On July 20, the Huffington Post taunted the NRA for refusing to politicize the heinous June 17 attack on Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The article seized on NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s decision to remain quiet in the wake of the Charleston shooting, and it was construed in a manner designed to draw him out.
For example, they suggest this silence indicates the NRA has something to hide. They do this by positing that the silence “is a pretty clear indication that the whole notion of gun ownership may still be up for grabs, 2nd Amendment or no 2nd Amendment.” And they poke fun at claims that the NRA is America’s “oldest civil rights organization.”
All the while, the NRA is enjoying a ubiquitous winning streak that includes victory in over 90 percent of the races in which they endorsed a candidate in the 2014 midterm elections. Moreover, their status as a civil rights organization is bolstered by the fact that gun rights are civil rights, as is every right protected by the Bill of Rights.
But the mockery of LaPierre and the NRA is not intended to be an honest critique. Rather, it follows HuffPo’s realization that both he and the organization would rather be silent and insulted than respond and join in the politicization of Charleston.
Ironically, amid the lopsided and hyperbolic critique of the NRA, the HuffPo fails to mention that alleged Charleston gunman Dylann Roof passed a background check for his gun. More importantly, other than mentioning the church’s pastor in discussing gun control early on, the article fails to mention or dedicate any time to the churchgoers who tragically lost their lives in the heinous attack.
It’s to avoid diminishing that loss that the NRA and other groups have refused to politicize the attack.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly firstname.lastname@example.org.