Women gather to call NRA racist, accuse them of inciting violence against minorities

By Grace Carr, DCNF

A crowd of protesters gathered in front of the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, Va., Friday morning to protest the NRA’s silence on the Philando Castile ruling as well as recent ads featuring Dana Loesch and Grant Stichfield.

The protest came in response to an NRA video they say promoted violence against minorities, while conservative defenders said it advocated for truth, freedom and lawful restraint.

Linda Sarsour – Woman’s March founder and Muslim activist – led the protest. Her security detail prevented reporters from asking her any questions.

Also present at the protest were the Patriot Picketers who were there defending the NRA’s videos and advocating for protecting Second Amendment rights. The group wrote a statement on their Facebook page, “The Patriot Picket went to the NRA HQ in Fairfax last year to answer the call against the Code Pink whackadoodles and it’s time once again to stand up to the free speech hypocrites.”

One of the Patriot Picketers said the NRA shouldn’t be required to comment on shootings like that of Philando Castile, “We don’t ask Triple A to comment on every drunk driving fatally so why should we ask the NRA to comment on every shooting?”

“It’s absolutely nuts,” he said about the protest, “they want the NRA to take down a video they don’t agree with … they’re shutting down free speech.”

Another protester yelling, “hate speech is not free speech” and “the NRA is completely out of line,” didn’t see it quite the same. He said that hate speech is a slippery slope but “I think [the NRA is] down the slope.”

He couldn’t identify a single example of hate speech in Loesch’s video, choosing instead to sputter, “Have you seen the video, do you have to ask the question? … it’s a call to violence and says that liberals are attacking society and we want to burn everything down.”

A young female protester beside him added, “it was the context, the timing … it was just weird how delayed it was … they [NRA] were exceedingly silent.” She said she was protesting because, “we need to stop murdering black men and we can’t have an institution with a huge amount of political power encouraging people to kill black men.”

Neither could identify where the NRA advocated violence against black men, the woman remained silent, the man answered, “just look at the images in the video, they speak for themselves.”

A middle-aged women from Georgia was also adamant that the NRA is a threat to the American people, but blamed President Donald Trump for the ailing state of society. “The NRA’s video is the underlying reason why Trump has supporters, which is hate.” In town for the Women’s March against Trump, she said she had attended the inauguration where there was a “current of hostility and rabble-rousing.” She conflated all Trump supporters with white supremacists, saying, “the people that still cling to this administration are the people who want it to be the 1950s where it’s a white male world.”

She said Loesch’s video unjustly called for violence and was only released because the “environment that’s been produced by this administration is causing those racist violent people to feel empowered … they’re racist and want anybody to have a gun.”

She refused to acknowledge the violence on college campuses across the U.S. and said the only show of violence she could remember was “with a small group of Trump supporters at the inauguration.”

The protest will continue Saturday, when marchers meet in front of the U.S. Department of Justice at 10 am.

Follow Grace on Twitter.

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