The National Rifle Association quizzes members of the “Squad” on firearms and proposed regulations in a viral video released Monday.
In the two-minute compilation, titled “”The Squad Is Coming for Your Guns,” an NRA representative confronts the first-term Democratic congresswomen in the halls of Congress. The woman asks Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to define an “assault weapon.”
“Can you tell me what an ‘assault weapon’ looks like? What is one?” she wonders, alluding to the ambiguity or the term, which many gun rights advocates dismiss as a meaningless label meant to stigmatize.
Rather than answering the question, Ocasio-Cortez blames the NRA for shootings with “assault weapons” against Latinos.
“Can you tell me about the ‘assault weapons’ that killed and targeted Latinos that you all are contributing to an environment of hate on?” she says. “Thank you, bye!”
A pop-up graphic deems her response to be straight out of the “Anti-Gun Playbook”: “Avoid facts and use emotional plea.”
Later, the NRA rep reminds Ocasio-Cortez about her vote for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which the House passed in February with the support of the “Squad.”
“Do you support the universal background check law?” the woman asks.
Ocasio-Cortez fires back: “Do you support white supremacist terrorism?”
On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez — who has a four-point gun control plan — repeatedly tweeted about the NRA video, which has been viewed hundred of thousands of times. She mocked the group’s financial troubles and challenging it to release her “full, unedited video.”
Yo, @NRA – you seemed to have had a lot of time yesterday waiting outside my office and making videos about me.
Yet you‘re suddenly so quiet & pressed about answering my question.
Are you scared or just punking out? Release the raw video. https://t.co/kkbcsFVg9Z
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 26, 2019
The NRA comes for the rest of the Squad
Elsewhere in the video, the NRA rep grills Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan about her support for the universal background check legislation.
“Can you tell us how that would have prevented any of the recent tragic shootings in this country?” she asks. “Do you want to keep law -abiding citizens defenseless and unable to protect them homes and families?”
A series of headline-making mass shootings in recent months involved gunmen who either passed or subverted background checks.
Tlaib ignores the question, though, and assures her assistant she is unbothered before ducking into an office.
The NRA rep challenges Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts to defend Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s pledge to as president implement a mandatory buyback of “every assault weapon in America.”
“Do you agree with Beto O’Rourke that the government should confiscate people’s firearms,” the woman asks.
“I’m not sure he said that,” Pressley replies.
That prompts an NRA fact-check, complete with footage of O’Rourke defending his promise during the Sept. 12 Democratic presidential debate.
The NRA rep follows up: “Do you think that taking the guns of law-abiding citizens will make people any safer?”
Pressley just rolls her eyes while her assistant ends the interview.
The Ilhan Omar factor
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who tends to tight-lipped with the press, engages the NRA rep more than any of her colleagues.
“We just wanted to ask you, you have stated that the worst day in American history was ‘some people did something,” the NRA rep says, referring to Omar’s infamous comments about the Sept. 11 attacks in March.
“For you to insinuate that I meant something else is wrong,” says Omar, who has repeatedly declined to apologize for her remarks.
Asked about the logic of “taking away guns from law-abiding Americans,” Omar denies that is her goal.
“No one is advocating taking guns from people who need to use it for hunting, who want to exorcise their Second Amendment rights,” Omar says. “What we are advocating for is making sure that people don’t have access to commit mass murder, and that’s what you guys are advocating for, and that’s where we differ.”
However, when pressed on whether she agrees with O’Rourke that “the government should confiscate our guns,” Omar answers simply, “Yes.”