While protests against gun violence swept across the nation and the world yesterday, the National Rifle Association was firing back with a steady barrage of ridicule, misinformation and conspiracy theories in an attempt to shore up their base.
As the kids made impassioned speeches for greater gun control and a ban on assault weapons, Dan Bongino, an NRA commentator was blaming the march on Planned Parenthood and “these far-left groups.”
“Their sole purpose is to take away your right to protect yourself and defend yourself,” he warned.
The NRA’s scare tactics go hand-in-hand with its smear campaigns to demonize any effort to enact any form of gun control.
“Gun-hating billionaires and Hollywood elites are manipulating and exploiting children as part of their plan to DESTROY the Second Amendment and strip us of our right to defend ourselves and our loved ones.” the group claimed on its Facebook page.
Of course, no right is absolute, including any of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
The Second Amendment has been hotly debated almost since it was drafted. It reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, the U.S. Supreme Court severed the right to own a gun from the need for a militia. It was the first such ruling in a long history of court cases.
But the court put clear limits on its ruling. Run ownership was protected by the Constitution,but only for “home protection.” The court recognized that reasonable restrictions, including a ban on assault weapons, were Constitutional.
The protests were sparked by the latest mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, Seventeen people were killed and others were wounded by a lone gunman with an assault rifle, the weapon of choice in mass shootings.
Speakers from the school clearly zeroed in on the NRA.
“If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win,” said Delaney Tarr, a Parkland survivor.
“They want us to forget. They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen,” she said.
While all that was happening, the NRA was mocking the demonstrations as a “carnival” and branding it “A March for Their Lies.”
“If you’re too immature to carry a firearm, you’re too immature to make policy about firearms. Ultimately, isn’t that what this discussion is centering around?” said NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
While many of those on the stage will be voting this November, the kids who can’t make policy will be calling the shots in 2020.