This kind of bad reporting about the NRA’s annual meetings have become a weird sort of annual tradition. Vice President Mike Pence will address the group this week, and as the Washington Post points out, members will not be allowed to carry their firearms to the event while Pence is there. What the headline and the lead of the report suggests is that this is the NRA’s idea:
The National Rifle Association has championed the idea of “a good guy with a gun,” but no firearms will be allowed when Vice President Pence speaks at its annual meeting — sparking criticism from Parkland, Fla., students, who say schools should be afforded the same protection.
And in a rare occurrence, even some NRA supporters have voiced opposition to the prohibition.
Pence is scheduled to speak at the annual NRA gathering in Dallas on Friday, and many attendees will be packing guns, knives and other weapons for the event — which includes “more than 20 acres” of firearms exhibits expected to draw 80,000 members.
It takes four paragraphs to get to the real facts of the restriction:
But the NRA said the U.S. Secret Service will coordinate security for the Pence speech and will not allow weapons in the arena while he is present.
“As a result, firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum prior to and during his attendance,” the NRA said. A detailed list of prohibited items includes ammunition, drones, gun parts, firearm magazines, as well as signs and glass containers.
Er, of course “the NRA said” this, because it’s an absolute fact. Pence has Secret Service protection as a function of his job as Vice President, which means that the Secret Service has absolute jurisdiction over on-site security anywhere he goes. As anyone who’s attended a CPAC knows, that eclipses any private security decisions on the part of the hosts no matter who they are. The NRA has no more control over that decision than Mike Pence himself does. Hypocrisy doesn’t enter into it at all.
Neither does reality intrude on the second part of the argument, either. If by “schools should be afforded the same protection” the students (and the Post) means that they should be gun free, well, they already are. Parkland itself was a gun-free zone, established by law, as are most other public schools if not all of them. Oddly enough, that fact appears nowhere in Alex Horton’s reporting.
How well did that work out, especially combined with a school board and a county sheriff determined not to enforce the law on an obviously disturbed teenager that required literally dozens of interventions by each prior to the massacre? All the NRA has suggested in the wake of this and other school shootings is to remove that legal prohibition so that teachers who wish to do so can arm themselves for their own protection and the protection of other students. One can certainly disagree with that proposal, but it’s intellectually dishonest to argue that schools don’t already have that “protection” in place, and that it fails spectacularly as a prevention method.
This isn’t even a particularly good troll-level argument. The fact that the Post ran it as “news” tells us something about democracy dying in darkness, I suppose.
Update: And the AP decided to get in on the action, too:
NRA bans guns at President Trump, VP Pence speeches during it's annual meeting in Dallas. https://t.co/2inXUsPaUW
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 30, 2018
It’s not been a good couple of days for media credibility, has it?