President Donald Trump speaks during the National Rifle Association-ILA Leadership Forum, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. The NRA is holding its 146th annual meetings and exhibits forum at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Mike Stewart—AP
By Kate Samuelson
June 30, 2017

An advertisement posted by the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) encouraging people to become members has been criticized on social media by gun owners and non-gun owners alike.

In the one-minute ad, which has been viewed more than 4 million times since it was posted in June, conservative television host Dana Loesch talks passionately while black and white footage of protests in the United States is displayed.

“They use their media to assassinate real news,” Loesch says, referring presumably to America’s anti-gun, anti-Donald Trump population. “They use their schools to teach children that their President is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.”

“The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth. I am the National Rifle Association of America and I am freedom’s safest place,” her speech concludes.

The controversial ad has garnered more than 5,000 comments and been shared more than 30,000 times since it was posted.

“What happened to you? You used to represent hunters and sportsmen and responsible gun ownership,” commented Facebook user Daniel Glasson underneath the post. “You used to represent the rights of gun owners and gun safety. When did you become this hate-mongering… extremist group? Maybe I’m reading to much into this but out seems you are actively fermenting hate against fellow Americans, all for the sake of membership. I see no other reason for such a horrific video.”

“The NRA has officially become a terrorist organization,” commented another. “I used to be a proud member of the NRA in my youth and shot competitively. Myself, my grandfather and father are all Marksmen. All of us have given up our NRA memberships because the organization has devolved from a service-oriented group to a gun manufacturer lobbyist group. Pure, unpatriotic trash.”

“As a strong supporter of gun rights, I am flabbergasted and appalled by this ‘ad’,” wrote Joshya Wyner under the post. “How embarrassing for you to promote hate and fear, especially within the context of gun ownership (a place where hate and fear must be kept *most* in check).”

However, not everyone was opposed to the advert’s message.

“I am proud to say i’m an NRA member,” wrote Gary Stephens on Facebook. “Dana is 100% correct. If you want to call this creepy blame it on the closed minded hypocrits [sic] who cry open-mindedness then smash merchant’s windows and use violence to prevent anybody with a different voice from participating. There’s no opinion in what she is saying, she’s describing 100% exactly what happened.”

 

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