NRA Ad Warns ‘Time is Running Out’ For Its Adversaries
In a thinly veiled threat packaged as an advertisement for her new show on NRA TV, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch called out various groups the NRA regularly targets warning their “time is running out.” Featuring foreboding music, black background and costume, and an hourglass, Loesch issued what can only be described as a vague threat to take action against what the embattled gun lobbying organization views as its ever-growing list of enemies.
In the short video posted to NRA TV and NRA’s social media channels during the Oscars, Loesch said:
“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.
So to every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents, to the politicians who would rather watch America burn than lose one ounce of their own personal power, to the late-night hosts who think their opinions are the only opinions that matter…
To the Joy-Ann Reids, the Morning Joes, the Mikas. To those who stain honest reporting with partisanship. To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times… your time is running out. The clock starts now.
The Domestic Violence Connection
The fetishizing of implied violence by the nation’s largest gun lobbying organization aside, Dana Loesch touches on several topics in her vague ‘time is running out’ threat-vertisement.
Perhaps the most obvious is the appropriation of the Times Up movement theme created to shine light on “sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.” The ‘time is running out’ line in the video paired with the timing of the video’s release – during the Oscars, where the topic was prominent – wasn’t coincidental…particularly since the NRA’s tweet promoting the video also contained the #Oscars90 hashtag.
Loesch’s decision to co-opt a movement aimed at fighting domestic violence and other forms of sexual harassment and assault raises an important question: since the NRA sees no problem understanding and appropriating the language of that movement, what is it doing to help stop the epidemic of domestic abusers gaining access to firearms?
After all, statistics show that firearms are not only the weapon of choice in domestic disputes that lead to homicide, but also the choice of domestic abusers that escalate that violence when becoming mass shooters. A majority of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence, in fact.
ThinkProgress‘ Addy Baird examined the NRA’s terrible record on domestic violence noting:
In 2000, the NRA filed an amicus brief in the case of U.S. v. Emerson, a case that involved a challenge to a federal statute that aimed to prevent anyone subject to a court order prohibiting the use of physical force against an intimate partner or a child from transporting firearms or ammunition as a part of interstate commerce.
In the brief, the NRA asserted that disarming the man in question — who was the subject of a such a court order — would be a “radical extension of federal power,” boiling down the domestic dispute at hand to mere “divorce proceedings.”
“The government is now asking for a radical extension of federal power when it insists on disarming law-abiding American citizens simply because they are involved in divorce proceedings,” the brief said. “After briefly reviewing the meaning of the Second Amendment, we will demonstrate that the case law on which the government relies does not compel this Court to adopt an interpretation of the Constitution that is at odds with its text and history.”
In 2010, the NRA lobbied against two bills in Wisconsin that would have expanded the definition of “misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence,” contending that the bills were a problem because they would “add more types of relationships to” the definition of domestic violence.
In 2014, the association quietly backed away from domestic violence cases and bills, as The Huffington Post noted at the time, but their decision to keep their distance from such matters didn’t last long. Just two months after the Post wrote about their quiet departure from domestic violence issues, they were back — fighting for the rights of convicted stalkers to have guns.
Loesch’s short-sighted decision to bring up the topic of domestic violence and firearms presents the nation a great opportunity to point out yet another reason to speak out against the NRA. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The NRA – Dana Loesch in particular – relish using thinly veiled threats of violence as red meat to their followers. they skate the line between legal speech and incitement to violence to the point that many gun owners have begun speaking out against the organization’s tactics.
Whether she’s fighting NRA enemies with a “clenched fist of truth,” proclaiming those who oppose the NRA “will perish in the political flames of their own fires,” or screaming mainstream media reporters “love mass shootings,” Loesch has a long and sordid history of using violent imagery and insinuation to motivate and mobilize the far right.
Sunday’s advertisement was no different.
Falling back on her standard attacks on African-American sports players engaging in protected speech, celebrities using their platform for change, and journalists reporting news that might not portray the NRA in the best light (particularly in light of the fact that the NRA is under FBI investigation for potentially allowing Russia to launder money through their organization to help Donald Trump), Dana Loesch’s sternly delivered spiel comes off as yet another hyperbolic threat with no teeth.
