would have prevented these tragedies and will prevent future tragedies."
CBS Evening News allowed discredited gun researcher John Lott to attack the view that gun violence is a public health issue with the unsupported claim that murder rates have increased everywhere guns have been banned.
Lott is a well-known pro-gun advocate and frequent source of conservative misinformation about gun violence. He rose to prominence during the 1990s with the publication of his book, More Guns, Less Crime, although his conclusion that permissive gun laws reduce crime rates was later debunked by academics who found serious flaws in his research.
During an August 27 segment on CBS Evening News that discussed the shocking killing of two Virginia journalists, Lott said he did not believe gun violence was a public health issue and claimed, "Every country in the world, or place in the world, [that] has banned guns has seen an increase in murder rates, it's not just Washington, D.C. and Chicago."
Lott's claim is unsupported by the data. It's also a red herring; in the United States, sweeping gun bans were found to be unconstitutional in the 2008 Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, effectively making the proposition of banning all guns irrelevant in serious policy debates over gun laws, which are focused most strongly on strengthening the background check system for firearm sales.
Lott's claim about higher murder rates where gun sales are all but banned falls apart after examining one of the cities he cites, Washington D.C.
Lott is technically correct that the D.C. murder rate in 1976 -- the year a ban on private ownership or possession of handguns in nearly all circumstances went into effect -- was 26.8 people per 100,000 residents, and was 31.4 in 2008, the last year the ban was in place. But those two data points don't tell the whole story. For example, the murder rate in the last full year in which D.C. did not have a gun ban, 1975, was 32.8 -- higher than the murder rate when the ban ended
In fact, D.C.'s murder rate during the last year of the gun ban was lower than the murder rates in each of the five years before it was implemented (31.4 vs. 32.8, 38.3, 35.9, 32.8, and 37.1).
Homicide trends in D.C. also cast doubt on Lott's suggestion of a causal connection between the District's handgun ban and number of murders. Murders in D.C. peaked in 1991 -- a crack epidemic was raging at the time -- at 80.6 per 100,000 residents. During the last 17 years D.C.'s gun ban was in effect, the rate fell by more than half, suggesting that factors other than the ban were driving the murder rate.
Data from Australia also casts doubt on Lott's premise that more restrictions on firearms equal more murders. Following a series of mass shootings that culminated with the 1996 Fort Arthur massacre of 35 people, Australia enacted extremely restrictive gun laws that placed strong limits on firearm ownership -- especially for handguns and semi-automatic rifles -- and confiscated 650,000 privately owned guns.
After Australia implemented these laws, according The Washington Post, an academic study found that "the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides."
In a more general sense, an examination of research on guns and homicide by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found "case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide."
Although Lott is well-known to reporters and news producers, he should not be considered a credible source for information about gun violence. In addition to his flawed research, Lott has been embroiled in a number of ethics controversies, including his admission that he used the pseudonym "Mary Rosh" to defend his works from critics and praise his own research in online discussions. He has also faced allegations that he fabricated the results of a study on defensive gun use and has been caught attempting to surreptitiously revise his data after critics discovered errors.
The host of the National Rifle Association's radio show reacted to the fatal shooting of two journalists in Virginia by attacking "anti-gun politicians" and "anti-gun activists" for using the tragedy to call for stronger gun laws, claiming they "politicized" it and demonstrated "a lack of shared humanity."
But not only is the NRA hypocritical for saying gun policy debates should be off-limits after a shooting -- it has used mass shootings to call for looser gun laws -- it's also self-serving, because its political agenda benefits when potential new laws that it opposes are not debated and discussed.
The NRA's declaration that this is not the time to discuss gun policy also stands in stark contrast to comments made just hours after the shooting by the father of one of the victims, who said publicly that he will make it his life's work to convince politicians to close loopholes in gun laws.
During the morning of August 26, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, of Roanoke, Virginia's ABC affiliate station WDBJ, were gunned down while doing a live report from a recreation area. The shooter, who later that day committed suicide, was a disgruntled former co-worker. The tragedy quickly made national headlines and prompted calls for stronger gun laws and action by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife (D).
