News and Analysis

‘Narrow-Minded And Feeble’: Gun Rights Groups Shoot Back At USA Today Tying Second Amendment Activism To Nazism

   DailyWire.com
Customers shop for a handgun at Metro Shooting Supplies on November 12, 2014 in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Gun rights organizations are taking aim at anti-gun propaganda after USA Today ran a story alleging that “Second Amendment activism can be a gateway to extremist ideologies” like the neo-Nazi movement.

The paper, one of the most widely circulated in the nation, closed out 2021 with a story by Will Carless, titled “Down the barrel of a gun: How Second Amendment activism can be a gateway to extremist ideologies.” Carless claims that supporting the unalienable right to keep and bear arms creates a slippery slope to violent or fascistic beliefs.

His proof is underwhelming or deceptive. For instance, Carless recounts attending a gun show at the Atlanta Expo Center in September where “a man proudly displayed Nazi memorabilia.” An accompanying photo shows a single display case with a sign that says, “Wanted to buy: U.S./Jap/German military items.” The fact that the man seemingly collects all forms of World War II memorabilia was omitted from the story to paint him as a Nazi sympathizer.

Carless further tries to prove his point by quoting Daryle Lamont Jenkins of the far-left One People’s Project, who said he went to a gun show in 1995, and “there was a guy that had a table of all kinds of weird stuff.” The article quotes multiple left-wing “experts” while asking not a single gun rights organization for balance.

Advocates of the constitutional right to self-defense strongly rebuffed the story’s central thesis. “This article is a piece of anti-gun propaganda,” the National Rifle Association’s director of media relations, Amy Hunter, told me exclusively. “The Second Amendment is part of the foundation and fabric of our country. Tens of millions of gun owners practice the safe and responsible exercise of their rights daily.”

“The Second Amendment is a gateway to personal safety, individual liberty, and a proper understanding of the Constitution,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, said in an exclusive statement to this author. “It’s not radical, but rather perfectly normal, to want to be armed for protection from the common thug as well as a tyrannical government.”

The only concrete example of violence the story cites is that of 69-year-old Willem van Spronsen, a radical left-wing activist who “was shot and killed while trying to attack a privately run immigration detention facility in Tacoma, Washington.”

The story closes by reporting on two gun show attendees — “one white, one [b]lack” — who “said they pay no attention to politics and have been interested in guns since they were kids.”

“They wouldn’t give their names,” the article complains.

While the media attempted to link gun ownership to radicalism, Pratt points out that the media give a pass to multiple acts of violence fueled by radical leftist political ideology.

“If Will Carless wants to investigate the factors which could serve as a gateway drug to violence, perhaps he should examine the hateful rhetoric of MSNBC,” Pratt said. “James Hodgkinson, who was a huge fan of the network’s Rachel Maddow and a Bernie Sanders volunteer, tried to murder several Republican congressmen on a baseball field in 2017.  Likewise, the convicted domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was heavily influenced by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center,” attempted to murder “several people at the Family Research Council in 2012. Corkins carried bags of Chick-fil-A sandwiches which he wanted to smear in the faces of his dead victims.” Thankfully, security guard Leo Johnson stopped the onslaught, while being wounded in the fracas.

“Finally,” Pratt added, “let’s not forget that it was the anti-gun Left which downplayed the falsely labeled ‘mostly peaceful’ protests of 2020, which resulted in cities being burned and thousands of police injured. Those riots weren’t being fueled and funded by Second Amendment supporters; rather they were spearheaded, in large part, by leftist Antifa fanatics.”

The legacy media’s single-minded focus on demonizing conservatives shows its myopic focus, the groups said.

“The article’s pathetic attempt to link this core American value with hate groups is narrow-minded and feeble,” said Hunter.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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