Justice & Civil Liberties

Issues ››› Justice & Civil Liberties
  • Texas Lawmakers Use Right-Wing Lie To Award An Anti-Abortion Group A Government Contract

    With Zika Threat Looming, State Media Ask Why Lawmakers Are Giving A Public Health Contract To An Anti-Choice Group That “Is Not A Healthcare Provider”

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    Months after Texas’ restrictive anti-abortion law was overruled at the Supreme Court, state lawmakers allocated state funding for reproductive health to an anti-choice group, playing into a dangerous right-wing media myth about the role of Planned Parenthood in low-income communities.

    On August 11 anti-choice state officials awarded the second largest contract in the state’s restructured reproductive health care program -- totaling $1.6 million -- to the anti-abortion organization The Heidi Group, which is “not a healthcare provider.”

    This latest development in Texas lawmakers’ attack on reproductive rights once again utilizes right-wing media talking points to vilify Planned Parenthood and ignore the health care needs of low-income communities.

    In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 against Texas’ anti-choice law HB 2, finding that its restrictions on abortion providers imposed an “undue burden on abortion access.” In recent years, HB 2 was one of several measures state lawmakers took to limit the reach of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

    In 2012, the state dismantled its reproductive health safety net program in order to exclude Planned Parenthood from the network of subsidized providers. In 2015, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott pushed to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas, touting the move as “another step in providing greater access to safe healthcare for women while protecting our most vulnerable -- the unborn.” Lawmakers similarly argued that by defunding Planned Parenthood they “instead funneled the funds to worthwhile programs.”

    This justification that community health clinics can replace Planned Parenthood as an essential and accessible health care provider is a common right-wing media talking point.

    However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the impact of Texas’ decision to remove Planned Parenthood from the state’s reproductive health safety net program. The findings showed that the exclusion of Planned Parenthood caused a decrease in the use of long-acting contraceptives that corresponded with an increase in child births by Medicaid-funded patients.

    Beyond contraception and abortion care needs, when Texas cut funding for Planned Parenthood patients also lost access to affordable HIV testing. In June, the Texas Observer found that in Harris County, TX -- which had the highest number of new HIV diagnoses in the state in 2014 -- the county’s health department hadn’t conducted a single HIV test in the first six months of 2016, since the county ended its decades-long contract with Planned Parenthood for HIV testing and prevention.

    Efforts to remove Planned Parenthood from health care funding eligibility have only increased since the release of deceptively edited videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Although CMP’s work has been consistently discredited, anti-choice legislators have frequently repeated right-wing media misinformation about Planned Parenthood as part of an ongoing mission to defund the organization.

    Texas’ latest decision to allocate a sizeable contract for reproductive health care to an organization founded and run by an anti-choice activist, with little experience providing the contracted medical services, represents a continuation of a dangerous pattern of misinformation about Planned Parenthood. By ignoring Planned Parenthood’s role in providing health care to low-income patients, this pattern has a demonstrably detrimental impact on those who need access to affordable reproductive care most.

    The Texas Observer’s Andrea Grimes demonstrated the issue with awarding a public health contract to an organization with little health care experience. She noted that The Heidi Group primarily runs a series of crisis pregnancy centers -- organizations that are notorious for misleading women about abortion and reproductive health. The anti-choice group, which has said it “sets women free from abortion,” is also headed by Carol Everett, an anti-choice activist known for making dubious, fringe medical claims related to abortion:

    Everett made headlines in early August following her testimony at a Texas Department of State Health Services meeting on new rules about fetal tissue disposal in Texas. There, she asserted that currently allowable means of fetal tissue disposal could result in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections being released into public water supplies, which she later repeated to an Austin Fox affiliate. Her concerns are not echoed by any major medical or public health groups.

    Executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Heather Busby further explained the concerning medical background of The Heidi Group in a statement to the Texas Tribune: "It’s very inappropriate that the state would contract with an organization that has never performed the services required by the contract … The Heidi Group is an anti-abortion organization; it is not a healthcare provider.”

