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HYPOCRISY & America's terrorist organisation, the NRA…

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Author Topic: HYPOCRISY & America's terrorist organisation, the NRA…  (Read 34 times)
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« on: May 04, 2018, 05:47:32 pm »

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....

Protests, not guns, to greet Trump

President will speak on Friday during NRA convention in Dallas.
Ban on firearms strikes some as hypocritical.

By MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE | Tuesday, May 01, 2018

President Donald J. Trump addresses the National Rifle Association's leadership conference in Atlanta last year. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump addresses the National Rifle Association's leadership conference in Atlanta last year. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.

HOUSTON — President Trump will address gun rights supporters on the first day of the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas on Friday, a White House official confirmed — a move likely to increase tension and protests at the annual gathering.

The convention, which rotates cities, drew more than 80,000 NRA members and other supporters last year in Atlanta. Attendees are permitted to carry firearms, except during the forum where Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to speak.

It's standard for the Secret Service to bar firearms in places visited by those they protect, regardless of state law. And guns were also banned during Trump's appearance at last year's convention. But some student victims of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed on February 14, criticized the policy as hypocritical.

“It's ironic that they feel they need to ban guns to protect themselves especially after their main philosophy has been ‘more guns = more protection’ yet they don't think they need to protect our kids in the same way,” David Hogg, 18, a Parkland senior who became an outspoken gun control advocate after surviving the shooting, said in a text to the Los Angeles Times.

Texas had the most guns registered of any state last year, more than 580,000, and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature is particularly gun-friendly.

The state has adopted laws in recent years allowing not only more people to carry concealed handguns, but also the “open carry” of handguns in plain sight and “campus carry” of handguns at colleges. After the Parkland shooting, Trump spoke in favor of arming teachers, a controversial stance nationwide but already a common practice at some schools outside Dallas.

But the urban core of Dallas, like other major cities in Texas, is largely Democratic, and some City Council members discouraged the NRA from even coming. County Judge Clay Jenkins is hosting a forum on Thursday for local students to “voice their concerns” about the convention. And a “die-in” is planned on Friday outside the downtown convention center with some Parkland survivors and relatives expected to participate, organizers said.

Manuel Oliver, who lost his 17-year-old son Joaquin in the Parkland shooting, plans to erect a mural in his honor in Dallas during the NRA convention and join protesters outside the convention center. He said Trump's decision to attend was a mistake.

“He decided to be in the wrong room with the wrong audience, especially if he's looking for votes and support,” Oliver said.

Pence had been slated to deliver the convention's keynote speech on Friday, which some family and friends of Parkland victims said upset them because he has yet to meet with them, something Trump did shortly after the shooting.

Javier Marin, a friend of Oliver's from Florida who plans to accompany him to Dallas, said Trump's appearance “is making our actions more important. This will be a real battleground.”

“He needs to go because he's seeing the other side gaining territory,” Marin said. “This is really a reflection of the division in this country.”

Much has changed in the American debate about guns since the last NRA convention in Texas in 2013, the largest in recent memory, which drew more than 81,000 people.

Almost two-thirds of those under 30 who plan to vote in the upcoming mid-term election believe gun control laws should be stricter, according to a recent poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

The poll also found support for a ban on assault weapons among those voters had increased significantly in the last five years, climbing from 41% to 58%.

Trump was elected on a platform of staunch support for the 2nd Amendment, even as mass shootings increased in frequency and lethality. The largest to date, in Las Vegas last year, killed 58 people. There have also been more high-profile shootings involving police: The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014; the shootings of Alton Sterling and three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers in 2015; and the killing of five Dallas police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2016.

The Reverend Dominique Alexander, who helped organize that Black Lives Matter protest, is also organizing against the NRA convention.

“We continue to see our president whenever the NRA comes; he stands with them and that's problematic to us,” Alexander said, calling the NRA's decision to come to Dallas “a slap in the face.”