After all, what is she going to do when that time runs out? Mow down her enemies – including the teenage mass shooting survivors making her life a nightmare on social media – with a spray of gunfire?
As she normally does, Loesch acted outraged that people would think her unsubtle threat of violence should be interpreted as an unsubtle threat of violence.
When asked by writer Scott Porch to clarify what she meant by the time running out line, she replied it is when her “program starts.” She immediately went on to argue it’s her detractors who are violent saying those calling for shooting are people are “…the anti-2A progressives in my timeline saying that, sadly.”
While it should be a relief that Loesch’s hyperbolic ‘your time is coming’ remarks only refer to a show a majority of people won’t watch (and that won’t be carried on any major network), the truth of the matter is more complicated – and more dangerous.
When someone engages in an act of terrorism in the United States and identifies themselves as being affiliated with, a member of, or acting on behalf of a known terrorist organization – particularly those with Islamic ties – one of the first questions everyone asks is: how and where were they radicalized? We don’t ask that question about acts of domestic terrorism as often as we should, and that’s a problem given the significant rise of domestic incidents committed by white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups.
When Dana Loesch and other NRA personalities release laughably hyperbolic advertisements, scream about us-versus-them in speeches and launch shows devoted to further obfuscating the effort to reduce gun violence, they aren’t speaking to a majority of Americans. They aren’t even speaking to a majority of gun owners.
They’re speaking to a very specific, very mobilized far right audience eager to mobilize under a common cause.
Does that sound familiar? It should as it’s the way groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda recruit and radicalize American citizens.
While it may be fun for the majority to poke fun at the NRA’s ridiculous attacks, we should be paying more attention to the message they’re delivering to an audience primed for radicalization.
NRA TV isn’t targeting the mainstream. No, NRA TV is directly speaking to the group Donald Trump referred to as “Second Amendment people” in a campaign speech many read as an incitement to violent action from gun advocates if the election were “rigged” and Hillary Clinton won.
Trump’s “Second Amendment people” include the Patriot Movement, a network made up of groups like the Bundy bunch that famously staged a 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur County Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, in January 2016. The animating, radicalizing core ideology of that movement is violent white nationalism. NRA TV ideologically trains these front-line troops, which many believe will only grow more dangerous as the Trump presidency continues, particularly if he is perceived to be under attack, scandalized, and humiliated. That’s no joke.
But don’t underestimate the right. Yeah, the NRA may well be out of touch with the mainstream. But what the far right generally, and the NRA in particular, is very good at is manipulating the Overton Window. By organizing and training the most active and extreme elements of the right, the NRA capitalizes on the radicalizing effect of the arguments made by that part of the movement.
The Overton Window is what public-policy advocates often use to frame the viable range of ideas in political discourse, while excluding what is considered too extreme. But the window isn’t static. Extremists can stretch the limits of what is acceptable and push political debates to the right when the political climate is ripe for change, as is the case right now.
No better argument exists in the context of gun reform and the Overton Window than the NRA’s attempt to change the conversation to the benefits of arming teachers.
While we laugh at the prospect of Dana Loesch threatening everyone as a way of advertising a new gun-related show that will only be carried on NRATV, Roku, Youtube, and a few other non-mainstream outlets, Loesch and the NRA are knowingly speaking to an audience primed and ready to receive a message about fighting a common enemy in the name of Trump and their Godly right-wing cause.
Here’s Loesch’s most recent NRA video released during the Oscars on Sunday:
- Words Matter: Dana Loesch’s Violent NRA Commercial
- New Post-Las Vegas Dana Loesch NRA Ad Stokes Violence
- If It’s Mental Illness: Trump, Mass Shootings & Gun Availability
- Tomi Lahren Co-Opts Florida Victims’ Families in Pro-Gun Argument
- NRA Attacks Mainstream Media In the Wake of Parkland Massacre