As news broke about Florida school shooting, the NRA once again told everyone it's not time to talk about guns
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NRATV attacked anti-gun-violence activists in anticipation of them attempting to “politicize” the recent deadly shooting in Fresno, CA. But an NRA host later used the shooting to compare an anti-gun-violence leader to the Fresno shooter and suggested people need to arm themselves when “a deranged lunatic praising Allah pulls his firearm.”
On April 18, Kori Muhammad opened fire on four men in Fresno, CA, killing three. The shooting occurred two hours after Fresno police identified him as the suspect in the killing of an unarmed security guard. Despite earlier speculation, the police confirmed that the suspect isn’t connected to terrorism, and called the shootings “solely based on race.”
During the April 18 edition of NRATV’s Cam & Company, host Cam Edwards briefly mentioned the shooting in the show’s 4 p.m. hour, and highlighted that the gunman said “Allahu akbar” when he was being arrested. Edwards went on to bemoan that gun violence prevention groups “will be jumping on this and trying to politicize this crime … if they have not done so already”:
CAM EDWARDS (HOST): We are watching some breaking news out of Fresno, California. Kori Ali Muhammad, who apparently was wanted in a murder last week in Fresno, taken into custody after shooting and killing at least three people in Fresno earlier today. We will bring you more details on that story, apparently shouted Allahu akbar when police arrested him. [The police] chief said he expressed a hatred of whites, taken into custody again in Fresno, California. I am assuming that, if they have not already done so, gun control groups will be jumping on this and trying to politicize this crime in California before long, if they have not done so already.
But just one day after Edwards complained that anti-gun-violence groups would “politicize” the shooting, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield did just that. During the April 19 edition of NRATV’s Live Updates, Stinchfield said it was “delusional and … deceitful” not to consider the shooting an act of terrorism and warned that “you better be ready, because the reality is, there will be no one there to defend you”:
GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Kori Ali Muhammad calls white people the devil. He killed three of them yesterday while yelling in Arabic, “God is great” -- Allahu akbar. We’ve heard it too many times before. I call it a rampage, the media wants to call it a hate crime. What no one is calling it is a terrorist attack. The man yelled Allahu akbar. Call this heinous act what it is, terrorism on the streets of Fresno. Look at this article written by The Associated Press: Not once does it even mention the possibility of terrorism. It’s delusional and more likely deceitful. The media wants you to believe there is no such thing as radical Islam or the terrorists who practice it. Here is what Fresno police have to say:
STINCHFIELD: Come on, clearly radical Islam is alive and well. That is one example of it. And these holy warriors lurk on our streets; it is up to you to defend yourself from an attack like this. In the very moment a deranged lunatic praising Allah pulls his firearm, you better be ready. Because the reality is, there will be no one else there to defend you.
Stinchfield began his 10-minute noon update by calling Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts “extreme” for promising to protest the NRA annual meeting at the end of the month and comparing her to to the Fresno gunman, who is “also extreme.” Stinchfield repeated that “Allahu akbar” is the “rallying cry of every Islamic holy warrior,” and therefore proof this attack is terror-related. NRA spokesperson and commentator Dana Loesch also slammed the police for calling this “a hate crime based on race,” and went on to state, “The guy is a terrorist, plain and simple.”
The National Rifle Association has a well-established track record of hypocrisy when it comes to whether to politicize mass shootings and tragedies. The organization slammed gun violence prevention groups when they called to expand the national background checks system after the mass shooting in a Charleston church in June 2015. Edwards went as far as to say it is “completely inappropriate” to discuss gun policies the day after an incident. The NRA, however, quickly responded to a shooting at a naval facility in Chattanooga, TN, a month later and argued that it proved firearm regulations on military bases should be loosened. It seems that in the NRA's hypocritical worldview, calls for stronger gun laws are disrespectful, exploitative, and shameless -- while calls for less restrictions are sensible, timely, and relevant. Even worse, the gun group's post-shooting strategy operates from behind a façade of "respect" for the victims.
After Republicans led a vote in the House of Representatives to repeal President Barack Obama’s executive action preventing some severely mentally ill Social Security recipients from purchasing a firearm members of conservative media, particularly those with ties to the National Rifle Association, falsely labeled the regulation a “gun grab.” They claimed the Obama administration had deemed any recipient receiving financial aid “mentally deficient” and stripped them of “due process,” even though the regulation covers only 75,000 severely mentally ill individuals and has a due process component allowing for an appeal.
NRA News Host: LGBT Students Shouldn't Be Afraid "Unless They Have Been Living In A Cave Somewhere"
The National Rifle Association’s radio show dismissed personal safety concerns raised by LGBT students at the University of Houston following Texas’ August 1 adoption of a law allowing concealed guns to be carried on many parts of public college campuses.
Cam Edwards, the host of NRA News’ Cam & Company, cited a Buzzfeed article where a University of Houston student, who self-identifies as transgender and intersex, expressed fear of being shot if someone was angered by their use of gender-neutral pronouns.
