Today is, of course, the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and the internet has been full of tributes from media figures, brands, politicians and everything in between.
This includes the National Rifle Association, which posted a tribute on Twitter. But to many, a 9/11 tribute from the NRA seemed more than a bit tone-deaf, given the violence with which the association is associated and at times even encourages.
Enter Fred Guttenberg, a parent of one of the children slain in the Parkland school shooting in 2018, who perfectly and bluntly highlighted the NRA's hypocrisy to widespread social media applause.
I finally agree with the @NRA. My brother was one of those heroes of this terror attack and he died in 2017 of cancer from 9/11. Sadly, because of the terrorism from the NRA, my daughter was murdered 4 months later as a result of gun violence. https://t.co/P3G0xbwhr7
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 11, 2020
Quote-tweeting the NRA's tweet, which sought to honor first responders, law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces, Guttenberg pulled no punches in his take-down of the NRA.
Sarcastically stating that he agrees with the NRA's tweet, Guttenberg went on to call-out the organization and, implicitly, its leader Wayne LaPierre, calling their mission "terrorism."
"My brother was one of those heroes of this terror attack and he died in 2017 of cancer from 9/11. Sadly, because of the terrorism from the NRA, my daughter was murdered 4 months later as a result of gun violence."
Guttenberg's brother, Dr. Michael Guttenberg, worked at the site of the attacks providing medical treatment to victims and workers in the aftermath. He died of pancreatic cancer linked to airborne toxins at Ground Zero.
Far more widely known is Guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, who was murdered in the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February of 2018.
The loss of his daughter turned Guttenberg, along with many other parents and students from Douglas High School, into a gun-control activist. He has frequently focused his work directly upon the NRA and its leadership.
While the NRA was already well-known for its often ghoulishly blasé response to mass shootings, the Parkland massacre became something of a turning point toward infamy for the organization.
In the days following the massacre, commentators on its since-shuttered TV channel mocked surviving student activists as opportunists and liberal media darlings.
And the appearance of organization's former spokesperson, Dana Loesch, at a town hall held by CNN in the immediate aftermath was decried for the callous way Loesch spoke to the students and dodged the questions they asked. Loesch was also caught publicly lying about having been threatened at the event,
On Twitter, people applauded Guttenberg's plain-spoken take-down of the organization.
So sorry. You carry the burden of so much and too much.
Thank you for all that you do and continue to do.
— DavisLiuMD 🧢 (@davisliumd) September 11, 2020
I'm so sorry about your brother. The NRA doesn't give two hoots about him or anyone else who died on or because of that terrible day.
— Sean #BlackLivesMatter (@SeanFlan45) September 11, 2020
I'm so sad for your family, Fred. The NRA has forgotten the families who suffered from gun violence. They think more guns is the solution. 😞
— CaffeineFreak(@🏡) (@Caffeinefreak) September 11, 2020
If only the towers were allowed to concealed carry they could have stopped the carnage.
— Lee A. Haynes (@leeahaynes) September 11, 2020
And the NRA's 9/11 tribute received a flood of indignant responses from people angered by the organization's hypocrisy.
How about the innocent lives lost in Parkland, Las Vegas, Aurora, Orlando, or El Paso just to name a few? Do you remember them? Do you mourn them? Or do you just post these types of messages when it's politically expedient to do so?
— American Activist (@CitizenResister) September 11, 2020
To best honor those who run towards danger is to build a safer America.
We can lawfully build a safer America when our government officials acknowledge and agree that the Second Amendment is Not an open invitation for the gun lobby to enhance industry profits.
— Dianne Broussard 🕊️ (@LovedByaDove) September 11, 2020
Crickets about all those killed by needless gun violence though.
— Ginger Nurse 😷💙 (@PediRN113) September 11, 2020
Do you honor the militant groups you & trump encourage to use your weapons?
They're killing innocent people daily.
I know people kill people 🙄 that's no excuse. You have made assault rifles “America's Rifle".#NRAblood #OVGunSense#ONEV1 Z1 https://t.co/WEtV9D61Qy https://t.co/RHun0Mgu5N
— NonyaBiz! 🏳️🌈 (@LSD122070) September 11, 2020
We will also NeVeR fOrGeT all the victims of GUN VIOLENCE https://t.co/mkqQu6eosb
— iceberg23 (@iceberg171) September 11, 2020
The NRA is currently the subject of a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General following an 18-month investigation that uncovered massive financial fraud committed by the organization and its leadership, including CEO Wayne LaPierre. Should the New York AG prevail in court, it will result in the total dissolution of the NRA as we know it.