The NRA desperately tried — and failed— to hijack the 'Wear Orange' gun safety campaign. Teen survivors of the Parkland school massacre called them out for their disgraceful actions.
The NRA instructed its members to hijack the "Wear Orange" campaign for gun safety. But the increasingly desperate organization was slammed for their crass operation by a survivor of the Parkland shooting.
In a tweet, the pro-gun extremists claimed they were "the world's leading gun safety organization" and solicited "pics in your orange hunting and NRA gear." The tweet concluded with the use of the #wearorange hashtag. The tweet also used a photo with the claim "Orange Has Always Been Ours."
Another NRA tweet claimed, "No organization in the world does more than the NRA to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms."
But despite their efforts to thwart the genuine purpose for the campaign, most tweets with the #wearorange hashtag have been from those truly pushing for greater gun safety. The NRA has come up short again.
The cynical ploy comes as the NRA is under extreme scrutiny for its behavior and attempts at manipulation. The recent mass shooting at Santa Fe High in Texas showed that the organization's rhetoric on school safety fails the smell test.
The NRA's attempt to sabotage sales at a major sporting goods retailer that stopped selling assault weapons was exposed as a major dud. And the organization's role as a conduit for Russian funds during the election is receiving more and more coverage.
Survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, slammed the NRA.
Cameron Kasky wrote, " This is the most depraved horse shit I’ve seen in my entire life."
David Hogg sarcastically said, "Hey @NRA thank you for your support of us! We must work together to promote sensible gun laws and behavioral intervention programs if we want to end this epidemic." He then asked his followers to "help spread the word on which politicians stand up to the @NRA."
The origins of the "Wear Orange" movement make the NRA's actions even worse.
It began in 2015 in Chicago after the killing of fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.
Her friend Nza-Ari Khepra told the Chicago Tribune that her friends chose to wear orange to honor her memory because it is "symbolic of the orange that hunters wear when they go hunting, and when they go hunting they wear orange to show they are not the target."
She continued, " We flipped that on our head and we said, 'We're not the target, we don't want to be the next victim of Chicago's gun violence."
Trump, the NRA's ally and beneficiary of their political patronage, has often invoked Chicago as code for gun crime involving blacks. The message is that progressives and minorities there have not tried to oppose gun violence.
But they have often led the effort to clamp down on guns while the NRA opposes wildly popular measures to restrict gun violence.
The NRA is in an unusually defensive position. Their spokesperson Dana Loesch has even gone so far as to claim the organization's members were the real victims of school shootings.
They tried to hijack the "Wear Orange" campaign because a rising tide of Americans are opposing them. They want the violence to end and their children to be safe, and the NRA is in the way.