'Millennials v NRA: Vietnam War-style protests may make Congress more responsive'
The US gun lobby is fighting back against calls for tougher firearm controls. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has come under intense scrutiny since the school shooting in Florida. In a new promotional clip, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch issued a stern warning to the media.
“We've had enough of the lies, the sanctimony, the arrogance, the hatred, the pettiness, the fake news…we are done with your agenda to undermine voters' will and individual liberty in America… To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Listen up! Your Time is running out,” she said in the promotional video.
According to investigative journalist Dave Lindorff, the new ad shows “desperation on the part of the NRA.”
Dave Lindorff: They are resorting to this very scary commercial with a black background: she [Dana Loesch] looked like the Queen in a Disney Snow White, the floating head in the Wizard of Oz, timer running out and saying “Your time is up”. If you say that and you are the gun organization, it sounds like there is an execution coming for journalists and media people. It is designed to be very intimidating. I see it as a sign of desperation. This is the most powerful lobby along with the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in the country. And they suddenly are seeing huge companies abandoning them and not offering their members discounts because of the fears of a boycott. If Apple and Amazon are worried now about the boycott, and these are two of the largest companies in America. That is amazing.
RT: The Florida school massacre seems to have sparked an unprecedented wave of protests calling for tougher gun laws. Do you expect to see any consensus emerge on this issue? Is this latest incident going to change anything?
DL: This seems a little different to me. We haven’t seen these kinds of boycotts against the NRA, we haven’t seen Republicans backing away from the NRA, and we haven’t especially seen a mobilized mass of the articulate people like these high school students. I am sort of thrown back to the ‘60s when I was teenager myself and was opposing the Vietnam War. Really, it was kids that were behind the movement against the Vietnam War, teenagers... And that is what we are seeing these quiescent millennials are suddenly out there, mobilizing on social media. We haven’t seen that before.
RT: A recent double-page ad in the New York Times listed almost 300 members of Congress who received money from the NRA along with their phone numbers. Could this be an explanation for the NRA lashing out at media now?
DL: We saw a weakening of AIPAC recently which is a new thing. I think what is happening is that there is a popular movement that has been growing to get Congress to be more responsive to the public. Congress is a bunch of millionaires who just suck up money. And they have been pretty immune from public pressure because all people do is writing email messages. But I think things are getting hotter now for members of Congress to be more responsive to public will.
The only legitimate way to change the gun control situation in the US is to repeal the Second Amendment, but gun controllers don’t have strong majority of the political opinion, political commentator Dave Perkins told RT.
RT: NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch accused gun-control activists of spreading lies and undermining the will of voters. Is that really what's happening?
Dave Perkins: There is one legal perfectly legitimate way to get rid of American citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, it is called repeal – they could repeal the Second Amendment. They can talk all they want about being a majority but the one thing they do not have is the political force to conduct the activity of the repeal. It requires three-quarters of state legislators to agree and then two-thirds of Congress to agree and then the president to sign it. You get the feeling of the mass amount of importance that the issue has to have to the public in order to get an amendment repealed. It has happened in the past. We had the Eighteenth Amendment that ensured prohibition banning alcohol in America and that didn’t last very long, and Congress passed and the president signed the Twenty-First Amendment which repealed the Eighteenth. It is perfectly legitimate, it is a simple thing. What it requires is what the gun controllers do not have, and that is a strong majority of the political opinion, that is going the other way.
RT: Most gun control activists are not actually campaigning against the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, they just want better regulation. Why is this such a problem for the NRA?
DP: If you read the Second Amendment, you’ll realize the amendment says “shall not be infringed.” Any gun law that anyone is talking about is literally from the first moment an infringement of the Second Amendment. The only correct non-illegal, not unconstitutional way to take away American’s gun rights is by repeal. No other law is legitimate. This is one of the reasons Americans are so on about this. Because they are trying to pass laws that clearly infringe on the Second Amendment which says “shall not be infringed.” It is not complicated court language, it is straight up and simple to understand. And they are trying to sneak in all this laws as they have been for generations now: very small things, very local things that people haven’t had the opportunity to clearly see and pick at. But they are pushing back now as any gun law is unconstitutional judging by the writing of the Second Amendment. No other amendment doesn’t have an out clause, doesn’t have the word “unless” involved in it… Every amendment has an out clause, except the Second Amendment which says “shall not be infringed” and does not say or imply the word “unless.” The people are well aware of what their rights are and anything rather than repeal is a violation of their right. It is as plain as it can be.