AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

NRA Shines a Light on Anti-Gun Academic and Activist Who Testified Before Congress

I’ve taken issue with the NRA lately, in part because they haven’t been as front-and-center in the gun debate as they were in the past. While I never doubted they were still working, doing stuff behind the scenes doesn’t change public opinion on the right to keep and bear arms.

We needed the organization to be loud and in front of cameras or anywhere they could to debunk the anti-gun claims being made by the media.

In their defense, it’s not always their call to be in front of those cameras. But a lot of people besides myself wanted to see more out of them.

And with anti-gun doctors spewing anti-gun rhetoric before Congress, it was the prime opportunity for the NRA to make that kind of a step.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) fired back at Yale School of Public Health Dean Megan Ranney’s claims during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week that Republican-controlled areas are most plagued by shootings compared to blue cities like Chicago.
NRA spokesman Billy McLaughlin told Fox News Digital “the labeling of firearm ownership as a ‘public health crisis’ by gun control extremists is an old and tired concept.”
“It aims to dismantle Second Amendment rights through coordinated action between government and gun control lobbying groups,” McLaughlin said. “This tactic was on full display by Dr. Megan Ranney’s testimony before Congress.”
Ranney, who McLaughlin called “a known gun control extremist” has been associated with Moms Demand Action, a progressive grassroots group advocating for stricter gun control and the federal assault weapons ban.
“She has supported bans on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles since 2013 and has consistently attacked NRA,” McLaughlin said. “This pattern of behavior among activists shows a concerted effort to reframe the gun ownership debate in terms of public health to effectively shred our Second Amendment.”

McLaughlin is absolutely correct. Ranney is presented to all the world as an academic, an expert who is guided by the facts and not by her own biases. The truth, though, is that she’s an anti-gun zealot.

Ranney is known for her exchange with Sen. Kennedy where she tried to conflate Chicago’s issues with shootings as being less of a concern than “gun deaths” in several red states. Even if you adjust for a per capita basis, “gun deaths” and “murders with guns” aren’t remotely the same thing.

Yet Ranney made that argument before Congress because, frankly, she’s not there about the facts. She’s pushing a narrative and using her academic credentials to add legitimacy to her efforts.

McLaughlin calling her out is the right thing to do and I’m glad the NRA did it. Frankly, everyone should call Ranney’s nonsense out because it’s an utter embarrassment.

I’m not saying anti-gunners can’t provide needed context to the debate–they really can’t, but I’m not saying it here–but if you’re going to include them, don’t pretend they’re unbiased, academic experts. They’re activists and nothing more.

Blasting them isn’t just justified, but arguably counts as a public service.

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