Later that same day during an afternoon broadcast, Cam Edwards, host of the NRA radio show, Cam & Company, lashed out at people who consider this latest incident of shocking public gun violence as more evidence the nation needs stronger gun laws.
Edwards complained, "Before we know any of the details, we are seeing anti-gun politicians, anti-gun activists trying to turn this tragedy into some sort of political advantage," and went on to characterize calls for new gun laws as "the wrong response to take here. I think it shows a lack of shared humanity."
He went on to lament, "It has been really disheartening to see in a matter of minutes how this story became politicized," and said, "This is a community that is absolutely heartbroken right now and you've got people who are trying to turn this tragedy into some sort of political advantage for them[selves]. I just think it's gross."
That reaction typifies the gun group's strategy whenever a shooting captures national headlines. Hiding behind expressions of concern for the victims of the attack, the NRA condemns anyone who sees the violence as a reason to change or reform laws and accuses them of "politicizing" a tragedy.
This argument is nonsensical. As Ezra Klein explained for The Washington Post following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, saying that it's not appropriate to talk about new gun laws "is a form of politicization":
When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk about reforming our gun control laws."
Let's be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It's just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws.
With statements that attempt to police what can and can't be said following a shooting, the NRA not only seeks to shut down debate that could lead to tougher gun laws, it also purports to speak for the victims and their family members.
But no one who has been personally affected by gun violence needs the NRA to speak for them. Certainly not Parker's father, who appeared on Fox News the night his daughter was shot and made an impassioned plea for gun reform.
Noting that he had spoken by phone with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Andy Parker said: "I'm going to do something, whatever it takes, to get gun legislation to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes in background checks and making sure crazy people don't get guns," adding that McAullife told him, "I'm right there with you":
ANDY PARKER: And, you know, I'm not going to let this issue drop. We've got to do something about crazy people getting guns. And, you know, and the problem that you guys have is that -- and I know it's the news business and this is a big story. But next week it isn't going to be a story anymore and everybody is going to forget it. But you mark my words, my mission in life -- and I talked to the governor today. He called me and he said -- and I told him, I said, I'm going to do something, whatever it takes, to get gun legislation to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes in background checks and making sure crazy people don't get guns. And he said, you go, I'm right there with you. So, you know, this is not the last you've heard of me. This is something that is Alison's legacy that I want to make happen.
Emily Miller, the chief investigative reporter for Washington, D.C.'s Fox affiliate, delivered a rare segment on gun policy for the station. Her report was appended with the disclosure from her employer that "she is a strong advocate of the Second Amendment."
Miller, who was previously one of the most prominent sources of conservative misinformation on gun violence, has largely been silent on the topic since February, following controversies related to her pro-gun advocacy.
The August 24 broadcast of Fox 5 News @ 10 and the August 25 broadcast of Fox 5 Morning News @ 5 both ran a Miller segment on Washington, D.C., police chief Cathy Lanier's recent discussion of a spike in gun violence in the city. Lanier said at a meeting of law enforcement professionals that officers are recovering more high-capacity ammunition magazines -- those that can hold 10 rounds of ammunition or more -- at crime scenes in D.C., including some incidents "where there are 40 to 50 rounds fired."
Miller's segment -- which included her questioning Lanier at a news conference -- sought to cast doubt on the claim that more high-capacity magazines are actually being recovered. Miller often submits adversarial reporting on Lanier for Fox 5. During Miller's previous stint as senior opinion editor for the conservative Washington Times, she frequently criticized Lanier with the claim that she is anti-gun.
Following both broadcasts of Miller's segment, one of the program's co-anchors said, "It should be noted that chief investigative reporter Emily Miller authored a book about the national political debate over gun control. She is a strong advocate of the Second Amendment."
The book referenced by Fox 5 is Emily Gets Her Gun: ... But Obama Wants To Take Yours, which was published in 2013 and advances conspiracy theories about a supposed desire by Obama to "disarm the populace" while pushing numerous falsehoods about gun violence.
Miller has not regularly reported on gun issues in D.C. since February, following controversy over her appearances at pro-gun rallies in Virginia and Maryland. During a January speech in front of an extremist gun group during a lobbying day at the Virginia State Capitol, Miller said that Washington D.C. "is not part of America, because they don't recognize the Second Amendment."