    Busby also told the Austin American-Statesman that Texas officials’ selection of The Heidi Group was “especially troubling, given that the organization is run by a person who is so terribly misinformed about public health.”

    Texas’ award of the contract comes at a time when the Zika virus -- which impacts pregnant persons and developing fetuses -- has been linked to one death in Harris County. Given that Texas already lacks a sufficient number of OB-GYNs necessary to address Zika’s spread, further curtailing access to contraception and abortion care by awarding contracts to anti-choice groups could additionally burden Texas communities.

    As the chief external affairs officer for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Sarah Wheat explained:

    The looming threat of Zika makes the need for this care more urgent than ever. Instead of helping women get the care they need at proven, qualified providers they know and trust, Texas is funneling hard-earned tax dollars in support of their anti-abortion agenda.

  • Orlando Sentinel Highlights Trump, Rubio Headlining Rally With “Anti-LGBT Extremist” Groups

    Blog ››› ››› ABBY BLACHMAN & MARLEE PITTMAN

    The Orlando Sentinel highlighted the “anti-LGBT extremist[s]” speaking with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at a two day event in Orlando, FL, this week. The Sentinel elevated the voices of LGBT rights advocates protesting the event, which comes just two-months after a gunman killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

    The “Rediscovering God in America Renew Project” event is being held on August 11-12 and coincides with the two-month anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Trump and Rubio are headlining the event alongside several anti-LGBT speakers, including a pseudo historian who claims that God is preventing scientists from finding a cure for HIV/AIDS as a “consequence” of “homosexual behavior.” The anti-LGBT rally is financed by the American Family Association and promoted by the Liberty Counsel -- both designated as anti-LGBT hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

    While many Florida outlets initially failed to report on the event’s ties to anti-LGBT speakers and the rally’s insensitive timing, Florida newspapers have recently called out the event’s extremism. In an August 11 report, the Orlando Sentinel spotlighted the anti-LGBT activists speaking at the event and included perspectives from LGBT advocates and family members of victims of the tragedy in Orlando. Celia Ruiz, who lost her brother at the Pulse massacre, called the event a “slap in the face to me, to my family, to the 49 other families, to the 53 survivors, to all of the people that were there [and] to the Orlando community.” The Sentinel added that event speaker Mat Staver is the founder of an SPLC-designated “anti-LGBT extremist group.”

    From the August 11 edition of the Orlando Sentinel:

    Faith leaders and gay rights activists led a protest Thursday morning, denouncing a gathering of evangelical pastors in Orlando where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are expected to speak.

    "This conference and all of its speakers are fueling the fires of homegrown bigotry," said Carlos Guillermo Smith, of Equality Florida. "It's a bigotry that dehumanizes LGBT people and paves the way for discrimination and violence."

    The two-day event, entitled "Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project," began Thursday at the Hyatt Regency on International Drive, sponsored by the Florida Renewal Project.

    Among those announced to speak at the conference was Mat Staver, founder of Maitland-based Liberty Counsel, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers an anti-LGBT extremist group, though Liberty Counsel denies that label.

    [...]

    After Rubio was announced as the conference's featured speaker, Florida Democrats called for him to apologize to the gay community in a statement describing the event as "an anti-LGBT rally." Rubio responded that it was "nothing of the sort."

    "The event I will be speaking at in Orlando is a gathering of local pastors and faith leaders," he said in a statement.

    However, local gay-rights activists were not convinced.

    They were joined Thursday by Celia Ruiz, whose brother Juan Ramon Guerrero was among those killed at Pulse. Rubio and Trump, she said, are "attending this conference that promotes hate and intolerance to the LGBT people."

    "This is a slap in the face to me, to my family, to the 49 other families, to the 53 survivors, to all of the people that were there [and] to the Orlando community," she said.

    Said Smith: "Our message to Donald Trump and Marco Rubio is simple: If you care about the LGBT community, help us disarm hate and uproot bigotry with action, or you're going to have a hell of a wake-up call come November."

