NRA released video praising AR-15 days after Orlando mass shooting
WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association released a YouTube video that urges Americans to buy more AR-15 rifles just days after Omar Mateen launched an attack that left 49 people dead and 53 more wounded in Orlando.
In the 5-minute “NRA News” video, NRA spokesman Dom Raso describes the gun as the country’s “best defense against terror and crime.”
Raso says he is a patriot, athlete and Navy SEAL. Raso says the AR-15 is a “common sense choice” for people in need of protecting their “life, liberty and happiness.”
Initial reports in the hours after the shooting falsely indicated that Mateen had used an AR-15 as part of his arsenal in the attack. It has later been learned that Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol during the assault. The NRA released the AR-15 response video before this information was released when it was still wrongly presumed that Mateen had wielded the popular rifle during the attack.
Media Matters, a Washington media watchdog group, has learned that the NRA news program is partially sponsored by Sig Sauer. Sig Sauer sells multiple AR platform assault weapons, according to Media Matters.
On Tuesday morning, 18 people were arrested during a protest outside of NRA headquarters. Local news outlets reported that activists had gathered outside the headquarters to mourn lives lost in the Orlando shooting and to protest continued opposition to certain gun-control measures by the NRA.
Earlier in the day, the Senate rejected proposals from both parties that were aimed at keeping extremists from acquiring guns. A second measure that failed would have shored up the government's system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.