Miller's appearances at pro-gun rallies were criticized by journalism experts as a conflict of interest, given her coverage of gun issues in the D.C. metropolitan area.
Following the controversy, Fox 5 included a disclosure on one of Miller's reports that she "is a proponent for Second Amendment rights," but soon Miller left the gun beat entirely after a second controversy.
On February 25, The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reported that Miller had given different accounts of a 2010 "home invasion" in order to "squeeze the story for additional terror" in support of her pro-gun advocacy.
Miller's advocacy began with a series of blog posts for the Washington Times about her efforts to obtain a firearm license in Washington D.C. Miller explained that she wanted a gun in the wake of a "home invasion" in 2010.
Miller often told the story to pro-gun audiences, and in some instances described how she encountered a burglar inside of a residence she was housesitting and had to "talk him out of the house without" being harmed. Miller also had described being chased by more than a dozen of the burglar's accomplices after following him outside of the house.
But according to a series police documents obtained by Wemple, Miller told police that she encountered a suspicious man outside of the home, who gave her a business card for a tree service. Only hours later did Miller call the police after discovering that her credit card was missing from a wallet she had left inside of the house. Miller also made no mention of encountering more than a dozen of the suspected burglar's companions.
Fox 5's disclosure that Miller is "a strong advocate of the Second Amendment" is important given her long track record of spreading false information about gun violence, even while working as a reporter for the station.
During a May 19, 2014, segment on Fox 5, Miller reported on remarks about firearms given by Hillary Clinton during an appearance before the National Council for Behavioral Health. In her report, Miller claimed Clinton had "talked about hunting and fishing and all that stuff, now she is like, 'We need to pull back guns, nobody should have guns.'"
Clinton had actually said nothing of the sort. According to a video from the event, Clinton called for stronger gun laws but added, "I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns."
Breitbart News reacted to reports that two Virginia journalists were shot to death on-air by a disgruntled former co-worker by publishing an article with the headline, "RACE MURDER IN VIRGINIA: BLACK REPORTER SUSPECTED OF EXECUTING WHITE COLLEAGUES - ON LIVE TELEVISION!"
On August 26, two employees of Roanoke, Virginia CBS affiliate WDBJ were shot to death while reporting from Smith Mountain Lake, a public recreation area popular for boating and fishing. The gunman, who later shot himself but apparently survived, is reportedly a former employee of the affiliate.
Breitbart News reacted to the shooting with a race-baiting article authored by editor-at-large John Nolte. The piece was widely condemned by other members of the media, many of whom pointed out Breitbart News' lengthy history of racially charged reporting and commentary. The headline has since been changed.
*thinks to himself* i should definitely post my story about the scary BLACK murderer. pic.twitter.com/rvvRdqAmSe-- Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 26, 2015
at what point do we stop pretending breitbart is anything other than a white supremacist hate site? https://t.co/WfQEpUp6Ep-- Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) August 26, 2015
I'm too angry to be tweeting about these racist demagogues at Breitbart but I can't contain myself right now. pic.twitter.com/Jz3zTTr6HF-- Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 26, 2015
These are sick, hateful, twisted people who exploit our worst impulses, and they have real influence.-- Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) August 26, 2015
One of these things is something Breitbart dot com considers race-baiting. One is not. pic.twitter.com/lomZAdjbDm-- Elise Foley (@elisefoley) August 26, 2015
Weird, none of these Breitbart headlines about Dylann Roof have the word "white" in them pic.twitter.com/d6kgaJUOcF-- Elise Foley (@elisefoley) August 26, 2015
So, can all of us political folks stop pretending that Breitbart has any place in the mainstream discourse now? pic.twitter.com/fMimWU1agV-- Hunter Walker (@hunterw) August 26, 2015
A flack for the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association (NRA) used the Jim Crow-era term "poll tax" to describe a new Seattle ordinance that imposes a tax on the sale of guns and ammunition to fund research on gun violence, which the NRA has challenged in a lawsuit.
