NRA: Publicly silent on Newtown shootings, quietly preaches to the choir

Screenshot of the NRA News website
Screenshot of the NRA News website

The nation’s most famous gun rights organization has made headlines for its silence in the aftermath of the tragic Newtown, Conn., shootings that left 20 children and 7 adults dead. The National Rifle Association unpublished it’s Facebook page and ceased communication on twitter, and even refused to respond to media requests. But while the organization has been publicly silent, it has quietly continued to communicate with some of its most die-hard supporters via the NRA News, which broadcasts online.

Within hours of the story breaking, Cam & Company host Cam Edwards (whose show also broadcasts on Sirius XM radio) addressed the “horrendous murders at Sandy Hook” while making it clear that he was not a spokesman for the NRA. He made barely any references to guns in a two-hour broadcast, specifically saying that while some want to have a conversation about “gun control” at this time, he wouldn’t have that conversation now.

By Monday, NRA News update host Ginny Simone had welcomed fellow conservative John Fund to her show to discuss the incoming wave of anti-gun legislation coming from Democrats.

Fund complained that ”some people just want to turn this into a political football.” He pointed to mental health treatment as the solution to mass shootings and scoffed at the idea that any gun control could impact the situation.

Fund also argued that none of those pushing for gun control actually believed it could be accomplished. ”Most of them know that you’re not actually going to pass gun control laws. It’s just not going to happen. So for them to come right out of the box within hours, or barely a day after this, and talk about new gun control legislation is either frankly irrelevant or its frivolous.”

Simone and Fund also discussed the idea that the school would have been better served had it not been a gun-free zone, where students and teachers are “defenseless” against shooters.

In Tuesday’s NRA News update,  Simone slipped a right-wing talking point into an otherwise unbiased news piece about President Obama’s support for a new assault weapons ban, calling it “a ban we all know was a failed experiment from the start.”

UPDATE: The NRA broke its silence with this statement late Tuesday afternoon:

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters - and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.