Feb. 28, 2018 – In the wake of the Parkland shooting and the inspiring activism of teen survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the National Rifle Association and its Republican partners are facing intense scrutiny for their critical role in the rise of mass shootings and of homicides overall in America.
The NRA’s unhinged rhetoric and utter lack of remorse have been on full display since the horrific gun massacre at Stoneman Douglas two weeks ago. Spokesperson Dana Loesch (notorious for her recent ads that seem to be mustering NRA supporters into a pro-Trump paramilitary) even seemed to blame the media for the shootings, while NRA President Wayne LaPierre spewed more of his usual “arm the teachers” lunacy (promptly parroted by the current occupant of the Oval Office).
A short Yes Men film, completed in August 2017 and launched today on YouTube, uses shock humor to remind us where the NRA’s lunacy and ugliness come from: FEAR—specifically, the profoundly terrified racism of the ’70s. Featuring a Yes Men hoax performed June 22, 2016 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the film tells:
- how Republicans—in a terrified reaction to the Black Panthers’ performative activism—once promoted the first gun-control legislation;
- how, once the Black Power movement was crushed, Republicans began calling for looser gun-control legislation, presumably for (white) “defense”;
- how the NRA, once a moderate organization, became a tool of racist Republican fear when it was hijacked by extremists including LaPierre, its current president; and
- how fear of a Black uprising partly morphed into the right-wing street’s signature terror of “government” (which in its best form, after all, is just another word for “people power“).
The film communicates how the NRA and the Republican Party, tapping into deep racist fear for their power and profit, have turned America into the most violent high-income country in the world by a truly immense margin, both overall and specifically. (We have 7 times the homicide rate, and 25 times the rate of gun deaths, of the average high-income country—mainly thanks to Republicans and the NRA.)
The film also features a comical encounter with the NRA’s Dana “Paramilitary” Loesch and her sinister, truth-indifferent “debate” techniques that so spectacularly failed at CNN’s Town Hall last week when she tried to use them against Parkland school shooting survivor Emma González.
With this film, the Yes Men wish to join the students of Stoneman Douglas (and many others before them) in calling B.S. on the NRA’s very existence. Please support them, and the nationwide #NeverAgain movement:
- Students can organize walkouts wherever they are.
- Anyone can attend or support the March For Our Lives.
- College students can skip Florida for spring break, because money seems to be the only thing that talks to some people.
- And most importantly, EVERYONE needs to do whatever we can to make sure the politicians who have so much blood on their hands never work in D.C. again.