Members of the media reacted to NRA President Wayne LaPierre blaming the news industry for tragic mass shootings.
The NRA held a press conference to respond to the horrific Newtown shootings that left 20 children and 6 teachers dead. LaPierre ultimately called for Congress to introduce legislation that would put an armed security officer in schools, but took considerable time to blame what he called the media's "moral failings."
LaPierre said, "How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark." He later added:
Rather than face their own moral failings the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws, and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action, and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. The media calls semi-automatic fire arms, machine guns. They claim these civilian semi-automatic fire arms are used by the military. They tell us that the .223 is one of the most powerful rifle calibers, when all of these claims are factually untrue, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed.
Members of the media took to Twitter to respond to LaPierre's accusations. Columbia Journalism Review tweeted, "Apparently, we here @CJR missed the biggest media story of our time: that the media kills children. We apologize." The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza tweeted, "Ah, yes. The 'blame the media' strategy. A tried and true approach for politicians and political types since time immemoriam." NBC News' Jonathan Vigliotti tweeted, "Opinion: Blaming media, as @NRA did, is alarming trend that distracts from this tragedy and prevents finding real solutions to gun violence."
Tampa Bay Times' Eric Deggans tweeted, "OK America. NRA just said it's not changing, blaming video games, media and everything else for mass shootings. Your move." New York magazine's Dan Amira summed up the NRA press conference as, "Shorter NRA: Literally every other thing in the world is responsible for gun violence except guns."
Reuter's Felix Salmon wondered, "This is gonna be interesting. Every journalist on Twitter thinks Lapierre is completely insane. How many will say that in their stories?"