On August 10, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a new tax on firearm and ammunition sales. Beginning in January, firearms will be subject to a $25 tax, while most types of ammunition will be taxed at 5 cents per round. Seattle has embraced a research-based approach to preventing gun violence and already has a "hospital-based intervention program for gun violence victims." Revenue from the new tax will fund additional research. Seattle City Council data shows that in 2014, Seattle taxpayers paid $12 million to cover the direct medical costs of gunshot wounds.
During the August 21 broadcast of the NRA's radio show, Cam & Company, NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) media liaison Lars Dalseide -- who has been attacking the tax in media interviews -- compared the measure to a "poll tax" that is "meant to punish a certain group."
Dalseide said, "Basically what this really is is a poll tax. It's something to stop people from doing something. I know traditionally here in the states a poll tax is tied to voting, but if you go worldwide, a poll tax is just meant to punish a certain group, and this is exactly what this is doing."
In the United States, poll taxes were voter registration fees aimed primarily at disenfranchising African-Americans that began during the 19th century following the ratification of the 15th Amendment. Poll taxes also disenfranchised poor people and women in some states. The practice was barred in federal elections by the 24th Amendment and state poll taxes have been found to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Outside of the United States, the term "poll tax" is synonymous with a "head tax" -- a fee imposed on certain immigrants depending on their country of origin that was most infamously levied against Chinese immigrants to Canada and New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Dalseide's inflammatory comparison ignores the fact that firearm sales are already taxed -- gun and ammunition sales have been subject to a federal excise tax for decades that is used to fund conservation programs.
The NRA -- which is joined in its lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and a gun industry trade group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- says the tax violates a Washington state law limiting the kinds of gun regulations localities can enact. The Seattle City Council contends that the new tax does not regulate firearms and falls within their taxation authority.
In an August 24 NRA-ILA press release, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane also referred to the tax as "nothing but a 'poll tax' on the Second Amendment..."
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros bizarrely used the thwarted terror attack on a train in France to criticize the "very strict" gun laws in that country, ignoring the fact that French laws had nothing to do with the suspect's attempted attack or the successful efforts by unarmed passengers to stop him.
On August 21, two American service members and several other passengers on a crowded, high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris confronted and overpowered a gunman as he allegedly prepared to open fire with an AK-47 assault weapon. According to French authorities, the passengers who stopped the suspected terrorist attack saved many lives with their actions.
During the August 24 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, co-host Andrea Tantaros used the incident as an opportunity to criticize gun laws in France. Tantaros said, "The same problems that they have over there are major debates over here. So in France, gun control, very strict laws."
Tantaros' attempt to connect the train attack to France's gun laws makes no sense because nothing happened because of, or in spite, any law. While it's true that guns are more regulated in France than they are in the United States, no French law prevented unarmed passengers from subduing the alleged gunman. Furthermore, the suspect's weapons were reportedly smuggled on board at the train's point of origin, which was the Netherlands, not France.
The fact that the passengers who stopped the attack were unarmed directly contradicts the oft-heard talking point from right-wing media and the National Rifle Association that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun." In fact, according to an analysis of mass public shootings in the United States over a 30-year period, ordinary armed civilians have not stopped any public attacks but unarmed bystanders have.
For example, in the 2011 public shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six people dead and grievously wounded then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the gunman was overpowered by bystanders when he stopped to reload. (A bystander carrying a concealed gun later acknowledged that he almost mistakenly shot one of the people who disarmed the gunman.)
To bolster her argument, Fox's Tantaros also mischaracterized the thwarted attack last May on a Garland, Texas cartoon-drawing contest of the Prophet Mohammad. Tantaros said: "What happens when there are not Americans there to take down these terrorists? I mean the same thing happened in Texas, in Garland, Texas, it was citizens in Texas who took down what could have been two men who took out 300 people, they could have potentially taken down."
Tantaros' exploitation of the train attack to criticize France's gun laws was similar to how several Fox News figures used last January's attack on the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to criticize the country's gun laws. They ignored the fact that in the United States, where there are more privately-owned guns and much looser gun regulations than in France, there are many times more mass public shootings and the gun homicide race is more than 14 times higher.
The National Rifle Association's magazine America's 1st Freedom attacks Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley on its first cover focused on the 2016 presidential race. The issue's feature article outlandishly accuses the former Maryland governor of offering "hope and change to convicted killers and criminals," but the organization's overheated rhetoric is based on unfounded attacks on O'Malley's record.
