Shannon Watts has developed her persona as a “full-time volunteer” who wants nothing more than to bring “common sense gun laws” to this country. However, she once again reminded gun owners of her true agenda with a recent tweet. We are used to individuals misrepresenting our message to push their own political agendas, but, in this case, we thought it necessary to correct the record.
In an attempt to attack an NRA-ILA article, Watts tweeted: “They’re proud of this? ‘In response to claims that ‘armor piercing ammunition’ could penetrate police body armor, … the @NRA stepped up, once again, and performance-based ammunition bans have been repeatedly defeated at the federal level.’”
We responded by pointing out “that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor” and asked Watts if she wanted “to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
Instead of answering a simple yes or no question Watts took it upon herself to delete a large number of comments on her instagram account from individuals who just wanted a simple answer. After disabling her comments we decided to pose the question again, “Do you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
Naturally, the question was not answered. Instead Watts decided to declare to her followers that “I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re [@NRA] terrified of a middle aged mom.” Falsely claiming that the NRA encouraged its followers to threaten her. While we certainly don’t condone making threats, we do think that someone who attacked us for our policy position should at least answer a simple question about that policy.
If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.
We’re not so sure that Watts didn’t already understand why we opposed these ammunition bans. In her tweet, the ellipsis just happened to remove the sentence where we identified the main problem with the bans: “Had they succeeded, all centerfire rifle ammunition would have been banned.”
This isn’t the first time Watts has let slip a position that even the most ardent gun control supporters would struggle to characterize as “reasonable.” Just last year, Watts was appalled that an 18 year old could purchase a .22 bolt-action rifle because it looked scary. As we noted at the time, focusing your gun control agenda on a bolt-action rimfire because it looks scary is “a pretty sorry showing for someone whose only claim to fame is imperiously hectoring the rest of the country on the evils of guns and gun owners and pushing prohibitory firearm policies and laws.”
To answer your question Shannon, yes, we are proud of our defense of rifle ammunition that millions of law-abiding gun owners use every year for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting. Now, will you answer our question?
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.