National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch tried to deflect the focus away from her organization while speaking at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland Thursday night.
"Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," she said. "Now, I'm not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media."
"And notice I said 'crying white mothers,' because there are thousands of grieving Black mothers in Chicago every weekend, and you don't see town halls for them, do you?" she continued. "Where's the CNN town hall for Chicago? Where's the CNN town hall for sanctuary cities?"
If CNN was hosting town halls for tragedies in Chicago and cities with a higher rate of minority shootings, it is unlikely the NRA would show up.
A report released in October by the Chicago Police Department and the mayor's office found that in 95 percent instances when criminal charges were brought against someone who possessed a gun, that person was not the gun's "original, lawful purchaser."
"The data above serves as a reminder of the vast networks involved in the illegal firearm trade. To address the complexities of the illegal gun market, a comprehensive strategy is necessary that focuses upon continued enforcement and oversight on illegal transfers, straw purchasers, and thieves from the initial point of purchase all the way to the secondary illegal market," the report states.
A "straw purchase" in the case of guns is when one person legally buys a firearm and then illegally sells it to another person.
So what has the NRA done to intervene in straw purchases? A whole lot of nothing — except defend it in the Supreme Court.
In 2014 the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund filed an amicus brief in favor of a man who purchased a gun and sold it to his uncle. In the case, Abramski v. United States, the NRA argued that it was not illegal to purchase a gun on behalf of another person if they would be able to legally purchase it themselves, anyway.
"Congress' intent was not to prevent transfers of firearms between persons who are both legally entitled to purchase the firearm. Rather, Congress desired to prevent individuals from purchasing firearms on behalf of prohibited persons."
The Supreme Court ruled against Bruce Abramski. In the majority opinion Justice Elena Kagan wrote: "No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun's purchaser—the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer."
The NRA's agenda has always aligned with racism. As far as sanctuary cities, the NRA has long been an enemy of those, invoking fear of immigrants to push for gun sales. Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, wrote in a column for the Daily Caller in 2013:
"Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States. Phoenix is already one of the kidnapping capitals of the world, and though the states on the U.S./Mexico border may be the first places in the nation to suffer from cartel violence, by no means are they the last."
"Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face — not just maybe. It's not paranoia to buy a gun. It's survival. It's responsible behavior, and it's time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that," he added.
Meanwhile, sanctuary cities and states appear to be doing just fine. Nearly all of the states that have defined themselves as sanctuary states — California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont, per the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — have a higher per capita GDP than the national average. And more than half of states that have designated sanctuary cities and/or counties see a better-than-average GDP. For the states that do not have a GDP per capita rate above the national average, they all have less than five sanctuary cities or counties (with the exception of Iowa).
DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti wrote in a recent column:
"Further, the NRA specializes in creating propaganda to whip up fear – fear of Black and Latino marauders. This is what's behind their support of Trump. Trump's hate speech against every minority group feeds right into the fears of scared racist white people who are the president's core 35 percent support. A perfect circular partnership."
"It is racism that feeds both desire for guns and refusal to enact logical gun control. And racism is responsible for the massacre of inner city citizens and students in leafy suburbs," he added.