Thursday, June 29, 2017

New NRA condemns leftist violence, gets called too violent.

A new advertisement for the National Rifle Association staring Dana Loesch is being condemned by leftists after the video condemned leftist violence. The add shows images of leftist riots and violence against people on the right and condemned fake news. The add also claims that leftist riots are so violent that the only options are for police to do their jobs. In the end, Loesch claims that the only counter to leftist violence is a "clenched fist of truth".

What's my take on this? Well for one, if anything, Loesch downplayed how bad things are on the left right now. There are examples of leftist violence that were left out. The most obvious was the attempted assassination of Majority Whip Steve Scalise and other senior GOP officials by a Bernie Sanders fan. Though that attack has been memory holed by the media, there was no reason for the NRA to do so as well. It was possibly the most important political event since the election of President Trump, but within a couple of days nobody talked about it anymore.

It also ignored the very real and very serious attempt on then candidate Donald Trump's life by an illegal immigrant from the UK. That event too was memory holed, even by the Trump campaign for reasons I do not understand. It was an unsuccessful attack carried out by an idiot that had a bad plan, but it was still an assassination attack that had a small chance of succeeding.

The video also ignored the massive amounts of violence caused by Black Lives Matter, including the attacks on cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Those two attacks weren't directly carried out by BLM but they were committed by people that believed their rhetoric.

Most of the violence that Loesch mentioned was at anti-Trump rallies of all stripes. Those attacks are real and very frequent. Indeed, if you look at the "civil unrest" tag on this blog you will find dozens of examples of leftist violence.

And that violence extends to normal people like me. Though nobody has physically attacked me yet, I came damn close once. I was at a gas station pulling into fill my tank when I saw a guy about to pull out. He had "FUCK TRUMP" written on his truck and when he saw me he looked at me like he wanted to kill me. Why? Maybe it was because I was white. Maybe it was because I was wearing a security uniform because I was on my way to work. Maybe he just saw the disgust in my eye. Who knows? But what I do know is that if I was wearing a MAGA hat or had a vote for Trump bumper sticker, I probably would have had to fight this guy. And that's not counting all the times I have had to block people on twitter for threats, harassment and even one attempted doxxing attempt.

So yes, this video does speak to the reality in America. There are some extremely violent people on the political left these days. Not everyone on the left is violent, to be sure, but enough of them are out their causing trouble. Some of them are organized like antifa, BAMN and BLM. Some are lone psychos like Steve Scalise shooter James Hodgkinson. But very rarely do any of them get condemned by the left. Some, like Black Lives Matter, get massive amounts of support.

Does the video incite violence? I don't see how. After all, Loesch argued that we should fight this using truth, not violence. Fighting people with words is the exact opposite of being violent. Given that this was the NRA, she very easily could have said that people on the right should buy guns to defend themselves and she would be totally justified in doing so. But even that wouldn't be inciting violence as advocating for self defense is completely legal. If she had said something like "and that's why we need to start shooting leftists" then she would have a legal problem but as it stands right now it's not even close.

Indeed, I think this shows how different the standards are for the left and right. Until very recently, calls for violence against the right were celebrated, not condemned. Indeed, even after the Steve Scalise shooting, some on the left claimed publicly that he deserved it and the attack was in "self defense". And there was of course the Kathy Griffen and New York Julius Caeser play that advocated assassination of the president that finally seemed to change things. But until that point actual calls for violence on the left were tolerated and even sometimes celebrated.

More importantly, does the video advance the cause of gun rights? This is by far the biggest problem I have with the video. All of it was true but it's a bad message for the NRA. Why? Because the only message they need is "We are the guys that will protect your gun rights". Violence coming from the left is a huge problem but it's not one that has much to do with gun rights directly. Same thing with claims of fake news. It also has the possibility of turning off independent and leftist supporters of gun rights who the NRA needs to thrive. Also, Freedom's Safest Space is a horrible name for a campaign and implies that gun owners are as weak as college students who need puppy dogs and stuffed animals because someone called them a name on the internet. Poor messaging all around.

I also think the message is going to be drowned out by the controversy. While looking for this video I found dozens of leftist articles bashing it while I only saw a couple of conservative outlets, like The Federalist and The Blaze defending it. It seems to me that this video is only being shared by people on the left, which does little to reach the target audience, right wing gun owners. It will also do nothing to convince those on the left because they aren't going to listen to a video that just attacks them, even if the events described in it are true.

Above all else though I do have to laugh at the irony of people condemning a video for promoting violence when the video condemns violence...

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