  • NRA's "Second Amendment" News Program All But Ignores Trump's "Second Amendment People" Firestorm

    NRA News Is “Your First Source For Second Amendment News” -- Except, Apparently, For Information About The Trump Outrage

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s news program for “the Second Amendment and other freedom-related issues” barely mentioned GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Hillary Clinton’s judicial nominations.

    The August 10 broadcast of Cam & Company offered no substantive discussion of Trump’s comment, only turning to the remark near the end of the broadcast to immediately dismiss it as a “manufactured controversy” and then using it to pivot to attack Clinton.

    During a August 9 rally in North Carolina, Trump said, “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.”

    The comment was widely interpreted -- including by members of conservative media -- as a reference to a violent overthrow of a potential Clinton administration or as a threat of violence against Clinton or her judicial nominees.

    In the face of these condemnations, the NRA -- which largely invented, and often promotes, the idea that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to allow the violent overthrow of a "tyrannical" government -- defended Trump by twisting what he had said to make it seem less extreme. (The NRA endorsed Trump in May during the group’s annual meeting.)

    The next day, August 10, Trump’s “Second Amendment people” comment continued to dominate the news cycle, making it one of the most widely discussed Second Amendment stories in 2016.

    The most notable news show devoted to Second Amendment issues, the NRA’s Cam & Company, failed to offer significant coverage or discussion of Trump's "Second Amendment people" claim.

    Cam & Company addressed the firestorm surrounding Trump only toward the end of its three-hour Wednesday broadcast. Returning from commercial break, host Cam Edwards said, “Your first source for Second Amendment news and information, it is NRA News Cam & Company.”

    After introducing his guest Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media, Edwards said, “So listen, I got to tell you, I have not spent a lot of time talking about the manufactured controversy du jour today,” and then, adopting a mock-incredulous tone, he continued, “But did you hear what Donald Trump said yesterday? What does it mean?”

    Edwards never shared what Trump actually said, quickly pivoting to attacking the media for allegedly devoting insufficient coverage to supposed controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign before turning to general complaints about media coverage of the 2016 election. Then Edwards changed the subject, joking with Kruiser at length about a news report concerning the escape of a service monkey.

    Cam & Company could have taken the time to discuss the Trump's “Second Amendment people” comment if Edwards had wanted to: The August 10 broadcast also devoted nearly seven minutes to criticizing the new Ghostbusters reboot.

  • Tampa Bay Times Exposes Anti-LGBT Extremists Scheduled To Speak Alongside Trump and Rubio

    Blog ››› ››› MARLEE PITTMAN

    The Tampa Bay Times highlighted the anti-LGBT extremists scheduled to speak alongside Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) at a two-day event in Orlando, FL, this week. Trump and Rubio’s scheduled appearance comes just two months after a gunman killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

    The “Rediscovering God in America Renewal Project” event will be held in Orlando on August 11 and 12, the two-month anniversary of the Orlando massacre. The event is stocked with anti-LGBT extremists, including a pseudo-historian who has questioned why the government doesn’t “regulate homosexuality” like it does trans fats and a conspiracy theorist who believes that the “atheist homosexual gay agenda movement” will bring America “into an Islamic future.” The event’s host organization, the American Renewal Project, is financed by the American Family Association -- an organization designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) -- and run by David Lane, a man who predicted that “homosexuals praying” at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration would invoke the wrath of God in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa.”

    In an August 10 blog post about Trump’s appearance at the event, the Tampa Bay Times highlighted the event's anti-LGBT speakers. While other Florida outlets failed to report the event’s anti-LGBT extremism, the Times noted that LGBT advocates have denounced Trump and Rubio’s planned appearances as “incredibly insensitive” given its timing. The Times also reported that Mat Staver, an event speaker and chairman of the Liberty Counsel -- also an SPLC-designated anti-LGBT hate group -- previously attacked memorials for victims of the Orlando massacre.

