Three Mukilteo, Washington teens were murdered on July 30 in what appears to have been a case of jealous, perhaps possessive rage and Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat yesterday seems to have blamed the firearm, a Ruger SR556.
The attempt to demonize this firearm, a semi-auto modern sport-utility rifle (like the one pictured above) starts in the headline: “Maker of massacre gun steps up to fund NRA lobbying arm.” The Times has apparently created a new smear reference, joining such hyperbole as “assault weapon,” “weapons of war” and “high-powered killing machine.” “Massacre gun” may become a new addition to the gun prohibition vocabulary.
Westneat, the same fellow who blew the whistle on an egregiously-worded piece of legislation three years ago that would have allowed warrantless searches of gun owners’ homes, writes that Ruger will donate $5 million to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. He seems stunned by this, writing:
Four days after the mass shooting here of teenagers with one of its guns, apparently by a perpetrator so green he delayed his rampage for two hours while he read the AR-15’s instruction manual, Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced it would be donating $5 million.
“Not to gun training or to help victims of gun violence or anything of that sort. But to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s arm for lobbying against any and all new gun restrictions.”
What’s so surprising about that? Perhaps Ruger is smarter than journalists think for having anticipated exactly what the media would do: demonize and blame its perfectly legal firearm for the heinous crime, rather than the individual who allegedly committed the crime. And the company, quite wisely it appears, has taken the proactive approach by helping fund an organization that fights efforts to turn demonization into legislation.
It’s not unlike what other gun industry companies are doing by contributing to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “Gun Vote” project.
The suspect in Mukilteo’s mayhem reportedly tweeted “what’s Ruger gonna think?”
Ruger’s SR556 is visually similar to other semi-auto rifles, generically dubbed “MSRs.” It basically operates like any other semi-auto firearm, even grandpa’s old Browning Auto 5 he used to hunt waterfowl 50 years ago.
While Westneat criticizes Ruger for “leveraging the public’s legitimate anxiety about mass shootings to…raise money for the very purpose of blocking” new gun control laws, he hasn’t shown the same angst over efforts by the gun prohibition lobby to raise funds by “leveraging the public’s anxiety” about so-called “gun violence.”
The Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility has been working overtime with e-mail blasts, warning recipients that, “We’re fighting to reduce gun violence in communities across the country. But the gun lobby will do whatever it takes to see us fail.” And they want money; whatever recipients can pony up.
Yesterday, they went after GOP candidate Donald Trump, complaining that he, “told his supporters: if you’re upset when Hillary Clinton wins, you should turn your weapons towards her.” That’s not what he said and they know it.
Hillary Rodham Clinton made guns and the Second Amendment a campaign issue a year ago. It’s an emotional subject sure to distract public attention from embarrassing e-mails, Benghazi, Clinton’s repeated problems with the truth and other troubles.
And it’s going to continue right up to the Nov. 8 election.