In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, the National Rifle Foundation Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is reportedly postponing ad spending in support of Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. Ads that were supposed to start running on Tuesday have been postponed until October 10.
VA-Gov: NRA-PVF TV ad spending that was scheduled to start tomorrow has been postponed. New start date is 10/10.
— Medium Buying (@mediumbuyingllc) October 2, 2017
In short, the NRA is wagering that in eight days, the shock of the Las Vegas shooting will have subsided to the point where it will once again be acceptable to politicize guns on television.
The NRA-PVF endorsed Gillespie in August. In a release, it accused Gillespie’s Democratic opponent — Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam — of supporting “gun rationing that would restrict Second Amendment freedoms.” On Twitter, Northman described the Las Vegas shooting as “terrorism” and said, “We have got to do more to prevent events like this moving forward.”
Pam and I are praying for everyone involved in last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Make no mistake: This is terrorism. We have got to do more to prevent events like this moving forward. I’m tired of waking up to horrific news like this, and I’m sure you are, too.
— Ralph Northam (@RalphNortham) October 2, 2017
Gillespie touted his A rating from the NRA in a May press release. Like many other NRA-backed Republicans, he merely offered “prayers” in response to the violence in Las Vegas, which was allegedly perpetrated by a gunman armed with at least one automatic weapon who ultimately killed at least 58 people and injured 515 more.
Heartbreaking news out of Las Vegas this morning. Cathy and I are praying for victims and all those affected by this act of evil.
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) October 2, 2017
Gun sales have declined since President Trump’s election and Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress. The NRA has responded with a series of ads that stop just short of openly declaring war on the mainstream media and anti-Trump progressives. In one spot, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says progressives “bully and terrorize the law abiding,” adding that “the only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight the violence of lies with the clenched first of truth.”
Loesch responded to the mass shooting in Las Vegas by admonishing people to pray and not politicize the shooting “while the facts come in.”
This sort of response isn’t helpful. Families are mourning. Offer a prayer & temper your desire for politics while the facts come in. https://t.co/wazDTa8H0p
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 2, 2017
But just hours earlier, Loesch chided the mayor of Edmonton for urging the public “to not succumb to hate” in the wake of an attack allegedly perpetrated by a Somali man who ran over ran over pedestrians with a vehicle and stabbed a police officer.
The terrorists succumbed to hate, not the innocents targeted or the nation affected. https://t.co/dCvpDTVXae
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 1, 2017
As it often does in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, the NRA has maintained radio silence about the shooting in Las Vegas. As this is published, the organization had not yet tweeted about the carnage or released a statement.