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NRA Magazine's 'Target Practice' Headline Sparks Furor

Headline was coupled with photo of Nancy Pelosi, Gabrielle Giffords
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2019 4:04 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2019 6:38 AM CST
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right, pose with Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly of the Navy, at his retirement ceremony in the Old Executive Office...   (AP Photo/House Leader Nancy Pelosi's office)

(Newser) – The headline reads "Target Practice," and the photo shows Nancy Pelosi, Gabrielle Giffords, and others. They appeared as part of an article in the March issue of the NRA's monthly magazine, American Rifleman, and the backlash has been fierce, the New York Times reports. The article is about proposed background check legislation; its subtitle reads, in part, "Congressional Democrats target gun owners for persecution." Giffords, of course, was catastrophically injured in a 2011 shooting that left six dead. Multiple critics have accused the article of being an incitement to violence, though those on the other side accused their critics of cultivating a divisive "outrage culture."

Pelosi herself has not commented, but her daughter tweeted that the article amounted to "hate speech," Huffington Post reports. The Hill notes Pelosi was one of the alleged targets of a Coast Guard officer arrested this month and accused of plotting an attack. The executive director of Giffords, a gun violence prevention group named for Gabrielle Giffords, also spoke out: "Evoking threats of violence should never be tolerated. Words matter. This headline should tell us all we need to know about how wildly out of touch the NRA is with its own members and how low they will stoop to advance their damaging agenda at the expense of our safety." (Trump confidant Roger Stone was accused of putting a picture of a judge near crosshairs of a gun.)

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