The National Rifle Association (NRA) has a frosty, if not icy, relationship with the mainstream media. The gun-rights organization has often been at odds with the mainstream media’s coverage of its gun-rights advocacy, in addition to the reporting about current inner turmoil within the organization.
The NRA was back in the news when a local board of supervisors in San Francisco, California, passed a resolution condemning the NRA and labeling it as a “domestic terrorist organization.” The mainstream media ran several articles on the symbolic vote, which has no effect on the state of California or at the federal level.
CNN’s article said it is “a largely symbolic one” and does not have “law enforcement implications” as a result of the “domestic terrorist organization” label. It also pointed out that there is no federal charge of domestic terrorism at this point, which emphasized the symbolic nature of the resolution.
USA Today and CBS News also published articles on the vote, and like CNN’s write-up, noted the symbolic nature of the resolution. Yet all articles clipped parts of the resolution and the sponsor’s anti-NRA remarks and contrasted it with NRA’s statement, which called the resolution “ a reckless assault on a law-abiding organization, it’s members, and the freedoms they all stand for.”
Even by the media’s own admission, the passed resolution was symbolic and has no legal standing on the state or federal level. But, as one of the supervisors who sponsored the resolution said, it is supposed to “pave the way for similar legislation at the local, state or federal level.”
Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who sponsored the resolution, claimed the NRA is “standing in the way of saving lives,” which in her mind justified the resolution.
Still, the media covered the resolution’s passage as if it were a ground-breaking event. Although the news made for good headlines, it is unclear whether other cities and states will follow suit and bar government entities from conducting business with the NRA.