Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), gun safety advocate who represents “real gun country,” told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Saturday that his office is receiving anonymous threats, warning the Congressman to watch his back.
“I have never, ever in all my life feared for my security, and I’m not fearful of it now,” Nolan began. “But I’m a little more [fearful] than I ever had been before. We’ve been getting a lot of not very thinly veiled threats and calls into my office. You know, things like, ‘you tell Nolan he better watch his back’”:
NOLAN: Nobody has actually come out and said they’re gunning for me, but the messages are quite angry, vitriolic, and a little bit frightening to people at my front desk who have been taking the calls. I’m a little nervous about it. I’ve never been nervous before. [The NRA] are very toxic in the effect they’re having on the American public.
Nolan added that during his Congressional campaign, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, crisscrossed his district telling voters with hunting licenses that he “is going to take your guns away.”
Since the shooting in Newton, Connecticut, the NRA’s efforts have only intensified. The organization cast its opposition to President Obama’s gun safety regulations as “the fight of the century,” circulating a letter characterizing Obama’s proposals as “about banning your guns … PERIOD!” “Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gun ban allies in Congress only want to BLAME you, VILIFY you, BULLY you, and STRIP you of your Second Amendment freedoms,” the letter says. NRA President David Keene even blamed Obama for the death threats the organization received.
But while the NRA’s over-the-top rhetoric and tactics have polluted the gun debate, Nolan sees “a big change in national sentiment” in favor of sensible gun safety reforms. “Not only are people in urban areas concerned but people in rural areas are, too,” he said. “They understand that you don’t need an assault rifle to shoot a duck or to protect your home.”