NRATV's Grant Stinchfield on the Thousand Oaks mass shooting: Californians are "sheep" because guns are prohibited in bars
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Grant Stinchfield, a host for the National Rifle Association’s NRATV, claimed that “most Jews fully realize the importance of firearms, considering their past and what is going on in their homeland of Israel,” while arguing that the NRA is not anti-Semitic.
The comment came during the October 30 broadcast of NRATV’s current events show Stinchfield. The segment was responding to a HuffPost article explaining that the NRA has singled out billionaires George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg -- all of whom are Jewish -- as left-wing boogeymen on the issue of gun regulation. The article also drew attention to a weeklong 2016 anti-Semitic rant by high-profile NRA board member Ted Nugent, who claimed gun regulation efforts are a Jewish plot and that Jews who support gun safety laws are “Nazis in disguise.” The NRA declined to condemn Nugent’s claims.
Stinchfield’s comment also came in the aftermath of a massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, that left 11 people dead and six others injured. The gunman who carried out that shooting had promoted the conspiracy theory that Jews are behind a caravan of migrants traveling from Central America toward the U.S. southern border. NRATV had repeatedly pushed a remarkably similar conspiracy theory that Soros is behind the caravan in the weeks before the attack. Both the gunman and NRATV broadcasts also both frequently termed the caravan an “invasion.”
The NRA frequently presents an ahistorical version of history to promote gun ownership or oppose new gun safety laws, often using the Holocaust as a reference point. Then-Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman explained in 2013 why these claims are wrong after an NRA board member attacked a New Jersey mayor for supporting a gun safety survey despite having grandparents who survived the Holocaust. In a statement on behalf of the ADL, Foxman, a Holocaust survivor himself, wrote that "there is absolutely no comparison of the issue of gun control in the U.S. to the genocidal actions of the Nazi regime" and added that the claim "trivializes the historical truth of the Holocaust."
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Grant Stinchfield, host of the National Rifle Association's media outlet, NRATV, said he felt “disgust” for the “devious media and the liberals they serve,” who he said blame the shooting at a synagogue in Pennsylvania on “everything but themselves and ... the shooter.” Stinchfield conveniently ignored the fact that NRATV relentlessly pushed conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan that were similar to those the gunman embraced.
On October 27, a gunman armed with an AR-15 assault weapon and three handguns opened fire in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing 11 people and wounding six others, making this the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history. The gunman frequently posted on the far-right social media network Gab, where he repeatedly threatened the Jewish community and spread conservative conspiracy theories about a migrant caravan of refugees headed for the U.S. Specifically, the gunman pushed the conspiracy theory that Jews are behind the caravan.
While not mentioning any of the gunman’s right-wing conspiracy theories, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield accused the media of trying to play the “blame game” and said that “devious media and the liberals they serve want to blame everyone and everything but themselves” for the shooting. He went on to claim President Donald Trump and NRATV “have never issued calls for violence” and said, “It’s Democratic leaders who make room for antifa to riot and call on Trump haters to harass his supporters.” During his comments on the October 29 edition of Stinchfield, he also called the victims of the attack “pawns now in the game to destroy our president and his party just days before the midterms”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): When I look at the face of the devil, in a man that decided to take 11 lives simply because of their faith, I get angry. So many emotions rush through my mind -- grief for the victims, sadness for their families and a world where far too many killers among us. But I also feel disgust. Disgust for the media and the political propaganda they spread just moments after a deadly, heinous crime. It’s not just the calls for gun control and so-called assault weapons bans, but it’s the blame game that makes me angry. The devious media and the liberals they serve want to blame everyone and everything but themselves and of course the shooter, who is ultimately responsible. This time the blame reached an all-time low. Over and over again, the media from the anti-Trumpers on Meet the Press to everyone on CNN and beyond pushed this bogus, insane idea that somehow President Trump is responsible for a deranged lunatic going on a killing spree inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
STINCHFIELD: It is absolutely shameful. Shameful. 11 people dead, injured law enforcement, all pawns now in the game to destroy our president and his party just days before the midterms. President Trump has never issued a call for violence and they know it. We as conservatives, we at NRATV have never issued calls for violence either. Yet they have the gall to blame President Trump for this shooting when it’s Democratic leaders who make room for antifa to riot and call on Trump haters to harass his supporters.
