Though first posted online in early April, the newly surfaced National Rifle Association advertisement, “The Violence of Lies,” quite literally takes aim at progressives’ efforts to curb gun violence with stricter gun control measures and better mental health care. The one-minute ad features Dana Loesch, a conservative talk show host and Second Amendment advocate, and her clarion call for conservatives to defend the United States against liberals with a “clenched fist.”
“They use their media to assassinate real news,” says Loesch it what appears to be a veiled reference to the Donald Trump administration’s repeated attempts to downplay unfavorable media coverage. “They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse ‘the resistance.'”
Loesch’s comments, which also allude to former President Barack Obama and the Women’s March on Washington, continues. “All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” Meanwhile, random shots of protests and riots are woven throughout Loesch’s speech in an apparent attempt to indicate just how dangerous American progressives are.
“When that happens,” she concludes, “they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.”
Of course the ad’s publication precedes the fatal stabbing of two men (and a third, who survived) in Portland, Oregon by a conservative activist, and the numerous (but similar) outcomes of several police shooting cases involving white officers killing black men and women without provocation. Even so, it’s difficult not to ponder Loesch and the NRA’s implicit call for violence, and the possible effects such declarations may have on those who listen.