NRA Tries To Use LGBT People For Political Gain Weeks After Attacking Transgender Equality
New Ad Appealing To LGBT Community Follows Ugly Attack On Caitlyn Jenner And Transgender Community At The NRA’s Annual Meeting
Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON
An NRA-affiliated group is reportedly releasing an ad that baselessly warns proposed regulations on ammunition purchases in California would disarm LGBT people just weeks after the NRA mocked societal acceptance of transgender people as “twisted” and “perverted.”
On June 6, Time reported on growing NRA opposition to a California ballot initiative called “Safety for All” that proposes “a package of commonsense gun reforms requiring instant background checks for purchases of ammunition, strengthening background checks for gun purchases, prohibiting possession of large detachable military-style magazines, and requiring the immediate surrender of firearms for people convicted of serious and violent crimes.” The effort is being led by California’s lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom.
In opposition to the initiative, NRA-affiliated group Coalition for Civil Liberties (CCL) is releasing a series of ads suggesting that the initiative could pose a danger to women and LGBT people by limiting their ability to defend themselves with a gun. CCL is a “project” of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, the NRA’s California affiliate group.
But the ads come just weeks after a top NRA official cited growing acceptance of transgender people as an example of how American values have become “twisted” and “perverted” in a speech before 80,000 NRA members.
As Time explained, the CCL’s ads will feature a woman and a transgender actor who draw a gun when confronted by an attacker, but are unable to fire the weapon because it is unloaded:
The organization is releasing its first television ad in the state Monday targeted at suburban women, featuring a woman walking through a darkened parking structure when she is approached by an assailant. When the woman attempts to fire a handgun in her possession for self-defense, the hammer drops on an empty chamber because the weapon isn’t loaded. It concludes with the ominous slogan, “Take Away Our Rights, Take Away Our Life.”
A second, nearly identical commercial will be released Wednesday, except the character in the spot will [be] transgender, and that ad will be targeted to areas with large concentrations of LGBT Californians.
During a June 6 appearance on the NRA’s radio show, Richard Grenell, the GOP operative who is leading CCL efforts, claimed that Newsom “is really beginning to take away basic rights for vulnerable populations, and so what we decided to do was to make a commercial which shows the very real possibility of what could happen to someone if Gavin Newsom had his way.”
Nothing in the ballot initiative would prevent legally eligible people from buying ammunition for their firearms, and none of the proposals would create special rules for the purchase of ammo by women or LGBT people.
Furthermore, the CCL effort comes just weeks after the NRA’s top lobbyist mocked the notion of transgender people being accepted by society.
During a May 20 speech before 80,000 NRA members at the NRA’s annual meeting, NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox attacked acceptance of Olympic athlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, calling her “Bruce” and “he.” Following Cox’s speech, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said the Obama administration was “in the toilet” because of efforts by the administration to prevent schools from discriminating against transgender students.
Just moments into his speech, Cox lamented that “the America we know is becoming unrecognizable. Everything we believe in, everything we’ve always known to be good, and right, and true has been twisted, perverted and repackaged to our kids as wrong, backwards and abnormal.”
Citing examples of America’s supposed downfall, Cox went on to claim, “Who are our kids supposed to respect and admire? The media tells them Bruce Jenner is a national hero for transforming his body, while our wounded warriors, whose bodies were transformed by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades, can’t even get basic healthcare from the VA.”
In a speech following Cox’s, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre railed against the Obama administration’s recent guidance explaining that public schools must allow transgender students to use facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, that correspond to their gender identity.
LaPierre claimed the Obama administration has not done enough to combat gang violence “in places like Chicago and Detroit” to argue that “a Clinton White House would be a dangerous extension of the Obama White House. And where has this White House put its full weight? In the toilet. In bathrooms in North Carolina, in school districts all over our country.”
LaPierre and Cox’s speeches immediately preceded the NRA’s endorsement of Donald Trump, who has said he supports allowing states to pass discriminatory bathroom bills that broadly ban transgender people from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity.