The latest round of mass shootings has Obama and The New York Times calling for a crackdown. HowaEUR( tm) s that going down in the NRA bunker?
To the NRA, everything is black and whitebut largely white .
Wayne LaPierre stood in front of an artificial backdrop the color of a cartoon midnight sky. He was dressed like a funeral conductor, in a black suit, white shirt and dark purple tie-in, but he looked like the corpse. Beneath his rimless glass and permanently furrowed eyebrow, his face was hollow and his skin was gray, perhaps an effect of the grim topic he was preparing to broach.
You and I didnt choose to be targets in the age of terror, he said.
But innocents like us will continue to be slaughtered in concert halls, sports stadiums, restaurants, and aircrafts. No amount of bloodshed will ever satisfy the demons among us.
As he spoke, an aria fit for a horror movie played in the background, inducing his message feel all the more dire, like an end-of-days commercial you might watch on some far-flung channels in the middle of the night in between ads for Snuggies and home gyms.
When evil knockings on our doors, Americans have a power no other people on countries around the world share: the full-throated right to defend our families and ourselves with our Second Amendment, he said. Let fate decide if mercy is offered to the demons at our door.
LaPierre is the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and this one-minute ad, released on Nov. 30, after the Paris terror attacks, is part of the NRAs effort to attract more members with commonsense fear-mongering as mass shootingstwo in the last few weeks alone, in Colorado and Californiaand one-off, viral firearm deathslike the case of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally shot her teacher in the head with an Uzithreaten to tar different groups reputation in the eyes of a endlessly shaken public.
In 2014, the NRA unveiled plans to launch its own television network of sortsa series of programs available anytime and anywhere on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, or web-connected Tv via browser, YouTube or Roku streaming player that would allow people to see how empowering, fun, and not-murderous gun culture can be.
NRA News, as its called, bills itself as the most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world, but it doesnt feel of this world at all. It feels like how Tv might be in a dystopian future where citizens hoard weapons inside their chrome hover-trailers, which they leave only to restock on Soylent and return to with a sunburn.
The network is broken up into categories 😛 TAGEND
Commentary , from a varied casting including LaPierre, right-wing radio host Dana Loesch and Colion Noir( not his real name ), a young black man who wears baseball hats, detests political correctness and deceit and, before being discovered by NRA News, had achieved minor YouTube fame with his pro-gun rants.
Investigative , which has a familiar-sounding show called Frontlines that encompasses things like how Americas energy infrastructure is vulnerable to terror attacks or, in the frantic terms of NRA News, The Fight For Light: The Coming Catastrophe.
Lifestyle , which houses a vaguely porny series called Love At First Shot that follows youngish girls as they learn to shoot pistols for the first time with the instruction of other youngish girls( sample description: Julie Golob is about to show 21 -year-old Kaytlin that with the proper instruction and safety in place, she can shoot large calibers with ease ).
Profiles , home of Armed& Fabulous which, in Episode 4, documented the life of Sandra Sadler, who looks like your average granny except when shes holding a dead animal by the antlers. She has, the narrator said, a deep appreciation for the outdoors.
Campaigns , another channel for the ads like LaPierres.
And History , which airs The Treasure Collection , the Antiques Roadshow of NRA News.
The videos are beautiful and slick, in the style of modern presidential campaign commercials or global warming documentaries. On YouTube, where over 200 of them are posted, they amass thousands of views. The clip of LaPierre has over 100,000.( The number of viewers for the depicts on the NRA News website was not possible, and the NRA did not immediately reply to a request for that info .)
Aesthetics aside, the videos are attractive because in life inside NRA News, there are Good Guys and Bad Guys, Cops and Robbers, Freedom-Lovers Like Us and the godforsaken Them . Things are, apparently, simple when you are packing heat.
To the NRA, everything is black and whitebut largely white. Almost everyone featured on NRA News is white, except for Noir, and David A. Clarke, a sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, who became a minor right-wing celebrity by assaulting President Obama and Al Sharpton after the Ferguson protests and was featured in a video the NRA posted on 9/11 called My Honor( curiously, the NRA didnt include Clarkes name in the video, leaving it up to YouTube commenters to identify him ), and an elderly woman whose name the NRA also did not include who, in a video titled My Right, said she needed a firearm because she lived in government housing where gang-bangers walk down our hallways every day.
But its up against the NRAs alternative cosmo of gun-slinging girl children and mostly-white patriots in suits who want to preserve your rights that a different narrative is battle competitively.
On Sunday night, from the Oval Office, Obama employed an address about terrorism to condemn gun culture. We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino, he said. I know there are some who reject any firearm safety measures. But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agenciesno matter how effective they arecannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that someone is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can doand must dois make it harder for them to kill.
Obamas speech went a day after The New York Times ran an editorial on its front page, titled Objective the Gun Epidemic in America, which called for the outlawing of certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition.
Conservatives reacted in ferocity. Erick Erickson, the right-wing radio host, sprayed his transcript of The Times with seven bullets and posted a photo of the remains on Twitter, where it has over 1,000 retweets.
The Times editorial went a day after the New York Daily News ran a covering with a photo of Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters, above a row of white men: four of them mass shooters, one of them LaPierre. Farook was a terrorist, the News confessed,( But so are these guysAND this guy ).
On NRA TV on Monday, Cam Edwards, the burly red-headed, bearded host of Cam& Co .( sponsored by Nosler, the ammunition manufacturer ), virtually filled three hours of airtime with talk of the anti-gun elites in the media.
With the Times op-ed, Edwards said, theyve let the mask slip-up. Theyve let their intents be known.
Behind Edwards, there was a sign which read, KEEP CALM AND EAT BACON.
Only in the universe of NRA TV does such serenitypunctuated by bouts of paranoiaseem possible.
Correction: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly spelled Colion Noir’s name.
Read more: www.thedailybeast.com