Many progressives are decrying a recruiting video from the National Rifle Association they say comes dangerously close to promoting violence against liberals.
In the video, conservative commentator Dana Loesch runs down a list of alleged atrocities committed by an unspecified "they."
"They use the media, schools and celebrities to indoctrinate people with "their narrative, Loesch says. They "smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding."
The only way to stop them and save the country "is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth," she says.
The ad, which was first posted to YouTube in April, drew condemnation on Twitter Thursday:
I think the @NRA is telling people to shoot us.
Now might be the right time to cancel your membership. pic.twitter.com/PWhHAvRcI3— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 29, 2017
If you're a responsible gun owner who doesn't regard fellow Americans as the enemy, this would be a good day to cancel your @NRA membership.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 29, 2017
This NRA ad is an open call to violence to protect white supremacy. If I made a video like this, I'd be in jail. pic.twitter.com/LD65yMUMVn— deray mckesson 4:44 (@deray) June 29, 2017
The NRA just released an ad that is part authoritarian, part incitement to violence, part call for a civil war. This cannot be our politics. pic.twitter.com/1mzZf8fNku— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) June 29, 2017
Hey, @NRA! I am a gun owner and I am appalled by that hate propaganda video you released. You are failing your members & the country.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 30, 2017
"It’s a paranoid vision of American life that encourages the NRA’s fans to see liberals not as political opponents, but as monsters," wrote Zack Beauchamp for Vox.
"How many of those Republican Congressmen who were calling for a reduction in rhetoric following the ballfield shooting, will step forward to condemn this video that uses that incident to call for civil war on Americans?" asked the Daily Kos' Mark Sumner.
Sumner said the NRA is trying to boost gun sales by "convincing half of America to declare war on the other half."
Loesch defended the ad on social media, saying the ad was about denouncing recent incidents of violent protest.
"And some of these people that are completely hyper-overreacting, get a grip," she said. "My gosh, how much energy do you use every damn day being so over-outraged about everything?"
On my NRA ad. https://t.co/2iZnNrBWGP— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) June 28, 2017
"The reaction to this is insane," Loesch told Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show Thursday night. "Apparently me condemning violence is what's inciting and dividing America."
Here is the full transcript of the video:
They use their media to assassinate real news.
They use their schools to teach children that the president is another Hitler.
They use their movie stars, and singers, and comedy shows, and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.
And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance.
All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding. Until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.
And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage.The only way we stop this. The only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.