    From the August 10 edition of the Tampa Bay Times’ blog The Buzz:

    Criticism continues to mount over an appearance of Marco Rubio — and now Donald Trump — at a religious conference in Orlando this week that comes two months after the Pulse shootings that devastated the gay community and generated international mourning.

    “Just when you think Donald Trump and Marco Rubio couldn’t go any lower, they announce plans to court anti-LGBTQ activists in Orlando. On Thursday, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are going to seek votes from people who fundamentally believe we are not equal, who support dangerous and harmful conversion therapy and who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad,” Human Rights Campaign said in a news release.

    [...]

    After the Pulse slaying, Rubio acknowledged the gay community was targeted. “We know what ISIS has done to people they accuse of being homosexual. They throw them off of buildings. They execute them,” he told The Advocate.

    But that has not quieted critics who say his appearance shows he is out of step with the country and incredibly insensitive given the timing and some of the speakers who will join Rubio.

    For instance, Mat Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said that some mourning after the Pulse shooting amounted to a “homosexual love fest …. That’s not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans.”

    Trump’s campaign would not confirm his attendance but it’s been widely reported that he will address hundreds of pastors.

    “He will speak to them about his push to repeal the Johnson Amendment. The law, which has been in place for decades, has made it more difficult for pastors to speak out on political issues and candidates from the pulpit,” read a story from Christian Broadcasting News.

  • How A Right-Wing Media Myth About Planned Parenthood Could Hurt Florida’s Fight Against Zika

    Blog ››› ››› SHARON KANN

    At the end of July, the first outbreak of the Zika virus occurred in Miami, FL -- confirming many experts’ fears that it was only a matter of time before the mosquito-borne virus began to impact the United States. But efforts to fight the spread of the virus have been stymied by anti-choice lawmakers’ reliance on the right-wing media talking point that Planned Parenthood isn’t an essential service provider.

    Since last winter, the Zika virus has spread among a number of Latin American countries, predominantly affecting pregnant persons. Experts have classified the virus as a “public health threat” due to the suspected link between Zika and the neurological disorder microcephaly, which severely stunts the development of a fetus during pregnancy. This link prompted concerns about the accessibility of contraception, prenatal care, and abortion for pregnant persons affected by Zika in Latin America.

    Rather than prepare for an outbreak of Zika in the United States by making these essential reproductive health services more accessible, however, anti-choice lawmakers instead invoked a right-wing media myth to attack Planned Parenthood and block its efforts to help combat a potential outbreak.

    Since the release of deceptively edited videos from the discredited Center for Medical Progress, anti-choice legislators have repeated misinformation about Planned Parenthood and the essential services it provides as part of an ongoing attempt to defund the organization. To justify these attacks, legislators have relied on the right-wing media talking point that community health clinics can effectively fill the gap left by denying Planned Parenthood access to funding and resources.

    Prior to the Zika outbreak, anti-choice lawmakers in Florida had already attempted to block access to abortion and other reproductive health services offered by Planned Parenthood.

    In March, Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that not only emulated provisions of Texas’ unconstitutional HB 2, but also barred Planned Parenthood from accessing state Medicaid funds. Although parts of the law have been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, if enforced in full the bill would functionally defund the reproductive care provider. The Guardian’s Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy reported that supporters of the Florida bill echoed right-wing media’s false claim that community health clinics could fill in by “insist[ing] that plentiful alternatives exist for reproductive and sexual healthcare” even without Planned Parenthood.

    However, as Slate’s Christina Cauterucci explained, the list of replacement providers in the state was “laughable” because it was filled with “dozens of elementary and middle schools, several dental practices, and at least one optometry center.” She continued:

    Nevertheless, proponents of HB 1411 have used this list to pooh-pooh concerns for women’s health, claiming that there are 29 public health clinics for every Planned Parenthood in the state; therefore, the argument goes, no poor women will miss Planned Parenthood when it’s gone. The Guardian reports that in 2010, according to Guttmacher Institute data, there were just five public health clinics that offered family planning services for every Florida Planned Parenthood.

