NRA Releases Video Praising AR-15 After Orlando Shooting

"Embrace your freedom. Buy one if you want to"

Jun 18, 2016 at 6:10 PM ET

Just days after an Orlando nightclub became the site of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States, the National Rifle Association released a video on YouTube urging Americans purchase AR-15 assault rifles. The 5-minute clip features an ex-Navy SEAL explaining the advantages of owning an AR-15, a gun the NRA considers the country’s “best defense against terror and crime.”

On June 12, Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people and injured another 53 at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub using a Sig Sauer MCX, an assault rifle very similar to the immensely popular AR-15. In the aftermath of the shooting, some politicians renewed calls to ban civilians from purchasing guns that can fire 800 rounds per minute. But the NRA doubled down on its pro-gun stance and posted its video tribute to the AR-15 three days later. Because in the NRA’s estimation, it’s not about getting deadly weapons off the street—it’s about politicians threatening our freedoms and upholding the Second Amendment.

“[The founding fathers knew] the only way for us to stay free was by having whatever guns the bad guys have. This firearm gives average people the advantage they so desperately need and deserve to protect their life, liberty, and happiness,” former Navy SEAL Dom Raso says in the video. He goes on to lambast left-wing politicians, media pundits, and anyone who hasn’t trained as extensively as he has with these types of assault weapons, because in his estimation, defending one’s family with an AR-15 isn’t only responsible, it’s a “common sense choice.”

Raso argues that a ban on assault weapons would not have thwarted the shooting in San Bernardino or the Boston Marathon bombing, and adds that France and Belgium’s strict gun laws certainly didn’t prevent the carnage that gripped those two countries’ capitals in recent months. However, he says, all of those tragedies ended with police officers carrying AR-15s and hustling to the scene. As far as Raso sees it, people like Hillary Clinton think the solution “is to ban the very gun that stops terror attacks.”

Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog based in Washington, D.C., revealed a disquieting fact about the NRA’s news program shortly after the video was released on the organization’s YouTube channel. “Sig Sauer is a sponsor of NRA News program ‘Defending Our America.’ Numerous NRA corporate donors, including Sig Sauer, sell AR platform assault weapons,” Media Matters wrote in a statement.

Perhaps fittingly, Raso wraps up his ode to the AR-15 by saying, “Embrace your freedom. Buy one if you want to.”