California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom writes [via Facebook]:
I’ll be blunt: watching this video created by the NRA sent a chill down my spine – one that was followed by a feeling of sadness and fear that I haven’t shaken a day later. We live in an increasingly polarized country.
Between cable news, social media, and even the places we choose to live and work, it’s easier than ever to retreat into our ideological bubbles, attacking those who don’t toe our ideological line. Progressives do it. Conservatives do it. There are times I know I am guilty of this as well.
But when I watch this video, I see something that crosses into an even more dangerous place: a piece of propaganda the goal of which is to teach the viewer that our fellow Americans are to be feared… and even worse.
How does this video advance debate? How does it bring people together for common ideals? How does it do anything but cast Americans as “enemies” to be defeated in a cynical ploy to sell as many weapons as possible?
My history with the NRA is no secret. I don’t hold them in high regard and I know they certainly aren’t fans of mine. And that’s fine – we don’t need to work from the same values, and we probably never will.
But today, I am asking the National Rifle Association of America – pleading with you in fact: Please, please, please remove this video. There is no amount of gun sales that can offset the potential damage you may do with this. Come after politicians. Come after policy makers. Come after ME.
But please do not villainize [sic] ordinary Americans. Do not implicitly call for demonstrations of force against your fellow Americans in a country that is already reeling. You are powerful. People are listening to you. And your message could lead to tragedy.
I’m willing to talk. I’m willing to meet. I’m willing to listen. But please take down this video.