Group that fabricates school shooting stories accuses NRA of scaring children
by Sam Rolle
The 2nd Amendment-hating group Everytown for Gun Safety is attacking the National Rifle Association ahead of the powerful gun rights group’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, this weekend. Everytown supporters say that the gathering of 70,000 firearm enthusiasts will turn the city into “Crazytown.”
Everytown accused the NRA of using “rhetoric of fear” to push a pro-gun agenda in a video released by the gun control group this week. Throughout the clip, children — or Lil’ Wayne LaPierres — recite what Everytown considers LaPierre’s “most outrageous statements” from speeches the NRA CEO has given at past events.
“A platform full of fear and paranoia can be hard to listen to, so we got these Lil’ Waynes to help highlight some of his most memorable lines,” Everytown said in a statement.
The “most outrageous” gun rights arguments Everytown could dig up from LaPierre’s speeches were comments about a need for Americans to remain vigilant against threats to personal well-being and the greater good.
A large portion of the video monologue is pulled from speech LaPierre delivered at the NRA meeting in Indianapolis last year wherein he warned that the world is a pretty dangerous place.
“We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists, and home invaders and drug cartels and carjackers and knockout gamers, rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all,” the NRA president had said.
The video concludes with a message from Everytown: “America is too strong to let our kids grow up in fear. It’s not the American way. Stop Crazytown. Join Everytown.”
That the NRA is guilty of fearmongering is a pretty interesting charge coming from Everytown — a group whose sole purpose is fearmongering. After all, it is the same group outed last year for trumping up “school shooting” numbers by classifying personal arguments, accidents, gang activities, and drug deals involving gun discharges near schools as shootings on par with the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
Even CNN called them out at the time:
After Tuesday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, many media outlets, including CNN, reported that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months.
That’s the time period since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death.
The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control.
Without a doubt, that number is startling.
So on Wednesday, CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included.
Everytown says on its web site that it gleans its information from media reports and that its list includes school shootings involving a firearm discharged inside or on school grounds, including assaults, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings.
CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Newtown or Oregon — a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one such shooting every five weeks, a startling figure in its own right.
Politifact.com and Factcheck.org also criticized the anti-gun group for fearmongering with inflated school-shooting numbers.
Everytown is also the same group that released an advertisement claiming that criminals were using online firearm forums en masse to bypass background checks and buy weapons from unlicensed dealers.
From the advertisement:
It’s clear that criminals in Vermont are arming themselves through this loophole, but to measure its size, Everytown also extracted data on gun ads publicly posted on a handful of major Vermont classified websites — like Armslist.com, the self-described Craigslist for guns — which provide a forum for strangers to connect and arrange offline gun transfers. During a four-month period, unlicensed sellers in Vermont posted 1,058 gun ads on just three websites, a rate of nearly 3,000 gun ads per year.
Not only was Everytown unable to document a single instance where an illegal firearm purchase occurred, the group also wrongly identified 48 ads from fully licensed firearm dealers.
One of the misidentified dealers, Crossfire Arms, LLC, sued the group over the fearmongering.
“In the blatantly false and malicious report distributed to a worldwide audience, Everytown misappropriated Crossfire Arms’ logo and defamed its owner Bobby Richards and Crossfire Arms by characterizing both as vehicles for the unlicensed sale of firearms to felons, fugitives from justice, domestic violence abusers, and other unspecified criminals,” the company said in a statement.
NRA officials eloquently pointed out Everytown’s problem in a statement regarding the online firearms report, saying: “It seems self-evident that nothing produced by Everytown for Gun Safety can be accepted without rigorous fact-checking, as they have proven that they will say or do nearly anything to push their agenda, including falsifying report data and results.”
This weekend, 70,000 responsible gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates will gather in Nashville to celebrate the nation’s healthy firearm culture. There will be music, demonstrations, safety classes, product displays and plenty of good conversations. Take your children if you can, it should be a nice atmosphere.
If you do make it, keep an eye out to avoid Everytown protesters who plan to picket the event. You wouldn’t want them scaring the youngsters with all of their “facts.”