The New York Daily News doubled down on its war against the NRA Friday with a second straight hard-hitting cover on this week’s shooting massacre in San Bernadino, California.
The tabloid newspaper’s cover calls shooting suspect Syed Farook a “terrorist,” but says so are four other alleged mass killers, all white men: Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear and James Holmes. The paper also applies the terrorist label to NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, crediting him will killing “countless” gun laws.
“Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit,” the paper’s cover reads.
Investigators have said Farook appears to have been radicalized, but have not determined to what degree, and have not called the shooting terrorism.
The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from MSNBC on the Daily News cover.
Following Wednesday’s massacre, which killed 14 people and injured over 20, President Obama called for stricter gun laws, but never mentioned the NRA by name. In response, Chris Cox, the executive director for the NRA, wrote an op-ed for USA Today on Thursday, in which he accused Obama of blaming gun violence on Cox’s organization.
“The NRA is calling on the president to stop exploiting tragedies to push his failed political agenda. It’s shameful,” wrote Cox. “The NRA will neither accept the blame for the acts of murderers, nor apologize for fighting for our right to defend ourselves against them.”
Several Democrat-sponsored gun control amendments went down to defeat in Congress on Thursday, with the majority of Republicans opposing them in partisan votes. Obama has said in the past that the failure to pass “common sense” gun legislation during his tenure in office is one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency. In October, during the fifteenth press conference of his presidency in reaction to a mass shooting, Obama said: ”Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
Friday’s Daily News cover comes on the heels of a controversial front page on Thursday, which called out Republican politicians for offering “prayers” instead of policy in the wake of the San Bernadino tragedy. “As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes,” the cover read.
The paper’s “God Isn’t Fixing This” headline brought accusations of anti-faith bias against the newspaper. Fox News personality Elizabeth Hasselbeck argued on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that if you think prayer is less effective than gun control laws “you’re lining up with the terrorists.” On that same program GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called the cover story “stunning” and “an example of how afraid the left wing is of our values.” Many other prominent conservatives pushed back on what they called “prayer shaming” by liberals. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, for instance, called so-called prayer critics “truly deranged, sick, dangerous people.”
“The Daily News’ front page is not, in any way, shape or form, condemning prayer or religion. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either — intentionally or unintentionally — misconstruing the point, which is that most GOP politicians have offered nothing but empty platitudes and angry rhetoric in response to the ongoing plague of gun violence in our country,” the paper’s editor-in-chief Jim Rich said in a statement on Thursday.
The paper, which endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2012, has been consistently progressive on the issue of gun control, repeatedly calling out the NRA and their Republican allies for stonewalling legislation that would expand background checks and combat gun trafficking: