An article in the NRA's magazine features an image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi alongside former Rep. Gabby Giffords — who resigned from Congress after she was shot in the head — with the headline 'Target Practice.'
Dangerous, disturbing, and despicable.
That's the only way to describe an article in the NRA's monthly magazine for March, which features an image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Rep. Gabby Giffords — the Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head in 2011 — with a headline reading "Target Practice."
Fred Guttenberg, the father of a teenager slain in a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, nearly a year ago, tweeted that the NRA's article amounts to an "incitement of violence."
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said the NRA should "face legal consequences" for the article, which he also said was a "call for violence."
Leave it to Republicans, however, to come to the NRA's defense no matter what.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), replied to Swalwell's tweet asking if he was "deliberately lying" or if he simply didn't read the article.
"The article is about legislation targeting gun owners, not the N.R.A. targeting Democrats," Crenshaw tweeted. "If your goal is to ensure that ‘outrage culture’ is alive and well, continuing to divide us, congrats."
Of course, the content of the article — written by the NRA's executive director, Chris Cox, about a bill Democrats plan to bring to a vote this week on expanding background checks for gun purchases — wasn't the issue.
It was the fact that the article was accompanied by a picture of Democratic lawmakers — including one who had already survived a bullet to her head — with the words "target practice" over it.
That sends a clear, violent message at a dangerous time. Just last week, a white supremacist terrorist was arrested for plotting to kill a list of Trump's political opponents, including Pelosi.
Trump's friend and former adviser Roger Stone was also admonished by a federal judge last week for posting an Instagram photo featuring the judge's face with a crosshair over it, who pointed out that the violent imagery and implied threat was unmistakable.
The actual bill the NRA was complaining about in the article will mandate all gun buyers obtain a federal background check, even on private sales. The vast majority of Americans — at least 90 percent — consistently say they support these kinds of universal background checks.
The bill makes good on Democrats' promise to take action on the scourge of gun violence and mass shootings that have plagued the country for years — a position that's gained wide public support since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, a little more than a year ago.
But the NRA, and the Republican Party, are so committed to extremism on guns that they don't care about what most Americans want — or about keeping American lawmakers safe from violence.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.