The NRA magazine The American Rifleman’s March 2019 cover has set off the left. (See update at bottom of article.) Democrats have a short fuse in the gun rights debate anyway, but the current outrage is particularly unserious. The cover features a photo op Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, took when Pelosi spoke about universal background check legislation Democrats are putting up for a vote next week. Next to that photo is the NRA’s wording – “Target Practice” with the subtitle “Congressional Democrats target gun owners for persecution with extreme firearm transfer bans.”
Former Rep. Giffords was nearly killed by a gunman’s attack while doing a meet and greet with her Arizona constituents in a grocery store’s parking lot on Saturday morning in 2011. Six people died in that mass shooting. As she recovered, she and her astronaut husband and Democrat political activist Mark Kelly formed a PAC to push stronger gun control laws. Now Kelly is running for the U.S. Senate to represent Arizona.
To those of us that are not hysterical about gun ownership, the cover is not incendiary. To the gun-grabbing Democrats in Congress, though, this is an attempt by the NRA to incite violence against the most powerful legislator in the country, as California Rep. Eric Swalwell described Pelosi.
This is a call for violence by the @NRA against @GabbyGiffords, who was nearly killed by gunfire and @SpeakerPelosi, the most powerful legislator in America. The NRA should face legal consequences. But let’s put them out of business with boycotts and ballot boxes. #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/XFTAg5XJWI
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) February 23, 2019
Swalwell is the gift that keeps on giving. He calls for “boycotts and ballot boxes to put them out of business” and says the NRA should face legal consequences. You may remember that he is also the congressman who called for gun owners to be forced to give up assault weapons. His definition of an assault weapon may be different than yours.
Clearly, the magazine cover is promoting an article on the universal background check legislation. It’s not like there are a map and crosshairs on the cover to jump to conclusions about like the media did to Sarah Palin, even trying to fault her for Gabby Giffords’ shooting. It’s just overwrought Democrats looking for their daily outrage fix.
Pelosi’s daughter jumped in, too. She calls it “criminal incitement” and hate speech.
The NRA published a magazine headline “target practice” with a photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Rep Gabby Giffords. We must condemn this intentional, outrageous criminal incitement. We cannot allow this hate speech to stop common sense gun violence prevention.
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) February 23, 2019
And, just to stress that the operative words in the Democrat outrage is “incitement of violence”, there’s a tweet from Parkland Dad and Democrat activist Fred Guttenberg.
Magazine covers and titles are highly thought out. People get paid a lot of money on decisions like this. The decision in NRA magazine to have an article titled Target Practice next to photo of Pelosi and Giffords is intentional. This is incitement of violence and not OK! https://t.co/63mXCLn6UN
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 23, 2019
Is the magazine cover provocative? Yes. That’s how magazine stories attract attention. The NRA story is in response to additional legislation over background checks. The problem with more laws is that criminals don’t follow laws. There are currently background check laws on the books that should have stopped some gunmen in recent headlines from purchasing guns but didn’t. More laws will not magically end gun violence. At this point, additional legislation is a feel-good exercise on the part of congressional Democrats as they kowtow to the far left gun-grabbing crowd. A better solution is more diligence in running the background checks so that the dangerous ones falling through the cracks aren’t allowed to purchase guns. Enforce the laws already on the books, don’t pile on more.
UPDATE: (Karen) A mistake was made in reporting that the picture of Speaker Pelosi and Gabby Giffords is the cover of the March 2019 issue of American Rifleman. The photo appears on page 18, with the accompanying article on pages 18-19.