In his interview on the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast this evening, NRA President David Keene was asked about the controversial articles on Gawker and in the Journal News that contained lists of gun owners. Mr. Keene blamed the stories on cultural differences that he said exist between “elite media” and the rest of American society.
“The whole battle over the Second Amendment has little to do with crime or any of these things” Mr. Keene said. “It has to do with culture and the view that different people have about what kind of a country this ought to be.”
Mr. Keene explained that he believes the media has adopted an anti-gun perspective because liberal reporters see gun ownership as antithetical to their values.
“It wasn’t until the culture wars of the late 1960′s, 70′s and 80′s that, all of a sudden, the Second Amendment became anathema to liberals who viewed it, really I think culturally, as a as symbol of an America they didn’t like, an America in which people took responsibility for themselves and for the protection of their families, an America which didn’t look to the state for the answer to all of its problems,” said Mr. Keene. “And the media, the elite media, if anything, represents that view more than almost any segment of our society.”
The Journal News‘ map of gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties included their home addresses. Gawker’s post was a list of gun owners in New York City that didn’t have addresses, but the story’s author, John Cook, said he tried to obtain that information and added links to sites where address information could be found. Mr. Keene claimed the media outlets revealing the addresses of gun owners had “tremendously terrible consequences.”
“What happened there in New York with the posting of the legitimate, licensed pistol owners in Rockland County and others has had tremendously terrible consequences. As you know, now prison guards had their home addresses listed by that newspaper and are now under threat from prisoners and their allies outside,” Mr. Keene said. “This was an incredibly irresponsible thing that was an attempt by this elite to demonize people who own firearms legitimately.”
Gawker’s post originally referred to New York City’s gun owners as “assholes.” Mr. Keene cited this as proof of the media’s prejudice against firearms enthusiasts.
“In the minds of these people, folks that own firearms are evil,” he said. “You saw how the–when the Gawker website listed all these people what they described them as. And I’m not going to repeat it on the air, but the fact of the matter is, that they see anyone who is involved in the shooting sports, who owns a firearm for whatever reason as somebody that they hate.”
Mr. Keene said the media’s demonization of gun owners resulted in him and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre receiving “hundreds of death threats” in the aftermath of last months massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. He finished discussing the issue by reiterating his view that media bias against guns is caused by cultural differences and not any concern about violence.
“It’s a result not of a concern about crime, but about the vast cultural differences between these elites and the rest of us in this society.”
Politicker attempted to speak with Mr. Keene after his interview, but he declined to answer our questions.