Just days after a mass shooting in Maine killed 18 people, the National Rifle Association on Sunday shared an old clip of new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) pledging to oppose gun safety measures.
The 2019 video shows Johnson promoting the organization of which he is a member and disparaging Democratic attempts at firearm reform.
“As NRA members, we understand the Second Amendment is grounded in fundamental freedoms,” says Johnson, whose declaration is used in the headline on X (formerly Twitter). “We make the point on the Hill all the time when these gun bills come up and when Democrats try to push their agenda on the people. We remind them that the Second Amendment is grounded in those fundamental freedoms ― those inalienable rights we have to personal liberty and personal security and private property.
“We can’t lose sight of that,” he continued. “So when they’re pushing a bill for universal background checks or trying to delay the amount of time that it takes for law-abiding citizens to obtain a firearm for self-defense, we have to remind them that what’s really at stake is that fundamental right that we have.”
While the right-wing Johnson’s message isn’t surprising, it was attention-grabbing that the NRA posted it days after Maine’s biggest mass shooting. It’s not clear what Johnson initially shot the video for. The NRA did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the lawmaker’s office on whether he approved of the video being posted now.
Johnson already set off alarms with his remarks about the massacre in Lewiston. Just a day after his election to speaker broke a weekslong deadlock among House Republicans, he proclaimed that the problem is not guns but “the human heart” and that it’s “not the time to be talking about legislation.”
The Gun Violence Archive has counted 580 shootings in which four or more victims were shot or killed so far in 2023.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans favor stricter gun laws, according to Pew Research Center.