NRA Running Scared After Sandy Hook Shooting
December 17, 2012
The National Rifle Association, which has claimed for years to be the preeminent champion of the Second Amendment, shut down its Facebook page following the shooting in Connecticut last week. The NRA has also stopped posting on Twitter.
Prior to the shooting, the gun rights organization boasted of having 1.7 million likes on Facebook.
As we noted last week, there was a tsunami of tweets calling for the murder of David Keene, the president of the NRA, following the murders. “Calling for more senseless violence and murder will not bring these shooting victims back to life, neither will enacting stricter gun laws that shooters obviously do not follow when they commit these terrible crimes in the first place anyway,” Melissa Melton wrote for Infowars.com.
The NRA’s social media silence is likely a calculated response to a barrage of anti-gun messages on both Facebook and Twitter. In other words, the NRA apparently believes retreat and silence are preferable to responding to the irrational hysteria of the anti-gun crowd.
“The Daily Dot noted on Friday that the Facebook page had turned into a hotbed of anti-gun sentiment in the wake of the shooting, which may be what prompted the NRA to take it down,”
Will Oremus writes for Slate today.
“Some have accused the organization of cowardice for taking down the Page and ceasing to tweet,” writes Josh Constine for Techcrunch. “However, this crisis-management strategy may be succeeding. It’s prevented creating a centralized place under the NRA banner where perspectives of its independent supporters could have been taken as its own. The last thing the NRA wants is to be characterized as sharing an extremist or offensive position posted by someone who doesn’t speak for it or the rest of its fans. Other brands and organizations might follow the NRA’s lead by retreating from social media when they face times of crisis.”
Despite a “war on its wall,” the NRA’s response can only be viewed as unprincipled retreat and surrender to the anti-gun crowd.