Did you know that the National Rifle Association has its own magazine? I did not, because I do not care. But in fact, they do—it’s called The American Rifleman, of course—and in their March issue they included a headline/photo pairing that seems...slightly disconcerting.
Do you, uh, see it?
Indeed, according to The New York Times, in an article about the alleged “persecution” of gun owners—i.e., a gun safety bill requiring background checks on all gun sales, one that has bipartisan support—the fine layout editors at The American Rifleman paired the headline “Target Practice” with a photograph of Nancy Pelosi and former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the latter of whom is a shooting survivor herself. Someone sent photos of the spread to HuffPost reporter Jennifer Bendery, who tweeted them out.
When the tweet went viral, a number of Democrats and gun control activists called the NRA out for the spread. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted, ‘Newsflash: they know what they’re doing here.”California US Representative Eric Swalwell deemed the headline “a call for violence.” Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, called it an “intentional, outrageous criminal incitement.”
Note that not everyone expressed outrage at the spread: Dan Crenshaw, whom you might recall from his Big Moment as a Saturday Night Live star du jour, seemed confused that anyone could construe the literal word “TARGET” next to a photo of Democrats as an example of the NRA targeting Democrats:
Indeed, who could possibly think talking about “targeting” Democrats or describing journalists as “the enemy of the people,” however metaphorically, might prompt someone to take action against said “enemies”?
Hm, yes, okay, whatever you say, Dan!