The NRA annual convention wrapped up this week in Dallas and a record breaking 87,154 attendees traveled to the Lone Star State to check out the speakers, entertainers, appearances by the President and Vice President, and the latest firearms.
As expected, there were a fair share of protests from gun control advocates, including actress Alyssa Milano, who was there representing the NoRA organization. At the protest, she was approached by NRA member Will Haraway, who accused Milano of being a hypocrite because it appeared her security detail were carrying. During their converstation, Milano was escorted away by security and Haraway was asked to leave.
Here’s the unedited video from that exchange which Ben Howe from RedState posted on Twitter.
— Ben (@BenHowe) May 8, 2018
Milano states that the security hired for the protest was not her personal security detail and that she has no issues with law abiding NRA members.
This was event security, not my bodyguard. But regardless, this security guy has had training and passed a background check. These are the common sense gun reform policies we are fighting for for everyone.
Can’t wait to see the unedited longer video. https://t.co/tHREzjnsZH
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 7, 2018
Several pictures popped up online that show what might be the outline of a firearm under her guards’ clothing.
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) May 8, 2018
— Will Haraway (@HarawayWill) May 6, 2018
Do I agree with Alyssa Milano’s stance on gun control? Absolutely not. Like all “common sense gun reform,” it’s based on the idea that criminals will suddenly follow new laws when they already aren’t following current laws. Banning weapons isn’t going to change anything and may I remind her that the last time we had an assault weapons ban, Columbine happened right smack dab in the middle of it.
I do believe in her right to free speech and protest as she sees fit.
My problem with this whole exchange is that these kinds of things are only done so that the videos will go viral. Nothing has been gained on either side and it’s led to name calling and mudslinging from both sides. And since it was instigated by an NRA member, it really makes their side look like trouble-makers.
Milano says she has no problem with law abiding gun owners and her security detail is just that. We have no idea what they were carrying – could it have been a semi-automatic “assault weapon” that Milano wants to ban? Possibly.
Is she a hypocrite if that’s the case? Yes.
But this petty bickering really needs to stop. It would help the 2A cause more if we talk sensibly with people and present facts, rather than showing up at anti-gun protests to heckle people back.
Milano needs some educating, that’s for sure – she’s shared incorrect information from Mom’s Demand founder Shannon Watts multiple times but running up to her to shout “hypocrite” at her isn’t really going to change her position on anything. And unless she’s talking about Planned Parenthood, she’s wrong to blame an organization made up of millions of law abiding gun owners for deaths of innocents.
One thing the NRA could learn from these types of exchanges is that the way they present themselves in marketing campaigns and to the media could use some softening. Kimberly Ross at RedState wrote a great piece on this earlier this year. From that piece:
If we are to be the level-headed side, disagreeing with others but not pushing an emotional narrative, then the NRA needs to tone down its rhetoric. It is not helping the cause.
“…their fate will be failure and they will perish in the political flames of their own fires. We are the National Rifle Association of America, and we are freedom’s safest place.”
We are not engaged in a civil war, though some would certainly wish that to be the case. We hold differing opinions than our fellow Americans, some who don’t own guns, don’t want guns, and don’t understand why others might. You certainly don’t have to share their anti-gun views, but you should respect them.
Couldn’t agree more.
Next year, the convention moves to our hometown of Indianapolis and I’m planning to attend and cover the convention for our site. Doubtful either side of the gun issue will have come to any sort of agreement on anything, but maybe they’ll both be a little less petty when it comes to crashing each other’s events and protests.