    Indeed, experts have confirmed that the idea of community clinics filling in for Planned Parenthood is “a gross misrepresentation of what even the best community health centers in the country would be able to do.” According to earlier research from the Guttmacher Institute, in 103 U.S. counties, Planned Parenthood is the only “safety-net health center” accessible for those seeking contraception. Guttmacher noted that Planned Parenthood is a leading provider of publicly subsidized contraceptive services and typically can see more patients annually for these services than "other types of safety-net providers" can.

    Access to contraception and abortion care are essential to address the spread of Zika in the United States. As Emma Grey Ellis wrote in an August 2 article for Wired, “To actually combat Zika, you need to gain control of its vectors.” She continued that although enabling people “to delay pregnancy to avoid passing Zika to their children is an obvious, vital step,” there were a number of “political stumbling blocks” preventing access to reproductive health services.

    These “stumbling blocks” have included opposition from public officials. During an August 6 interview with Politico, former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said he believed those impacted by Zika should not have the option to abort the pregnancy.Gov. Scott has urged pregnant people to “contact your OB-GYN for guidance to and receive a Zika prevention kit.”

    However, according to Mother Jones, “Planned Parenthood hasn't received any Zika kits from the Florida Department of Health, nor has it received any guidance from the department about how to serve pregnant women during a possible outbreak.” The outlet noted that this failure is problematic given the significant role Planned Parenthood plays in caring for low-income and uninsured patients, who are “more likely to get pregnant by accident.”

    Furthermore, even when pregnancies are intentional, the threat posed by Zika is still substantial. In an article for The Atlantic, journalist Liz Tracy reported on her fraught experience being pregnant in Miami during the Zika outbreak. She wrote that the threat of Zika transformed “nine-and-a-half months into a horror movie with a monster that is almost impossible to locate and hard to avoid.” As Tracy explained, thanks to the numerous barriers to abortion access, “if a Zika infection terribly damaged the fetus, and we decided on having an abortion, those restrictive laws would pose an overwhelming emotional, practical, and financial challenge.”

    Tracy also quoted another pregnant woman saying that with the lack of testing, kits, and care in Florida, “It just feels like too little too late” to contain Zika in the state. She added, “It’s crazy how much they could have done in advance and nothing was done.”

  • FL Editorial Boards Call Out Republicans For “Playing Politics” With Zika Funding

    ››› ››› MARLEE PITTMAN

    Florida editorial boards have lambasted the Republican-led Congress for killing legislation that provided funding for states combating Zika by attaching “poison pill provisions.” The House Republican-backed legislation would defund Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act in communities most affected by Zika, reducing accessibility to family-planning services that could “prevent sexually transmitted Zika cases and unwanted pregnancies for women at high risk of contracting the virus.”

  • Following Trump’s “Second Amendment People” Comment, NRA Continues To Air Ad Politicizing Clinton’s Secret Service Protection

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    A new ad released by the National Rifle Association criticizes Hillary Clinton for being protected by the Secret Service with the false claim that Clinton receives protection even though “she doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”

    The NRA ad launch coincided with comments made by GOP nominee Donald Trump that were interpreted as a call for political violence. During a rally in North Carolina, Trump said, “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.”

    Clinton has never said she opposes gun ownership. In fact, Clinton’s campaign website says she “knows that gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities.”

    And in recent months Clinton has repeatedly said that “legitimate” Second Amendment rights should be “protected” while she advocated for laws to keep guns from people prohibited by law from owning guns. She has also explained that you can call for stronger gun laws “and still support the right of people to own guns.”

    PolitiFact has rated the claim Clinton “wants to abolish the Second Amendment” false, finding “no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, and the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite.”

    CNN.com reported that the NRA is spending $3 million on an ad that began airing the morning of August 9 in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina. In the ad, a narrator says that Clinton has been “protected by armed guards for 30 years, but she doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self-defense,” adding, “An out-of-touch hypocrite, she’d leave you defenseless.”  According to CNN, the ad “shows the back of a woman who looks like Clinton walking onto a private airplane while what looks to be the US Secret Service surrounds her.”

    The NRA, which has endorsed Trump, quickly launched a defense of Trump’s controversial comments that involved rewriting what Trump said. While Trump seemingly made reference to “Second Amendment people” doing something about Clinton’s judicial nominations after an election, the NRA wrote that Trump was “right” that if Clinton is elected, “there’s nothing we can do” about her judicial picks. (The NRA previously stayed silent after organization board member Ted Nugent called for Clinton to be hanged and when he shared a fake video of Clinton being shot.)

    On July 28, the NRA released an online ad targeting Clinton with the same false attack on her protection by the Secret Service. That ad included stills that indicated who was part of Clinton’s security detail:

    The NRA’s last substantial ad buy, which totaled $2 million, was filmed in violation of federal policy at a military cemetery and attacked Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terror attacks. Veterans groups slammed the ad, with a Veterans of Foreign Wars national spokesperson saying, “Don’t use our dead to score political points.”

    According to ProPublica, prior to the launch of the new ad, the NRA has made more outside expenditures opposing Clinton than any other group, totalling $4.85 million so far.

  • Trump’s Violent Claim About The Second Amendment And Hillary Clinton Echoes What The NRA Has Said For Years

    ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    Outcry over GOP nominee Donald Trump’s claim that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Supreme Court nominations made by Hillary Clinton follows years of National Rifle Association efforts to normalize the notion that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to overthrow a “tyrannical” government. As NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has put it, “The guys with the guns make the rules”

  • NRA Radio Show Tells Kim Kardashian West To Shut Up About Stronger Gun Laws

    NRA News Host Cam Edwards On Kardashian West: “Maybe She Should Get Rid Of Her Armed Security”

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    The National Rifle Association’s media arm is attacking Kim Kardashian West for calling for stronger gun laws, nonsensically claiming that she is a hypocrite because she employs armed security.

    Kardashian West in the past week has expressed her support for gun safety laws at several events, attending a lunch organized by gun safety groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and speaking about the need for stronger gun laws at an annual conference for women bloggers. Kardashian West wrote on social media that at the lunch she met with “families of loved ones who were killed by gun violence” and “I learned a lot from listening to their stories. Life is so precious! What will it take for this to stop?”

    The NRA’s radio show, Cam & Company, criticized Kardashian West’s advocacy, trotting out a well-worn and deeply flawed NRA talking point that anyone who employs armed security is a hypocrite if they advocate for gun safety laws.

    During the August 8 broadcast of Cam & Company, host Cam Edwards asked Jenn Jacques of the gun blog Bearing Arms if she felt Kardashian West was employing a “double standard” and was in effect saying, “‘I can protect my family, but Jenn [Jacques] can’t protect hers.’” Jacques responded,“I think it’s disgusting that at the same time [Kardashian West is] calling for strengthening gun laws in America she’s utilizing her celebrity status to have armored tanks and armored vehicles carry her family around with teams of armed body guards. It’s just flat-out hypocrisy.”

    Edwards, who “found it a little hypocritical” himself, hoped his discussion with Jacques would “prompt some thinking and some soul searching on the part of Kim Kardashian West and if she is really that opposed to guns and if she really is that paranoid and freaked out, then maybe she should get rid of her armed security.”

    However, this poorly reasoned “hypocrisy” theory does not make sense. It would be logical only if Kardashian West were calling for laws that would prevent law-abiding people from buying guns to protect themselves. That isn't what she's advocating.

    The organization she met with, Everytown for Gun Safety lists on its website expanding background checks, preventing domestic abusers from accessing guns, promoting the safe storage of firearms, and preventing illegal gun trafficking as its policy objects. 

    A recent NRA ad used the same false attack against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, asserting that Clinton is a hypocrite for calling for stronger gun laws while receiving protection from the Secret Service. Like Kardashian West, Clinton has expressed support for further regulations of firearms, such as requiring background checks for gun sales, but not for a ban on gun ownership that would allow only hired security guards to have guns.