CBS Hypes NRA Battle With Fellow Gun Rights Groups

If there's one thing liberal media outlets enjoy, it's conservatives fighting with each other. On Tuesday, CBS This Morning journalists highlighted a dispute between the National Rifle Association and Open Carry Texas, another firearms organization. Co-host Norah O'Donnell related, "...The National Rifle Association is criticizing some of its usual supporters. NRA lobbyists say it's, quote, "scary and downright weird" that Texans are bringing rifles and shotguns into restaurants." 

Members of the Texas group have been filming themselves bringing semiautomatic weapons into Chili's and Chipotle. Reporter Manuel Bojorquez hyped the resulting fight, " The nation's most vocal gun advocacy group condemned the activists saying, 'using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.

The journalist recounted the response from Texas: 

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: But the group felt betrayed by the NRA. On Monday, Open Carry Texas threatened to withdraw its support for the NRA. And to underscore that point, it posted a photo of an NRA membership card cut up. 

An NRA statement on the practice attacked: 

Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary.  It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

As a result of these hijinx, two popular fast food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises (more information can be found here and here).  In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior. To state the obvious, that's counterproductive for the gun owning community.

More to the point, it's just not neighborly, which is out of character for the big-hearted residents of Texas. Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.  That's not the Texas way.  And that's certainly not the NRA way.

A February 5, 2013 study by the Media Research Center found CBS to be the most supportive of gun control: 

CBS was the most stridently anti-gun rights network. By a whopping 22 to 1 ratio, CBS aired more stories that favored gun control (44) to those that supported gun rights (2), with 37 neutral pieces. ABC aired almost six times as many stories that favored gun control (29) to those that favored gun rights, with 25 neutral stories. NBC pushed for more gun control in 26 of their stories to just 5 that tilted in favor of gun rights for a 5 to 1 ratio, with 43 neutral segments.

On March 29, 2012, CBS featured then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to tout his crusade for gun control. 

On September 18, 2013, co-host Gayle King wondered if the gun industry put profits before "human lives." 

A transcript of the June 3 segment is below: 


7:32

NORAH O'DONNELL: And the Houston Chronicle says the National Rifle Association is criticizing some of its usual supporters. NRA lobbyists say it's, quote, "scary and downright weird" that Texans are bringing rifles and shotguns into restaurants. Manuel Bojorquez is in Irving Texas, outside We're Dallas where activists say they not going to back down even if the NRA tells them to. 

MANUEL BOJORQUEZ: Good morning. The controversy now involves restaurant chains like Sonic and it has the NRA criticizing some gun owners for doing something that's perfectly legal here in the lone star state, carrying their long-barrel guns out in public. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Gonna do a little open carry in Chili's, guys. 

BOJORQUEZ: This is what prompted a rebuke from the NRA. Last month, a local chapter of the gun rights advocacy group Open Carry Texas tried to eat a meal at this Chili's while carrying their weapons. 

MANAGER: We're happy to sit you and feed you. You just have to leave your firearms outside. 

BOJORQUEZ: At least one patron filmed it and became upset.  

WOMAN: There's children here and you're a dumb [ bleep ]. 

BOJORQUEZ: The group received similar treatment at this Sonic. 

MAN #1: Can we wait outside? 

MAN #2: We're ordering food. 

MANAGER: I'm not going to serve y'all. 

BOJORQUEZ: The videos, which were first posted by Open Carry and then picked up by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, sparked a backlash. Several restaurant chains moved to ban guns on their premises. But members of Open Carry remain unapologetic. 

KORY WATKINS (Open Carry Tarrant County Spokesman): People are going to be alarmed and they're entitled to their own feelings. But we shouldn't restrict people from doing stuff because other people feel or think a certain way. 

BOJORQUEZ: Still, some Second Amendment supporters feel alienated. 

GLYNN WILCOX (Open carry opponent): They're just trying to prove a point. And it's being a bully. It's bullying businesses. It individuals. 

BOJORQUEZ: By this weekend, even the NRA had had enough. The nation's most vocal gun advocacy group condemned the activists saying, "using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners." Open Carry Texas has already modified tactics, telling supporters not to go into restaurants without prior permission and to carry rifles in slings, not held in their hands. 

MAN: Thank you all for supporting our Second Amendment. 

BOJORQUEZ: But the group felt betrayed by the NRA. On Monday, Open Carry Texas threatened to withdraw its support for the NRA. And to underscore that point, it posted a photo of an NRA membership card cut up. By walking into restaurants, members of that local chapter of Open Carry Texas had hoped to draw attention to the state's gun laws which allow open carry of rifles but not handguns. Charlie? 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org