The Putin-loving lobbyists for the merchants of death at the National Rifle Association (NRA) have done it again: they are “targeting” the victim of a mass shooting in Tucson, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for her gun control advocacy, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. N.R.A. Magazine Draws Criticism for ‘Target Practice’ Headline With Photo of Pelosi and Giffords:
The March issue of the National Rifle Association’s monthly publication, The American Rifleman, features a photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in the head during a constituent meeting in 2011.
The photo, taken last month at an announcement about proposed legislation to expand background checks for firearms purchases, carried the headline in large letters: “Target Practice.”
The article, written by Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the N.R.A.’s lobbying arm, described Ms. Pelosi as an “arch anti-gunner,” and said the proposal was being “deceptively marketed to the public” and was “a broadside against gun ownership in America.”
On Friday, a political reporter at HuffPost, Jennifer Bendery, posted photographs of the article on Twitter, setting off rounds of criticism about the juxtaposition of the headline and photo.
Senator Christopher S. Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who has been a vocal supporter of gun restrictions since the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., said on Twitter that the magazine’s editorial decisions were not accidental.
Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat of California, said on Twitter that the layout was “a call for violence” and that the N.R.A. “should face legal consequences.”
“But let’s put them out of business with boycotts and ballot boxes,” he wrote.
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The N.R.A. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, an umbrella group that supports gun violence prevention and that was named for Ms. Giffords, called the headline “reprehensible.”
“Evoking threats of violence should never be tolerated,” he said. “Words matter. This headline should tell us all we need to know about how wildly out of touch the N.R.A. is with its own members and how low they will stoop to advance their damaging agenda at the expense of our safety.”
A spokesman for Ms. Pelosi declined to comment, but her daughter Christine Pelosi said on Twitter that this “hate speech” should not get in the way of “common sense gun violence prevention such as #HR8,” the congressional background check bill, which is expected to come to the House floor for a vote this week.
The N.R.A. magazine’s latest issue surfaced after high-profile government officials were the recent targets of veiled or explicit threats of violence.
President Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., who is under indictment on charges brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, posted a photo of the federal judge handling his criminal case with what appeared to be the cross hairs of a gun near her head.
Separately, Ms. Pelosi’s name emerged on a list of Democrats and journalists that officials said was put together by Christopher P. Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant whom federal investigators labeled a “domestic terrorist.” They said he planned to assassinate prominent figures.
This is the kind of eliminationist rhetoric that the right-wing has engaged in for years. It is beyond the pale of what is acceptable in a civilized society.