“We're expecting in the thousands, and we're expecting our numbers to go up with him coming to town,” Alexander said of Trump.

C.J. Grisham, executive director of the Temple, Texas-based gun rights group Open Carry Texas, followed reports of gun control protests and organized at least 1,600 people for a pro-gun rally outside Dallas City Hall on Saturday.

“The anti-gun crowd has felt more emboldened to push their agenda, and the pro-gun crowd has pushed back even harder,” he said.

He said Trump's decision to attend was not a sign that he's afraid gun control advocates are gaining support.

“This president is doing what he's always done: supporting gun rights,” Grisham said.


• Molly Hennessy-Fiske is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she has spent a dozen years covering foreign, national, metro and business news, including reporting rotations in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon. She won an Overseas Press Club award in 2015, a Dart award from Columbia University in 2014, was a finalist for the Livingston Awards and Casey Medal and won state awards for her work in California, Florida, New York and North Carolina. She completed a Thomson Reuters fellowship in Lebanon in 2006 and a Pew fellowship reporting from Mexico in 2004. She has reported for newspapers in Boston, Miami, Raleigh, Schenectady, Syracuse, Washington and West Palm Beach. Hennessy-Fiske grew up in Upstate New York before attending Harvard College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in social studies in 1999. She spent last year as L.A. Times Middle East bureau chief before returning to cover foreign/national news as the paper's Houston bureau chief.

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 12:35:11 am »

from The Washington Post....

Congressional candidate drops an f-bomb on the NRA in new campaign ad

“Being polite for years has just given us thoughts and prayers,” Pat Davis said. “But this clearly got their attention.”

By AMY B. WANG | 6:22PM EDT — Saturday, May 12, 2018

Pat Davis, a New Mexico congressional candidate, released an ad that has stirred
controversy for its profane message to the National Rifle Association.

A SHORT POLITICAL AD from a New Mexico congressional candidate is courting controversy for its profane message directed at the National Rifle Association.

In a 15-second television commercial, Democratic candidate Pat Davis opens with an f-bomb before he even blinks.

“F— the NRA,” Davis says, against a backdrop of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque. “Their pro-gun policies have resulted in dead children, dead mothers and dead fathers.”

He finishes: “I'm Pat Davis, and I approve this message. Because if Congress won't change our gun laws, we're changing Congress.”

The ad is relatively short — 35 words in total — but has drawn ire for its very first word in particular since it aired on KRQE News on Friday afternoon.

On Friday evening, the NRA published a video in response to Davis, running circus-like music under the first part of the candidate's original commercial and suggesting Davis should clean his mouth out with a bar of soap.

“STAY CLASSY, PAT!” the NRA video said in all-caps letters, before urging NRA supporters on Twitter to “let him know how you feel” with the hashtag #DesperateDavis.

Many tweeted profane messages of their own at Davis, a review of the hashtag showed.

An NRA representative did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment on Saturday afternoon.

Davis, an Albuquerque city council member and former police officer, is one of six Democratic candidates running in the primary election for New Mexico's 1st Congressional District. The winner of the primary election in June will face off against the Republican candidate in November. The incumbent, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, is running for governor of New Mexico rather than seeking re-election.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Davis told The Washington Post he wanted to address the issue of gun-control legislation during the primary race. He supports universal background checks and a return to a ban on military-style weapons.

“I was a cop during the first assault-weapons ban, and I'm telling you on the street it made a difference,” said Davis, who was a police officer in Washington from 2000 to 2004, then in Albuquerque from 2005 to 2009. “This is the first election where it looks like we have as many moms and students and [gun-violence] survivors as the NRA has members. I don't remember another year like that where this [issue] was sustaining long enough.”

The idea for the campaign ad was born out of frustration with the status quo, he said.

