Whatever the hell is going on in CNN’s control room regarding the endless campaign to smear the NRA happened again last night. Wolf Blitzer allowed school shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon to slander one of the nation’s oldest civil rights organizations as “basically killing children” for their Second Amendment advocacy. He mentioned this as he was commenting on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ not so earth-shattering announcement that the remaining 35 stores in their alternate chain will no longer sell AR-15 rifles. Dick’s proper stopped in 2012, right after the Sandy Hook shooting (via Daily Caller) [emphasis mine]:
Junior Alfonso Calderon praised Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to raise the minimum purchase age for firearms to 21, arguing, “I’m glad that companies, which are what will stop the NRA from doing what they’re doing, basically killing kids, the companies are going to be the ones that are going to stop this.”
“The NRA has shown themselves to be toxic, vile, and to not support the right to live, which is in the preamble of the Constitution,” Calderon continued. “I want them to remember they always talk about the Second Amendment, but that preamble is before it.”
Here's the Dick's Sporting Goods AR-15 sales timeline:— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) February 28, 2018
December 2012: Announce they will no longer sell AR-15s
August 2013: Open a new, smaller chain called Field and Stream which sells AR-15s
February 2018: Announce they will no longer sell AR-15s there either
Here's why this detail matters: There's over 600 Dick's locations in the United States. There's 35 Field and Stream locations. It's important to understand what is actually happening.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) February 28, 2018
This isn’t the first time. Last week, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch and CNN’s Alisyn Camerota got into it when the former accused the network of allowing such false allegations to stand unchallenged on air; Camerota said she didn’t believe Loesch, only for footage to be replayed proving her dead wrong.
No one doubts these kids have been through a lot. The shooting at their school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on February 14 that claimed 17 lives is a tragedy. What’s more maddening is that it was preventable. Federal, state, and local officials all dropped the ball. The FBI and local law enforcement was warned that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was unstable, had weapons, and might shoot up a school. They ignored it. In 2016, Cruz could have been involuntarily committed via the Baker Act for self-mutilation. It didn’t happen. If it did, it would have shown up on a background check, denying him the ability to purchase an AR-15 in February of 2017 days after he was expelled. It seems if competent people in the system had done their jobs, this shooting could have been prevented. I’m not so sure what banning so-called assault weapons would do. I can tell you that banning AR-15s is nothing more than an assault on our Second Amendment freedoms. These kids, the ones quarterbacking this renewed gun control push, are now advocates. We can challenge them now, as Charles Cooke of National Review noted. They’re fair game:
The gun debate in America remains intractable, consisting not only of difficult legislative questions, but of elaborate constitutional, sociopolitical, historical, and criminal inquiries, too. For some reason, David Hogg has come to suppose that he can slice through this reality by issuing threats: Give me what I want, or I’ll stop using FedEx; give me what I want, or I won’t go back to school; give me what I want, or Florida’s economy gets it. And, by the way, I’m going to outlive you…
This, suffice it to say, is not how republics work, and whether he likes it or not, Hogg lives in a republic. There is no Angry Victim clause in our constitutional text.
David Hogg is an American, and he should speak as often and as loudly as he wishes. Moreover, if CNN believes that its present monomania will serve it well in the long run, it should continue to give him a platform. But there must be no inoculation for either party, nor must those who agree with the gun-control agenda attempt to shield its purveyors from rebuttal. Hogg did not choose to be involved in a school shooting; that, sadly, was beyond his control. But he has now chosen to play pundit on a topic of import to millions. And, in a free and robust nation, once that line is crossed, all bets are bound to be off.
I’m a proud NRA member. I’m probably going to become a life member. I know the people in that organization well. They’re not child killers. I’m not a child killer. You can be for school safety and support Second Amendment rights. Only a liberal thinks you can be one thing or the other, especially on this issue. Yes, First Amendment freedoms abound. I’m not triggered by these folks saying that the NRA is a terrorist organization, or a bunch of child killers, but just prepare to be challenged, at times brutally, for peddling such garbage.
You know how I can tell that the NRA isn't actually a terrorist organization? Because the left would be way more open to dialogue with it if it were.— neontaster ?? (@neontaster) February 28, 2018
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