In actuality, NRATV hosts themselves have repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan; NRATV correspondent Chuck Holton claimed during an October 19 NRATV broadcast that “a bevy of left-wing groups are partnering with a Hungarian-born billionaire [George Soros] and the Venezuelan government to try to influence the 2018 midterms by sending Honduran migrants north” in a caravan. Soros is a prominent Jewish philanthropist who frequently makes donations to liberal and progressive causes.
During another recent NRATV appearance, Holton falsely claimed that Soros was funding the caravan and said that he is “an expert at sowing chaos and discord around the world.” Holton went on to say that Soros’ views are “at odds with civilization as a whole” and said, “The guy really makes a kind of perfect Bond villian, don’t you think? This socialist anti-gun, anti-American agenda is nothing short of apocalyptic.”
During yet another segment Holton hosted, NRATV showed a picture of Soros above a chyron that said, “Immigrant Caravan: Who’s Paying The Bill?”
NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s broadcast outlet, completely ignored news of an apparently racially motivated shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky that debunked the already discredited “good guy with a gun” myth and left two dead.
On October 24, 51-year-old Gregory Bush attempted to enter a predominantly Black church in Jeffersontown, KY, before heading to a Kroger grocery store where he shot two Black victims, the first in the store and the second in the parking lot. An armed bystander fired at Bush after he shot his second victim but missed him. Another witness said Bush told him he spared the witness’s life because “Whites don’t shoot whites.” The incident is currently being investigated as a hate crime.
The attempted action by an armed bystander further discredits the “good guy with a gun” myth,” a favorite of the NRA’s that has been debunked by both researchers and law enforcement. The “good guy” almost never stops an active shooter situation and actually can create further confusion for police officers arriving on scene.
On October 25 and 26, none of NRATV’s supposed news shows covered the shooting or developments in the days that followed, instead choosing to spread conspiracy theories about the migrant caravan making its way toward the United States, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the recent pipe bomb spree, and promote athletic clothes with a holster in them.
The shooting followed a 2014 campaign by the gun safety group Moms Demand Action, encouraging Kroger to “prohibit the open carry of guns in its stores.” NRATV aired multiple segments pushing back against the effort and claiming the campaign was “not about actually reducing violence; it’s about winning that press release victory.”
UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, host and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch mentioned the shooting during the October 29 edition of NRATV’s Relentless, noting it “raised a lot of questions as to whether or not this killer’s motivations were racial.” A chyron on Loesch’s show also falsely hailed it as an example of a shooting “stopped by good guy with a gun.” While the gunman did exchange fire in the Kroger parking lot with a person with a concealed carry permit, no one was hit in the exchange. According to another witness, who was also armed, the gunman “nonchalantly” left the scene after reportedly telling the witness, “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites,” a fact Loesch herself noted during the segment.
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Grant Stinchfield: Holder is “mob-a-lyzing” the left
NRATV host Grant Stinchfield accused former Attorney General Eric Holder of “mob-a-lyzing” the Democratic Party after he rhetorically suggested “we kick” the Republican Party “when they go low.”
Stinchfield said Holder whipped “his Democratic sheep into a laughing frenzy” while campaigning for Georgia Democratic candidates when he told a crowd he disagrees with former first lady Michelle Obama’s 2016 elections slogan, “When they go low, we go high.” Instead, Holder said, “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about." Shortly after Holder made that statement, he added that he doesn’t “mean we do anything inappropriate, we don’t do anything illegal” but that “we got to be tough” and “we’re willing to fight for the ideals of the Democratic Party.”
During the October 11 edition of his NRATV show Stinchfield, Stinchfield claimed several event attendees’ chants of “fight, fight, fight” during Holder’s comments were “a call for violence” and said Democrats are “the ultimate in mob rulers.” The chants, which Stinchfield didn’t air, were nothing more than what you’d hear at an average sporting event:
He went on to say they’re wearing their violent side “as a badge of honor”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Want anymore evidence that the left is mob-a-lyzing? Eric Holder, the mastermind behind the disastrous Fast and Furious fiasco and the corrupt Obama DOJ, warns he’s done with taking the high road. Watch this.