The September edition of the magazine features a cover characterizing O'Malley, who served as governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015, as a "menace" to the Second Amendment who has "made a mockery of Maryland's gun rights":
The NRA's feature attacks O'Malley on two fronts, claiming that he poses a threat to Second Amendment rights and accusing him of taking the side of criminals in Maryland -- even though courts have sided with O'Malley on gun laws and violent crime fell significantly during his tenure as governor.
Angered by O'Malley's strong support for a package of gun safety laws enacted in Maryland in 2013 following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the NRA claims O'Malley "imposed the most draconian new gun bans anywhere in the country" before offering attacks from the top two members of NRA leadership.
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is quoted in the article claiming O'Malley "has presided over some of the most spectacular, bloody and brutal failures of 'gun control' in our nation's history," while NRA top lobbyist Chris Cox suggests O'Malley becoming president could trigger "a fight for the survival of Second Amendment freedom as we know it."
The NRA also objects to O'Malley's response to the massacre of nine parishioners in a historically African-American Charleston, South Carolina, church in June, sneering that the former Maryland governor acted "decidedly un-presidential" when he wrote an email to supporters declaring he was "pissed" about inaction on gun violence while calling for bans on assault weapons and stronger background checks on gun sales.
Despite the gun group's suggestion O'Malley is jeopardizing the Second Amendment, as the article itself notes, the package of Maryland gun safety laws was upheld by a federal court.
Indeed, according to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, gun safety laws signed by O'Malley are "constitutional" because they "substantially serve the government's interest in protecting public safety ... without significantly burdening" Second Amendment rights. Furthermore gun safety laws like those signed by O'Malley, including handgun licensing and bans on assault weapons, are routinely upheld as consistent with the Second Amendment by courts.
The second prong of the NRA's attack characterizes O'Malley as weak on crime, arguing, "As governor of Maryland, O'Malley doubled down on some of the same failed crime policies that he had instituted in Baltimore."
Given this fact, the NRA stretches believability in its crime-related attacks on O'Malley. In one section the NRA nonsensically links O'Malley to a judicial decision that overturned convictions for several murderers (emphasis original): "Moreover, in 2013, a ruling by the Maryland Supreme Court resulted in convicted murderers being released from one end of 'The Free State' to the other, including more than a dozen killers in Baltimore alone. Nonetheless, Gov. O'Malley boasted in a State of the State Address that the Maryland prison population had fallen to the lowest point in decades under his leadership."
As the head of Maryland's executive branch, O'Malley of course had no control over Maryland's highest court, which is actually called the Court of Appeals, not the Maryland Supreme Court. In any case, the overturned convictions dealt with cases pre-dating 1980 -- when O'Malley would have been 17-years-old -- where judges had instructed juries in a manner that violated the defendant's right to a fair trial.
The NRA concludes its attack on O'Malley's record on crime by claiming that as governor he "was quick to offer hope and change to convicted killers and criminals" and that "he also did his best to take away the last, best hope of innocent, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from those criminals."
In one final unhinged attack that ties together claims about O'Malley on gun policy and crime, the NRA riffs on O'Malley's comments on "Black Lives Matter" to argue that "the lives that apparently don't matter to O'Malley are those of law-abiding citizens":
In June, speaking to the United States Conference of Mayors' annual gathering in San Francisco--where the current mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was sworn in as president of the organization--O'Malley said, "One of the sad triumphs of white racism is the degree to which it has succeeded in subconsciously convincing so many of us, black and white, that somehow black lives don't matter."
In truth, the lives that apparently don't matter to O'Malley are those of law-abiding citizens--no matter what their background.
Ted Nugent called a black man a "mongrelboy" during an exchange on Facebook in just the latest example of the National Rifle Association board member's use of the social media platform as a launch pad for racial attacks.
Although Nugent is a columnist for several conservative and hunting outlets -- most notably, the conspiracy website WND -- he has been increasingly turning to Facebook to promote his pro-gun agenda. During his many media appearances, Nugent routinely brags about his impact on Facebook, declaring that his page is more popular than those of recording artists Taylor Swift and Beyoncé -- something that's not even close to being true.
