In Interview With Washington Times, NRA’s New President Also Accuses Gun Violence Survivors and Activists of ‘Intimidation and Harassment and Lawbreaking’
NEW YORK – Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown, responded to a Washington Times interview with the NRA’s new incoming president Oliver North. In the interview, North claimed that NRA leaders were victims of “civil terrorism,” and likened the treatment of the NRA today to what Black Americans experienced during the Jim Crow era. He also accused student survivors of the Parkland mass shooting and other gun violence prevention activists of “intimidation and harassment and lawbreaking,” even though NRA personalities have intimidated and harassed student survivors of gun violence with personal attacks for months.
STATEMENT FROM REV. SHARON RISHER, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE MOTHER, ETHEL LANCE, AND COUSINS, SUSIE JACKSON AND TYWANZA SANDERS, WERE SHOT AND KILLED ON JUNE 17, 2015 AT THE EMANUEL AME CHURCH IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA:
“This is disgusting, and a new low, even for the NRA. My mother, Ethel Lance, and cousins Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders, were shot and killed in a church because of racial hatred. For the NRA to compare its treatment today to the atrocities that occurred during the Jim Crow era is beyond the pale, especially considering it’s the NRA’s extreme leaders who have harassed and intimidated survivors of gun violence with often vile attacks. Oliver North should apologize, to Black Americans and to all who’ve been touched by racism or gun violence in this country.”
SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“This is yet another example of the NRA’s leaders’ long history of making unapologetic, racially charged statements to stoke their base and juice gun sales. The NRA’s agenda is becoming toxic to lawmakers and businesses for exactly this reason: its extreme agenda is wildly out of sync with not only mainstream America, but with gun owners.”
“Mr. North said the NRA is now the victim of “civil terrorism” after vandals splashed fake blood on the Virginia home of a top NRA official and other opponents aimed personal “threats” at NRA leaders and members.
“They call them activists. That’s what they’re calling themselves. They’re not activists — this is civil terrorism. This is the kind of thing that’s never been seen against a civil rights organization in America,” he said.
“You go back to the terrible days of Jim Crow and those kinds of things — even there you didn’t have this kind of thing,” he said. “We didn’t have the cyberwar kind of thing that we’ve got today.”
He said that contrary to claims from gun control activists, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — which he labeled “a travesty, a failure on the part of the local authorities and unfortunately the FBI as well” — hasn’t fundamentally changed the nature of the gun debate.
He said the young survivor-activists who have emerged as representatives for gun restrictions — and as fierce opponents of the NRA — are getting swept up by a broader propaganda machine.
“What they did very successfully with a frontal assault, and now intimidation and harassment and lawbreaking, is they confused the American people,” he said. “Our job is to get the straight story out about what happened there, and to make sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen again because the proper things are being done with the advocacy of the NRA.“