[CLIP ERIC HOLDER]
STINCHFIELD: Hardy har har har. Ho ho ho, isn’t that so funny? You hear that? Holder whips his Democratic sheep into a laughing frenzy, thinking the whole thing is just a big joke. But in the end they chant “fight, fight, fight.” If that doesn’t qualify as a call for violence, I don’t know what else does. Not only that but Eric Holder says he’s proud as hell to be a Democrat. Proud of his party’s history. Maybe he doesn’t remember, but the Democrats are the party of suffocating taxes. The party of corrupt elections, the party of censorship, the party of Woodrow Wilson, the party of violence. The ultimate in mob rulers. There is no shame in the Democratic Party anymore. There is no attempt to hide their violent side. They’re openly embracing their party’s violent past, wearing it as a badge of honor.
Holder’s rhetoric was softer than what is typically heard from the NRA. In an October 2017 ad, the group’s national spokesperson Dana Loesch claimed that opponents of President Donald Trump “will perish in the political flames of their own fires.” Loesch has also praised Trump for “curb-stomp[ing]” the mainstream media, while NRA board member Ted Nugent -- who has a lengthy history of using violent rhetoric, including calling for President Obama to be hanged -- compared Democrats to “rabid coyotes” just months ago, and said to “keep your gun handy, and every time you see one, you shoot one.”
Authorities have not yet established a motive for the shooting, which occurred after law enforcement attempted to serve a warrant at the gunman’s house
After a shooting in South Carolina left six police officers wounded and one killed, Grant Stinchfield, a host for the National Rifle Association’s media operation NRATV, suggested that the ambush was provoked because law enforcement “has been tarnished by the media and the left.”
On October 3, a gunman opened fire on police officers in Florence, S.C., who were attempting to serve a search warrant at his home. Sgt. Terrence Carraway was killed, and six of his fellow officers suffered gunshot wounds. The suspect, who had barricaded himself inside the home with “an unspecified number of children,” was arrested after a two-hour standoff.
During the October 4 edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield, the host claimed police officers “are now all often being targeted” after “being shamed by leftists raging against authority” before mentioning the seven officers who “faced a shooter hellbent on killing them all”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Putting on a badge is like putting on a target. The rich tradition of serving as a law officer has been tarnished by the media and the left. Worse than officers being shamed by leftists raging against authority, they are now all often being targeted. Brave officers in Florence, South Carolina, faced a shooter hellbent on killing them all. The shooter hit seven officers who had been called to a home to make an arrest. He was holding children hostage. The shooter had an advantage over the officers and rained bullets over them.
Despite Stinchfield’s claim, investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting.
The Associated Press reported that 74-year-old suspect Fred Hopkins posted on social media about “being a competitive marksman and taking his children shooting with him.” In one post, he wrote that he has been “shooting competitively since 1984.” On his Facebook page, Hopkins listed “Shooting sports” and “Long Time Member of the Nra” among his likes.
NRATV all but ignored the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, that left at least 58 dead and over 500 injured.
The National Rifle Association’s broadcast outlet weighed in on the anniversary only once, mentioning it to attack the idea of a ban on bump stocks -- a firearm accessory that allowed the Las Vegas gunman to fire his rifles at nearly machine gun rate -- by claiming “criminals will still find ways around the ban.” During the October 1 edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield, host Grant Stinchfield said the NRA is “fine … with letting the ATF regulate them” but that it “won’t solve the real problem.” He went on to say, “Violent people exist and they will always find ways to kill.”