And more and more, Nugent's social media pro-gun advocacy has been accompanied by racially inflammatory attacks.
In an August 18 post, Nugent made a typical appeal for people to join two groups whose boards he has served on: the NRA and the Crime Prevention Research Center, a pro-gun group run by discredited gun researcher John Lott. After urging his supporters to sign up as members to both, Nugent engaged with commenters, attacking one critic with a racial slur.
Although the exchange appears to have been deleted, Nugent was responding to an insult posted by a black man named Eissej Gorfu. Nugent wrote that the man's name was "another stark reminder of subhuman mongrelism gone obama," before calling him a "mongrelboy" (Nugent quotations are sic throughout this post):
It was far from the first time Nugent publicly unleashed a racially inflammatory attack. In January 2014, Nugent infamously called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel," sparking a controversy that made national headlines.
Here are eight other examples of Nugent's racially charged commentary from his Facebook page:
On August 13, Nugent attacked the "Black Lives Matter" movement, writing, "If black lives matter then let us pray that blacks stop killing raping & destroying their own. Soulless pathetic punks."
He then posted a video showing one man attacking another, claiming that it depicted Mike Brown, who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri: "Here's the gentle giant of Ferguson in action. The world is clealy better off without such vicious devils."
When commenters pointed out that the video is not of Brown -- it's a hoax that circulated in fringe right-wing circles -- he replied, "doesnt have to be mikey. devilpunks are all the same."
In a June 24 post promoting a column that he wrote for WND in defense of using the word "nigger," Nugent wrote, "When I play my Motown guitar, I niggerup. its beautiful. Perfect. Only liars & linguistic fleebs & nazis claim otherwise."
Unsurprisingly, Nugent's Facebook page is a cesspool of racist comments from his supporters -- but Nugent actually engages with this audience.
Following a June 6 post, one commenter wrote, "uncle ted, what would happen if you were to challenge obongo to a live, televised debate?" "Obongo" is a racist name for President Obama that references his Kenyan heritage.
Nugent "liked" the man's comment and replied, "Id eat his family tree & shit sawdust."
In a June 1 conversation with a supporter, Nugent referred to Obama as a "slavedriver."
In a May 14 post, Nugent shared a photograph of an African-American child and wrote, "This is the only known photograph of me just before I attacked my guitar back in Detroit @1956. Amazing I havnt changed a lick."
In response to a commenter who wrote, "Ted, were you born a poor black child?" Nugent wrote, "dat right."
He then "liked" a series of racist comments that riffed on his picture including, "I bet you like fried chicken," "Just one question.. How did ya make the pubic hair on your head go straight?," "i didnt know you took place in the Baltimore riots ted????," and, "Ebola?"
In an April 6 post where Nugent attacked Media Matters for writing about how he called civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton a "mongrel," Nugent "liked" a Facebook comment where someone wrote, "Isn't 'mongrel' better than 'nigger'? Can't please some people."
On November 24, 2014, the night a grand jury announced that it would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Mike Brown, Nugent posted an unhinged rant on Facebook in which he offered "lessons from Ferguson," writing, "Don't let your kids growup to be thugs who think they can steal, assault & attack cops as a way of life & badge of black (dis)honor. Don't preach your racist bullshit 'no justice no peace' as blabbered by Obama's racist Czar Al Not So Sharpton & their black klansmen."
He also wrote, "dont claim that 'black lives matter' when you ignore the millions you abort & slaughter each & every day by other blacks," and concluded, "So quit killin each other you fuckin idiots. Drive safely."
Nugent also made racist comments about American Indians after some American Indian groups were involved in efforts to cancel several of his concerts in 2014 as a reaction to Nugent's misappropriation of headdresses in his performances and long history of racist commentary.
In an August 7, 2014, Facebook post, Nugent attacked the "stinkyass unclean dipshit protestors" who represented an American Indian group that protested his performance at a South Dakota music venue.
In follow-up comments, Nugent responded to a commenter who wrote, "Maybe the natives shoulda had better weapons" by writing, "less peyote less whoopin & hollerin." Nugent also characterized the "'Mexican' population" as "poor communication challenged liability babies."