The National Rifle Association is standing by an ad from April that recently came under fire from those who say the clip incites violence.
In the video, first uploaded in April, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch targets the media and Hollywood’s “violence of lies,” saying that organization will fight back with a “clenched fist of truth.”
After being shared again on the NRA’s Facebook page earlier this month, the ad has been criticized by those who say it aims to incite violence against liberals. “This NRA ad is an open call to violence to protect white supremacy,” activist Deray McKesson wrote on Twitter. “If I made a video like this, I’d be in jail.”
“They use their media to assassinate real news,” Loesch says in the minute-long ad. “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.”
The NRA spokesperson has since come to her own defense on Twitter, saying that the “clenched fist” imagery was taken from the “symbol of the resistance” and was not meant to be violent. She repeated that message in a live stream on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Loesch appeared on NRATV to again defend the language she uses in the ad. In the interview with Grant Stinchfield, Loesch attempts to pin the violence on liberal activists, referring to nonspecific instances of arson, property destruction and assault.
“It’s the symbol of the movement that by and large has sanctioned the violence of which I speak,” she said. “I didn’t say meet fist with fist. I didn’t even mention anywhere in this ad to go and buy a firearm.”
Read the full transcript of Loesch’s ad below:
They use their media to assassinate real news. 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.
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.
And when that happens, 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.