I’m about to die laughing at this “scoop” by Mother Jones senior editor Mark Follman.
Every year at the National Rifle Association’s convention, executive vice president Wayne LaPierre makes a point of extolling the broad, grassroots appeal of the organization’s membership, which may or may not be 4 to 5 million strong. “I think that in human history, seldom has there been a meeting quite like this,” his speech last weekend in Indianapolis began. “A gathering—and you know we are—of all ages, all political parties, races, all religions. A gathering of people who just love our great nation.”
LaPierre and the NRA also unveiled a glossy new video meant to reinforce that all-American message and push back hard against Everytown for Gun Safety, a new group combining Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns and armed with major funding from Michael Bloomberg.
The NRA video opens with a casually dressed, rugged-looking white guy talking directly into the camera: “Michael Bloomberg says he has 50 million dollars to attack my gun rights. Well, I have 25 dollars to protect them.” He’s referring to the cost of a one-year NRA membership. Then, a veritable rainbow coalition of youngish NRA members flashes by, all of them in agreement: “I’ve got 25 dollars,” says a black guy with a goatee and baseball cap. “And me too,” says a smiling Asian guy. “I’m a mom, and I do too,” says a blonde woman. Hispanic woman? Check. Additional women? Check. A banner across the top invites viewers to “join now.” Then the rugged guy comes back around to ding Bloomberg again: “This guy thinks he can scare us into running from a fight to protect our rights and our freedoms. He’s one guy with millions. We’re millions with our 25 bucks.”
In fact, this group has quite a bit more firepower than it’s letting on. At least seven of the ordinary-looking folks in the video work for NRA News, the media arm of the nation’s biggest gun group. They comprise the official team of NRA News commentators, part of an operation billed as “America’s premier source for Second Amendment news,” which includes a website, multiple video channels, satellite radio programming, and a magazine.
Follman really thinks he’s uncovered something nefarious here.
If you are into shooting and you have been on the Internet in say, the last YEAR, the majority of these people are well-known, and perhaps more recognizable than anyone else in the NRA, with the exception of Wayne LaPierre.
Dom Raso has been appearing in videos for NRA News for a solid year. Colion Noir was a huge Youtube star for his shooting channel for at least a year before he joined the NRA stable of commentators at roughly the same time as Raso.
Chris Cheng and Gabby Franco are both from Top Shot (a competitive shooting show). Natalie Foster and Billy Johnson aren’t quite as well-known yet, but they are each semi-famous in the shooting world as NRA commentators. We’ve featured every single one of them here at Bearing Arms in our videos section at one point or another.
Their roles in “Bloomberg’s Millions” (the name of the video above) is the same as that of any other celebrity in a celebrity montage “cause” video, which is a call to action among their fans.
I’m sure you’ve seen similar videos before.
Does anyone watch these celebrity montages with Demi Moore, Lucy Liu, etc., and really think they were chosen to represent “ordinary-looking folks?” Not anyone with half a brain. These people are chosen for these ads specifically because of their star power, and their ability to inspire and influence others.
It’s the entire point of doing this kind of video.
Follman doesn’t know who Raso, Noir, and the others are because he’s trapped in his bubble of yes-man progressivism, and doesn’t venture outside of it unless he absolute must.
That he thinks he’s done anything other than expose his own ignorance is a riot.