Yael T. Abouhalkah

Repugnant NRA mocks gun victims, hijacks #WhateverItTakes

Andy Parker, father of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, spoke Thursday at a rally against gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Andy Parker, father of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, spoke Thursday at a rally against gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Associated Press

The National Rifle Association truly is a repugnant organization led by despicable people.

Sound harsh? You be the judge.

On Thursday, the NRA tried to hijack a hashtag movement promoted by the father of a female TV reporter shot to death on live television.

That’s right: The NRA decided it was OK, in the spirit of “protecting” the Second Amendment, to mock murder victims.

Here’s the background:

The father is Andy Parker; his daughter, WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, was gunned down last month along with colleague Adam Ward. After the incident, Andy Parker said he would do “whatever it takes” to improve gun control laws in a needed effort to reduce gun violence. Thus was born the hashtag #WhateverItTakes, which was quickly embraced by some gun control groups.

On Thursday, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety sponsored rallies around the nation, with the purpose of telling Congress that many Americans are fed up with the inaction in Washington.

This attempt to bring some sanity to the nation’s gun laws was too much for certain NRA leaders.

So it used social media — and the hashtag #WhateverItTakes — to belittle efforts on behalf of gun victims.

Here’s an excellent summation by the Washington Examiner of what happened:

“The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, headed by Executive Director Chris Cox, Twitter-bombed Bloomberg’s Twitter hashtag and associated Capitol Hill rally featuring the father of a Virginia TV reporter shot dead on live TV.

“Criminals will do #WhateverItTakes to be criminals. More laws won’t help,” said one NRA tweet. “What does #WhateverItTakes mean to anti-gunners? Repealing the #2A? Confiscating all firearms? Creating a defenseless citizenry?” said another. And in a third, the NRA promised: “We'll do #WhateverItTakes to protect the #2A!”

Yes, ardent gun lovers have a right to make their point that the much-abused Second Amendment supposedly gives them the ability to be armed to the teeth if they want.

But mocking people who have lost loved ones to gun violence is wrong, plain and simple.

The NRA could have done a little bit of work and developed its own hashtag to push back.

How about #LetUsClingToOurGuns?

At least that would have been accurate.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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