The most frustrating liberal narrative after every mass shooting is that this is the one that changes America’s opinion about the Second Amendment and gun ownership.
Even as polls suggest that Americans seem to be on board with President Trump’s proposal to allow trained educators to conceal carry in schools and a mounting pile of evidence in the Parkland shooting suggests that the alleged killer could have been stopped if red flags about his mental illness had been pursued by authorities, the persistent narrative in the liberal media is that this time, Americans want gun control and they mean business.
The problem is that once this narrative meets reality, it dissolves. Two of the biggest gun control groups in America found this out the hard way when they tried to get streaming platform Roku to stop carrying the National Rifle Association’s channel, NRATV.
According to CNN, in open letters posted Friday, gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety and their subsidiary, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, demanded that Roku — along with Apple, Google and Amazon — stop carrying NRATV on their streaming platforms.
“NRATV is the media arm of the gun lobby. It propagates dangerous misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric that pits Americans against each other and furthers their agenda of guns anywhere, for anyone, no questions asked,” a statement from Everytown for Gun Control read, adding that the NRA “promotes dangerous conspiracy theories, racially charged rhetoric, and violent demonization of the NRA’s political opponents” through the network (while providing no examples, of course).
“NRATV is home to the NRA’s most dangerous and violence-inciting propaganda,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in the group’s news release.
“It’s time for tech leaders to acknowledge their role in helping the NRA spread this dangerous content and cut it out. Following the Parkland school shooting, Americans have had enough. We’ll no longer tolerate this lax approach from corporations when lives are on the line. We demand that Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku all dump NRATV once and for all.”
While the other three companies didn’t respond officially, Roku did. Their message, in TL;DR form: if you don’t like NRATV, don’t watch it.
“We operate an open streaming platform, however our content policies prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights,” Roku spokeswoman Tricia Mifsud said, noting that the company’s open model allows users to choose and download what channels to watch.
And keep in mind, non-responses speak volumes, too. While the other three tech giants didn’t issue statements like Roku’s, none even bothered to acknowledge the Friday letters as of Monday morning.
They’ve learned something from the example of companies that have very openly announced they’re ending sponsorships with the NRA: Americans, by in large, support gun rights, and are willing to vote with their wallets.
Companies who disavowed the NRA have found swift backlash from gun rights supporters. When companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car noted that they were cutting ties with the group in the wake of the Parkland shooting, they got plenty of backlash from conservatives, including some very well-known ones:
Many will call Roku’s statement too bold. After all, unlike other companies that have come out and defended their associations with the NRA, Roku isn’t in the business of selling guns.
However, they’ve come to a realization that many of the companies that have dropped the NRA haven’t: gun rights supporters have longer memories than the average consumer. Companies who ditch the organization — and lawful gun owners by proxy — due to an astroturfed frenzy do so at their own peril.
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