(Twin Falls Times-News)The National Rifle Association has spent the past couple years rolling up legislative victories in Congress (no background checks!) and state legislatures (guns in bars! churches! schools!). But like a corporate Yosemite Sam, the organization has also been suffering a lot of exploding cigars lately.
This week the group yanked a much-mocked video in which “NRA news commentator” Dom Raso demanded that “Every law-abiding, blind individual should be able to have whatever guns they want.” Not everyone thought this was a brilliant idea, including the advocate for the blind who called it “disturbing.” And “misleading.” And “cynical.“
This new twist on “gun blind” followed another much-mocked NRA video in which another much-mocked “NRA commentator” — Billy Johnson — mused that firearms classes, like reading, writing and ’rithmatic, should be mandatory in elementary schools. The video prompted a fair amount of debate basically between those arguing that Johnson is a cynical tool of the gun industry and those contending he is more of a mad fool.
And, of course, the NRA’s recent spate of public-relations fiascos began on May 30, when it posted a criticism of Open Carry Texas, the group that keeps getting banned from restaurants on the grounds that they’re basically a bunch of scary guys carrying rifles. The NRA’s betrayal of the gun movement’s de facto creed — All Guns, All Places, All The Time No Matter How Reckless, Uncivil or Insane — resulted in an avalanche of public abuse from open-carry advocates and a shamed retreat by the NRA.
What’s gone wrong with the NRA’s public relations? Why does the group’s six-shooter keep jamming?