“Every idea we came up with looked like every other gun ad we'd ever seen,” Davis said. “Finally, somebody just said, you know, like, ‘[bleep] the NRA’. We've told stories and everybody's marching and another ad of stock footage of that is not going to change the game. Everybody's thinking it. Why don't we just say it?”

Men reach for Mossberg shotguns during the annual NRA convention in Dallas in May. — Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.
Men reach for Mossberg shotguns during the annual NRA convention in Dallas in May. — Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.

The ad was filmed in a single day against the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque. The campaign spent about $250 to buy only one lunchtime spot on Friday on KRQE News because they weren't even sure if the station would run it, Davis said.

KRQE general manager Bill Anderson said in a statement that federal election laws required the station to run Davis's ad uncensored. He also said it had preceded the commercial with a 15-second warning about offensive language.

“We received a request for air time from a legitimate federal candidate for office, and according to federal election rules we are required to give him the same access as his opponents,” Anderson said. “This station, by law, is not permitted to censor or in any way edit this commercial. What we can control however, is the 15 seconds of air time preceding it, which we will use to warn the viewer of a possible offense, explain our own views, and cite the federal laws imposed on candidates and TV stations.”

Since the ad aired on Friday, Davis said he had been inundated with “belligerent, vulgar” messages from NRA supporters, as well as donations and messages from people who encouraged him to continue in that vein. Among the latter was David Hogg, a student who survived the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Hogg has been one of the most vocal teenage activists to emerge from the Parkland tragedy, speaking at the March for Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington. Since the shooting, he has appeared frequently on television and rallied his growing number of Twitter followers to become civically engaged.

Davis said his campaign did not know Hogg and was “totally surprised to have David pay attention and see it and share it.”

Debates about the appropriate use — and broadcast — of profanity have become prominent in recent months, particularly concerning several high-profile (and profane) incidents involving President Trump. In January, when Trump referred to African countries and Haiti as “shithole countries,” most newspapers and TV stations didn't censor the president's vulgar language.

“When the president says it, we'll use it verbatim. That's our policy,” Martin Baron, The Washington Post's executive editor, said at the time. “We discussed it, quickly, but there was no debate.”

As The Post's Marwa Eltagouri reported, a different standard applied to Trump before he was elected president:

Trump is already known for his use of vulgar language, most notably his comments in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which he bragged in obscene terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. The video, obtained by The Washington Post in October 2016, recorded Trump using the phrases “Try and fuck her” and “Grab them by the pussy.”

That language was censored by The Post, as Trump was not yet president. The New York Times published the specific language.

On Saturday, Davis brushed off criticism that his ad was inappropriate or that it contributed to the coarsening of public political discourse.

“Being polite for years has just given us ‘thoughts and prayers’, but this clearly got their attention,” Davis said. His main objective, he said, was to “start a conversation” about gun-violence prevention.

“Our primary in just three weeks is one of the earliest in the country,” he added. “If we can show that Democrats can stand up and run on this as a front-running issue, other Democrats with other challenges down the road will follow our lead.”

One of Davis's Democratic opponents, Debra Haaland, indicated she agreed with the ad's sentiments in the commercial but not with the tone.

“The NRA and the arms industry are responsible for horrific preventable deaths all across America — with communities of color hardest hit by this epidemic of violence,” Haaland told KRQE News. “I fully understand the anger many people are expressing, and I share it — even if I might use different words.”


• Amy B Wang is a general assignment reporter covering national and breaking news for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2016 after seven years with the Arizona Republic.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Pat Davis: ‘F— the NRA’ | Campaign 2018

 • Oklahoma's governor angers the NRA and gay rights groups — on the same day

 • ‘This Is America’: Breaking down Childish Gambino's powerful new music video

 • Bank of America to stop lending to some gun manufacturers in wake of Parkland massacre

 • A district armed its teachers with tiny baseball bats, urging them to fight back in a shooting

 • Facing boycott, Laura Ingraham apologizes for taunting Parkland teen over college rejections

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