'Their decision to make their number one enemy a middle-aged mom is an interesting choice.'
The NRA encouraged its rabid supporters to harass gun safety activist Shannon Watts, even after she had already received death threats from NRA fans.
Watts — the founder of the gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action and a mother of five — criticized the gun extremists at the NRA on Tuesday after the organization praised itself for opposing bans on armor-piercing ammunition.
In response a day later, the NRA encouraged its supporters to flood Watts’ social media accounts with negative comments.
This led to a series of death threats, which Watts documented. "I hope your 5 kids all get shot dead," wrote one NRA supporter. "Have fun protecting yourself with a bat or a knife I’ll be sure to not be at your funeral," wrote another. And one person detailed a violent rape, torture, and murder fantasy about Watts and her family.
Watts posted the threats and tagged the NRA so the group could see what its actions had prompted. She then, understandably, began removing the hateful comments on her Instagram posts.
Instead of being chastened, however, the NRA poured gasoline on the fire.
"Shannon Watts doesn’t only hate the Second Amendment, but she despises the First, too," the NRA taunted. "That is why she's been deleting all of your thoughtful comments because she can't handle the truth."
The NRA's post concluded: "#SorryNotSorry."
This was followed up by yet another taunting post that refused to acknowledge or condemn the death threats the NRA had helped incite.
Watts "disabled comments on Instagram because she couldn't handle the facts," the NRA claimed.
"I disabled the comments after receiving several dozen death threats against me and my children," Watts wrote in response to the avalanche of bile.
"The NRA is weaker than it's ever been and it's no wonder that its leaders are trying to create distractions from their own scandals," Watts told Shareblue Media on Thursday.
"Their decision to make their number one enemy a middle-aged mom is an interesting choice, but then again, so is refusing to heed the desire of a majority of Americans — and even their own members — for commonsense gun laws," Watts added.
The NRA has been in the headlines lately for a series of scandals and political failures.
Its leadership is enmeshed in a series of lawsuits and allegations of misappropriation of donor funds, such as CEO Wayne LaPierre’s $250,000 spending spree on fancy suits.
Meanwhile the newly elected NRA president, Carolyn Meadows, was widely criticized for a recent racist remark about Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA). Meadows claimed the congresswoman won her election because she was a "minority female."
Those embarrassments follow a year in which many of the NRA’s chosen candidates lost their races in the midterm election while investigations were opened into the organization for accepting foreign donations. The NRA even had a Russian spy in its midst.
Sending its most ravenous and unhinged supporters after a mother trying to make the country safer isn’t the best look, but it is the path the NRA has unmistakably chosen.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.