The villain targeted by the Daily News in Jared Padgett's shooting spree is Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the National Rifle Association. The cover page of Thursday's edition of the New York tabloid featured a picture of LaPierre with the image of the NRA seal superimposed as tape over his mouth. Below, in large white letters, were the words: 'SILENT SLUG."
'After more deaths, still no comment from NRA's monstrous mouthpiece," read the caption next to the photo. Inside the paper laid out its indictment of the "monstrous mouthpiece" for his silence over the killing:
The killer carried the murder weapon in a guitar case and used it to score a tragic and all too familiar tune in yet another American school — but there's been nary a peep from the National Rifle Association.
It's like Wayne LaPierre, the NRA mouthpiece, has a sudden case of lockjaw.
Jared Padgett, the News noted, came to Reynolds High School in Troutdale that day "armed with an A-15 rifle. Never mind that Adam Lanza used the same type of rifle in December 2012 to slaughter 20 first graders and six staffers in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn." Even a gun, apparently, can be found guilty by association. Would the student be any less dead or the teacher unwounded if the miscreant had used a different make and model of rifle? Padgett, like Lanza, "got his rifle from 'the family home,'" the paper laments — as if the incident would have been less horrible if he had stolen the weapon, or somehow managed to buy it, despite an Oregon law forbidding the sale of firearms to a minor.
The killer, we are told, "was obsessed with guns and violence and TV shows such as Ultimate Weapons. The show appears on the American Heroes Network, an affiliate of Discovery Communications, Inc, not the National Rifle Association. No, the "crime" with which the paper charges LaPierre and the NRA might be called a conspiracy of silence.
"LaPierre stayed silent even though this was the 74th school shooting in the U.S. since the Newtown massacre," reported the New York Daily News. That statistic has been effectively disputed, as we shall see in a moment. But the NRA further incurred the wrath of the Daily News by repeatedly refusing its requests for comment. The "gun group" is damned by the paper when it speaks and damned for its silence when it doesn't. The NRA tweeted out a link to a post in National Review "that appeared to sum up their arrogant stance," the Daily News said. The organization said it won't change its policy on gun control (They're "agin' it"), "despite all of the chatter from the White House and beyond."
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