On the August 30 edition of Cam & Company, Edwards dismissed the student’s worries, as well as those of other LGBT students mentioned in the article, saying he feels “horrible” for those students because “they don't have to feel that way and yet they’re being told by anti-gun professors, they are being told by anti-gun media, they are being told by anti-gun activists that oh yes, absolutely, they should feel this way, they should be scared of concealed carry holders.”
“Unless they have been living in a cave somewhere in Texas and they only emerged to go to college, they've been hanging around concealed carry holders virtually their entire life if they grew up in Texas,” Edwards continued. (While discussing the article, Edwards mistakenly cited it as appearing in The Houston Chronicle rather than Buzzfeed.)
Edwards never read from sections of the Buzzfeed article, where multiple LGBT students talked about how they “regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented,” especially from extremists who hold hateful protests on campus, and expressed concern that guns can be carried at the school’s LGBT center:
Some of the students thought about protesting, but they didn’t think it would be safe. “We would also out ourselves in the process, which isn’t safe for many of the LGBT students on campus,” [student Robyn] Foley added. “Especially now.”
Many of the LGBTQ students told BuzzFeed News they regularly experienced intimidation on campus before the law was implemented — both from fellow students and from non-student religious protest groups on campus, which the students refer to as “Hell Yellers.”
Many non-student religious groups, including one called Bulldog Ministries, show up on UH’s campus during midterms and finals and yell at students, the students at the LGBT center told BuzzFeed News.
On Bulldog’s website, men can be seen in various locations in Houston holding signs reading, “WARNING: drunks, homosexuals, abortionists, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, witches, idolaters, HELL AWAITS YOU.”
Foley said they have had slurs yelled at them and been “intimidated” on campus before. Other LGBT students said they have had similar experiences.
According to news reports analyzed by the Violence Policy Center, since May 2007, 885 people have been killed by concealed carry permittees, including 48 people in Texas. The gunman who committed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history on June 12 by targeting an Orlando LGBT nightclub was licensed to carry a gun in public.
Chuck Holton: "White Privilege" Is "Simply The Culture That We Have Created, That Our Fathers And Grandfathers Have Worked Hard To Create"
A co-host of a National Rifle Association web series made racially charged comments while promoting a new video from the NRA that attacks the Black Lives Matter movement.
The latest episode of the NRA series Frontlines, a web program co-hosted by NRA Life of Duty’s Chuck Holton, features Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke attacking Black Lives Matter as a “dangerous, hateful, destructive ideology.” Clarke is a frequent guest on Fox News, where he makes often inflammatory claims about Black Lives Matter.
Holton called in to the NRA’s radio show, Cam & Company, August 19 to promote Clarke’s Frontlines episode, and during his appearance Holton also lobbed several attacks against “the black community.” He talked about gangs, absent fathers, and welfare, before saying, “And you hear college students complain about white privilege. You know my definition of white privilege? It’s just simply the culture that we have created, that our fathers and grandfathers have worked hard to create.”
According to Holton, white privilege is “a culture of individual responsibility, where you take responsibility for your own actions, a culture that respects authority. And you know what, if that creates a community that is better than these inner-city communities where there is no respect for authority, where there's no fathers in the home -- guess what? If you live in that inner-city community and you don't like it, you are welcome to join our community and take advantage of this ‘privilege’ that we have any time you want.”
“You're welcome to come. All you have to do is join us in respecting authority and taking responsibility for your own actions,” Holton continued.
During his appearance, Holton also mused about what would happen if police officers refused to do their job in black communities. Holton said that in talking to police officers while making the Frontlines episode, one comment he repeatedly heard was, “If we really were out to kill black people, we would just stay home for a couple of weeks. We would just stop policing their neighborhoods, because they kill each other much more often than we kill them.” Holton called that claim “a really powerful point.”
While attacking “the black community," Holton positively cited a video about “white privilege” made by Irish blogger Stefan Molyneux, saying that Molyneaux had described the “root cause” of problems in the African-American community “very well.”
The video Holton is referencing pushes the myth of “Irish slavery” -- the popular talking point within the white nationalist community that America’s first slaves were Irish. In the video, Molyneux credits “white Western Christian Europeans” with ending slavery, saying, “That is one of the great and crowning achievements of Western European civilization, was the end of slavery. And like life and in history, what good deed doesn’t go unpunished? So the only culture that fought to end slavery worldwide in the greatest moral crusade in the history of the planet to date is really the only group that now gets blamed for slavery. This is ridiculous.”
Molyneux's video was well-received in the white nationalist community, with The Daily Stormer writing, “is This Dude About to Go Full Nazi?” and praising Molyneux because “he even goes out of his way to talk about the Jew role in the slave trade.”
Holton previously published a column in the NRA’s magazine America’s 1st Freedom that included a racial slur that is used to describe people from India or the Middle East.