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): One year ago today, a massacre unfolded in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the worst crimes ever in America. Today I, like so many, want answers. Why? How? And what could we have done to stop the madman who opened fire on that concert from his perch in his hotel room from across the street? It’s odd, really, that we still have very little answers. Nothing makes sense when you look at the man who committed the crime and you try to come up with a motive. Here’s what I do know: No new law would have stopped him. I also know the victims are their families are still hurting. They are ingrained in my mind -- I will never forget the horror on their faces, and I still pray for them today. Also today, the left-wing media continued to focus on what? Bump stocks. Just moments ago the media got the president to announce bump stocks are quote “gone, done,” he says. He said that in a news conference at the White House. I’m fine, just as the NRA is, with letting the ATF regulate them like machine guns. But let’s not kid ourselves -- even that won’t solve the real problem. Violent people exist and they will always find ways to kill. Still, the president acknowledged that being done with bump stocks involves a process, which also includes public comment and the like. Let’s let the process play out. But make no mistake: If you ban bump stocks, criminals will still find ways around the ban. Just because they’re deemed illegal doesn’t mean criminals will stop using them.
In the days following the Las Vegas shooting, the NRA deceptively offered its support for a bump stock ban by calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to “review” the legality of the devices. The ATF previously said it does not have that authority -- that it’s reserved for Congress -- but in March 2018, the DOJ and the ATF declared “that the agency can ban bump stocks under current law.”
The Department of Justice has proposed a rule that would ban “the manufacture, importation and possession of bump stocks” and would require “anyone owning one … to destroy it.” The rule is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget. During an October 1 press conference, President Donald Trump said bump stocks would be banned “over the next couple of weeks,” though the the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Trump asked the DOJ to write regulations in February and that the White House said the approval process “takes about a year.”
Stinchfield previously claimed Congress will “start with bump stocks” and “end with an all-out assault on the Second Amendment.”
As protests mounted following the sexual assault reports against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, NRATV went to bat for President Donald Trump’s pick by mischaracterizing these peaceful demonstrations as “violent” actions by “radical thugs.”
Protests initially began the first day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, and they continued to gain momentum after two women came forward to report Kavanaugh for sexual misconduct when they were in high school and college. On September 24, NRATV released a video featuring the organization’s president and disgraced Iran-Contra figure, Oliver North, who accused Democrats of coordinating “violent protests to smear a father and run his children out of the room.” While Kavanaugh’s family did leave the hearings, sources told CNN, “That was always the plan.” And the footage of “violent protests” shown in the NRATV video actually featured peaceful protesters being escorted out by police.
During one of NRATV’s hourly 10-minute updates, Stinchfield, which aired at 9 a.m. on September 25, host Grant Stinchfield aired a video of a crowd of protesters confronting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a restaurant chanting, “We believe survivors” and said, “The violent left is at it again.” Stinchfield also claimed he had “gotten word” that there are “busloads of people headed for D.C., leftists willing to enact in actions just like that one” and to “disrupt the next round of hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.”
Two hours later, Stinchfield called the protesters “a bunch of radical thugs who see nothing wrong with mob rule” and demanded their behavior be “stamped out”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): A bunch of radical thugs who see nothing wrong with mob rule went at a United States senator last night.
So that threatening mob surrounded Sen. Ted Cruz at a restaurant last night. Their speech is disgusting -- we had to clean it up. These threatening and violent thugs are the new face of the liberal left. These people pack houses and crowds and they say they’ll resist at all costs. And they say that they will do that. They’re dangerous and extremism should be called out, but it’s not. The liberal leaders encourage it, work it into their plans and call for more of it. I wish the mainstream media would wake up and stop supporting these violent thugs. This behavior should be stamped out. There is no place in it in a civil society.
During the September 26 edition of his show, Stinchfield again warned the capital should “prepare for an onslaught of violent, left wing disruptors. … Many busloads of anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-American chaos creators are headed to D.C. to unleash havoc on the next phase of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.” He claimed this strategy is “straight out of their anarchist playbook” and that protesters “think nothing about forcing those they target to live in fear, and they think nothing about ultimately turning to violence to get their way or make their point.”
NRATV previously aired footage of Antifa members causing property damage on Inauguration Day, falsely identifying the footage as from the Women’s March, which took place the next day.
NRATV has long been a propaganda outlet for Trump, particularly during the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference. This isn’t the first time NRATV has run defense in Kavanaugh’s support. The network’s hosts have worked to discredit the sexual assault reports against Kavanaugh since they surfaced, and the NRA itself followed suit by launching an ad campaign in support of his nomination.