On Sunday, the National Rifle Association (NRA)'s Television Twitter account shared a video that took many by surprise. It featured a one minute and seven second clip of NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch warning that "time is running out" for those who work in and around mainstream entertainment and journalism.
The video, itself, was intended to be an advertisement for Loesch's new television show, which will air on NRA TV this month. But the tonality — and the specificity of some people she presumably was calling to task — caught many Twitter users off guard. The ad begins with a preamble, where Loesch addresses a series of people, groups of people, and organizations she seems to take issue with.
"We've had enough of the lies, the sanctimony, the arrogance, the hatred, the pettiness, the fake news," she says. "We're done with your agenda to undermine voters' will and individual liberty in America."
So to every lying member of the media; to every Hollywood phony; to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents; to the politicians who would rather watch America burn than lose one ounce of their own personal power; to the late night hosts who think their opinions are the only opinions that matter; to the Joy Ann Reids, the "Morning Joes," the Mikas; to those who stain honest reporting with partisanship; to those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times...
"Your time is running out," she concludes, before flipping an hour glass and declaring that, "The clock starts now."
The video cuts to an image promoting her new show and its release month. The video didn't sit well with some, many of whom interpreted the clip to be ominous and threatening.
Talk show host Montel Williams also weighed in:
I speak as a gun owner who spent his 20's in uniform and not ridiculously posing in cocktail dresses with guns on book covers like some have. This is disgusting (even for the NRA), outrageous and on a call to violence.
In her Twitter response, Loesch described some critics of the clip as "anti-2A progressives." When writer Scott Porch asked Loesch to be "be more specific about what happens when the clock runs out," Loesch explained that that's when her show starts.
"Whew. I though maybe you were gonna shoot somebody!" Porch responded. In turn Loesch blamed that idea on her political foes.
"No, those are the anti-2A progressives in my timeline saying that, sadly," she responded. "Have a great Sunday."
Since a Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 students and staff dead, gun rights activists and gun control advocates have been sparring nonstop in the news and on social media. The NRA, the most powerful gun rights group, has particularly been at the center of attention.
A major sticking point for gun control advocates is the amount of money that the organization donates to various lawmakers and their campaigns. Frequently, recipients of those dollars refrain from voting in favor of gun control, or else never propose any to begin with. Many gun control advocates accuse such politicians of being "in the NRA's pocket," and for choosing personal fiscal benefits over passing meaningful legislation.
Incidentally, a recent Quinnipiac University National Poll indicates that more than half of Americans believe that the NRA supports policies that are bad for people in the United States. That percentage seems to be on the rise, having risen from 47 percent to 51 percent between October and February. Still, the NRA appears to be charging full-steam ahead on its mission to minimize gun control legislation, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.