NRA Social Media Blackout Continues Following Newtown Shooting

    December 17, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

The National Rifle Association is a non-profit group whose main goal is the protection of the second amendement. It’s the most powerful and influential group with this stated mission, and therefore is the first to be mentioned whenever the country starts talking about guns.

And right now, as I’m sure you know, this country is talking about guns.

Following the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 innocents dead (including 20 children), guns have been at the center of the discussion. That means gun rights, gun control, gun culture – you name it. The killer is reported to have used an AR-15 style rifle – a style that’s becoming popular with people who execute these mass shootings (think Aurora movie theater and Oregon mall). It’s also simply one of the more popular weapons among American gun owners in general. All the guns in his possession were apparently purchased legally, and those guns were able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a short period of time.

These are the gun facts surrounding the tragedy, but Americans will not be able to agree on their significance. Gun rights/restrictions is one of the most devise issues around. And immediately following a tragedy as terrible as Newtown, emotions run hot, leading to incredibly heated debate.

And apparently, the NRA wants no part in the debate, or at least doesn’t want to host that debate (at least for now). Shortly following the first reports of the shootings, the NRA hid their Facebook page.

Just one day before all of this, the NRA had posted a celebratory message to their members boasting that the Facebook page had just hit 1.7 million likes.

As of this morning, the page facebook.com/nationalrifleassociation is still inaccessible. Users attempting to access it will be directed back to the homepage.

It appears that the NRA has chosen to unpublish their page, which page admins can do from the permissions settings. Unpublishing a page makes it only visible to admins. It would seem that the NRA knew that silence on the issue would not truly remove them from the unavoidable debate – at least not on Facebook. And they were right, Their wall would have become a message board for pro-gun and anti-gun activists to bicker back and forth. Even if the NRA would have disabled posts from users on their wall, users would have been able to use past NRA posts to conduct the flame war.

The NRA is taking a slightly different approach on Twitter – opting for the silence. The NRA’s account is still up and running, but there hasn’t been a tweet since early last Friday, hours before the shooting occurred. Though the NRA can still receive plenty of mentions (both positive and negative) from other users, they are much less visible than on Facebook. In short, it’s harder to escalate a flame war through Twitter mentions than through Facebook comments.

We’ve reached out to the NRA for comment on their social media blackout and will update this article accordingly.

  • http://n/a Jack

    First I would like to offer my condolences and prayers to all those affected by this atrocious tragedy and my comfort to the souls lost… especially to those young children. However… I am an NRA member and always stood up for my Second Amendment rights as a rational thinking American. I beleive if it weren’t for the NRA… we would have virutally lost our Second Amendment freedom as of today, and I do not speak for the mentally unstable and criminals as the NRA does back a law supporting bills to make it illegal for the mentally unstable and criminals to purchase firearms. What the media does not report is that many times guns do save lives in the hands of the law abiding citizens… it just doesn’t get reported in the news as vs criminals and crime with the misuse of guns. America is a country that was meant for responsible rational thinking citizens and the Nra was meant for these folks, but unfortunately… the tables have been turning for this country… more irresponsibility from the media and less obediance and respect from the young, violent movies, drugs, and lack of moral standards and idolizing violence and gang warfare. The blame of this latest tragedy should not be put on the NRA but should be put on the one who was irresponsible to leave firarms exposed to this disturbed individual.

  • Otto

    Since 9/11 I try to avoid visiting the USA, since the experience seems to have turned your society into a more ignorant, intolerant and violent place.

    In the UK in 2009 we had 18 gun related homicides for a population which is 20% that of yours. That scales up to a figure of around 90 for the USA, when the actual figure was 31,317 – 348 times as many.

    Gun control does and can work, and nobody has a lawful use for a pistol or handgun. Regulated use of rifles and shotguns works just fine here, and we don’t have the fear associated with morons brandishing revolvers in public.

    I always agree with everything a man holding a gun says and so do most other unarmed people. But that isn’t the same as free speech.

  • Simon

    +1 to Otto.

    I genuinely can’t see that there’s any legitimate basis for so many Americans to cling to this hugely antiquated document. The idea that the constitution is forever infallible as a ruling framework for an evolving society seems as logically sound as the idea that the word of the bible is a good basis for living your life.

    Blaming the mentally ill and other increasingly spurious targets such as the media, ‘respect from the young’, movies, drugs, video games etc etc is such obvious straw-clutching it’d be hilarious if it wasn’t for the fact that these opinions are so widely held by so many self-interested irrationalists.

    If you had a gun ban, you wouldn’t lose your free speech, nor would your government suddenly decide to enslave you. Your government is a load of people who (almost) all individually decided that they wanted to spend their lives trying to make society better.

    The blame of this tragedy lies squarely at the feet of those who continually fail to see/admit that clinging to the notion of ‘needing a gun for self defense’ necessarily creates a society with (currently) 300 million guns in it, which are massively disproportionately used in self-shooting accidents, shootings of the owners, gang crime, massacres, accidental use by young children, etc etc…. as opposed to self defending.
    Unfortunately, in order to change this situation, Americans would have to place their faith in their fellow man and government, insofar as surrendering their weapons would be part of a society-wide move to do so, ending in a situation whereby nobody has the power to kill easily.

    It’s not JUST the NRA who are to blame. But nobody is MORE to blame than the members and supporters of the NRA.

    • k


      • http://n/a Jack

        If you believe the American Constitution is inadequate, well then perhaps you should go move to the UK. There is nothing wrong with our Constitution and it is here to stay. If you moonbats cannot understand the reason why the Second Amendment was put into place, well then you do not deserve to live in America. Yes… my heart goes out to those young children and faculty, but there is no reason to generalize against just guns… there is a bigger picture than just guns of why all these events have been happening: violent video games Idolizeing gang warfare, violent rap lyrics, violent movies, drugs, lack of mental health diagnosis and lack of appropriate parenting. The blame here is the mother of the shooter for not addressing her sons mental health issues and not keep those firearms out of his reach, and before anyone goes off mouthing off about the NRA… the NRA already backs a law put into place to prevent criminals and the mentally disabled from buying and obtaining any firearm.

  • maketheworldbetter

    Please consider this White House petition to reduce bullets: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/limit-amount-bullets-citizens-can-purchase/D4Yj9PHt

  • david UK

    30,000 Americans die at the hands of fellow Americans every year in the USA, gun related homicides.
    What is difficult to understand about this one tragic fact?
    What is the positive message I should take from this one tragic fact? Forget pro and anti gun – just look at that one tragic fact.
    Next year, another 30,000 will die if nothing changes.
    And the following year.
    And the year after.
    And the year after that.
    For what?

  • Stuart

    Hey there Josh, Why the news media blackout on not reporting the fact that a weapon carrying citizen prevent another person from comitting another massacre in the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon? I am willing to bet the NRA speaks up before the news media.

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