Guns | Media Matters for America

Guns

Tags ››› Guns
  • NRATV host: A few Democrats doing a sporting-style “fight” chant at an Eric Holder event constitutes a “call for violence”

    Grant Stinchfield: Holder is “mob-a-lyzing” the left  

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    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.”  

  • The National Rifle Association recruits LGBTQ gun owners even as it denigrates community

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    National Rifle Association national spokesperson Dana Loesch continued the group’s tactic of offering surface-level support for LGBTQ gun ownership while simultaneously spouting attacks against the LGBTQ community from the organization’s news outlet, NRATV.

    During the October 5 edition of her NRATV show Relentless, Loesch highlighted the “LGBTQ community and Second Amendment advocates working together” at the 33rd Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago, where pro-gun LGBTQ groups the Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword announced their merger.

    Loesch claimed that gun ownership “is an obvious fit for the LGBT community” and owning a gun is about “refusing to be a victim, whether you’re part of the gay community, or an ethnic minority, or whether you’re a single woman”:

    DANA LOESCH (HOST): Any group that is more susceptible to violence will obviously and clearly want to protect itself. And that’s exactly why supporting the human right to self-defense is an obvious fit for the LGBT community.

    LOESCH: That’s really what this is all about -- refusing to be a victim, whether you’re part of the gay community, or an ethnic minority, or whether you’re a single woman. I mean, it’s not about identity politics. But some individuals, and I’ve described before the perpetrator behind Pulse nightclub, or the individual who killed a teenager in the East Coast before then targeting a gay club in Seattle and said that he did it specifically because their lifestyles were antithetical to his radicalized beliefs. It does exist and it has happened in the United States. It’s not about identity politics, it’s about protecting yourself and other individuals.

    While she encourages members of the LGBTQ community to own firearms, Loesch has also promoted hateful and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the past -- comparing an anti-gay baker having to serve a gay couple to “slavery” and claiming that transgender individuals have a “mental illness.”

    Referring to Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman, Loesch said earlier this year on NRATV, “Just because you get some boobs, and you put some red lipstick on, poorly applied, and a very poor smoky eye bad dye job, that don’t make you a chick.”

    National Rifle Association board members and organization leaders have a well-documented track record of espousing bigoted and homophobic rhetoric toward LGBTQ people while also exploiting violence against them to promote fear and increased gun ownership, a strategy that enrichens gun manufacturers that donate to the NRA.

  • NRATV baselessly blames shooting of South Carolina police officers on “the media and the left”

    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

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    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 runs defense for Brett Kavanaugh and falsely smears his protesters as “violent thugs”

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    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.

  • Defending her remarks about Botham Jean, NRA’s Dana Loesch blames Philando Castile for his death

    Loesch previously suggested that Jean, who was killed by a police officer in his own apartment, would still be alive if he owned a gun

    Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

    National Rifle Association national spokesperson Dana Loesch smeared Philando Castile by telling a false account of Castile’s actions leading up to a police officer shooting him in order to make Castile seem responsible for his own death.

    Loesch discussed Castile during the September 11 broadcast of her radio show while defending herself over criticism of comments she made about Botham Jean, a Dallas, TX, man who was killed in his own apartment by a police officer who claims she mistakenly entered it thinking it was her own.

    During the September 10 edition of her NRATV program Relentless, Loesch suggested that Jean would still be alive if “he was a law abiding gun owner,” claiming that he could have used a firearm to defend himself, sparking widespread outrage and incredulity. The NRA, including NRATV, frequently speculate about what victims of shootings could have done to avoid being shot -- often suggesting they should have been armed themselves -- in effect shifting partial blame for the shooting onto the victims themselves.

    Additionally, given the NRA’s feckless response to the Castile shooting, it seems unlikely that the gun group would have championed Jean had he defended himself with a gun.

    Castile was fatally shot in 2016 during a traffic stop by St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez after he informed Yanez he had a gun. Castile had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting on video and the entire incident was also recorded by a dashcam in a squad car parked behind Castile’s car.

    While calling the Castile shooting “awful,” during the broadcast of The Dana Show, Loesch started talking about the incident saying, “You can get mad about it. I mean it’s sad, you can get mad at me for telling you what is on the video. I’m not responsible for it, I’m just telling you what is there.”

    Loesch proceeded to make false claims about what the video showed, which are contradicted by the videos of the shooting, a second-by-second account of the shooting published by the Star Tribune, and forensic evidence presented at Yanez’s trial.

    Loesch said, “Castile didn’t say that he had a concealed carry permit, he just said he had a gun,” which, according to Loesch, is what “you’re supposed to [do] when you’re pulled over.” This comment is misleading at best. Under Minnesota law, Castile had no obligation to inform the officer he had a gun or a concealed carry permit. But Castile had told the police officer, “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me,” which suggests he was trying to proactively inform the officer.

    Loesch then told a story about how she had no issues when she was pulled over for a traffic violation and she had a gun in the car. Loesch said, “I told [the officer] immediately. What I didn’t do was say, ‘I have a gun’ and then keep reaching for my waistband 10 times after he told me not to. And that’s what happened in the video.”

    Loesch is lying about what the video of the shooting showed. The dashcam video that actually captured the shooting doesn’t show Castile reaching for his waistband 10 times, because it “does not show Yanez's point of view or the inside of Castile's car.” Reynolds’ video does show the inside of the car, but it only started after Castile was shot. The dashcam video does, however, have audio of the incident. Three seconds after Castile informed the officer he had a firearm, according to the Star Tribune account, the officer said, “Okay, don't reach for it, then ... don't pull it out,” to which Castile responded, “I’m not pulling it out.”

    Five seconds later he was shot multiple times. Just 38 seconds elapsed between when Yanez and Castile started talking and Yanez shooting Castile. Forensic evidence presented at Yanez’s manslaughter trial backed Reynolds’ account that Castile was trying to unbuckle his seatbelt in order to access his wallet when he was shot.  

    Loesch doubled down on her false characterization moments later, saying, “If I would have just told the cop that I had a gun and I was grabbing my waistband 10 times, I would have gotten shot too.” She also made other excuses for the shooting, saying Yanez was “nervous” because he was “new,” and was “stressed out” and saying, “It didn’t help after [when] it came out that he had pot in the car and all of this stuff.”