The group printed a spread in its magazine American Rifleman, with the headline “Target Practice” next to a photo of Pelosi. Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was also seen in the photo, though her image isn’t as prominent as Pelosi’s. Giffords survived a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona in 2011, and has since become influential in gun safety discourse.
According to HuffPost, the image was first discovered by journalist Jennifer Bendery on Friday.
Someone sent me this image of the latest copy of NRA's magazine, featuring a story with the words "Target Practice" next to a photo of Nancy Pelosi with Gabby Giffords. Maybe don't do this @NRA. pic.twitter.com/u9fQhxwEyk— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) February 22, 2019
It soon received backlash from many on Twitter, who claimed the image could potentially incite violence.
From the @NRA magazine's upcoming edition - because we don't have enough of Trump and his supporters using words like "coup" and "civil war" and encouraging their voters to buy guns, now Pelosi and Giffords are next to "Target Practice." https://t.co/IOkl6UwPac— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) February 23, 2019
Pay attention.— Becky Brunton 🌊 (@BeckyIB) February 23, 2019
The biggest story today is “target” story in this month’s NRA magazine. It is clearly inciting gun violence against Speaker Pelosi and Gabby Giffords. pic.twitter.com/r42o3Xe766
Pelosi’s daughter weighed in, as well.
We must condemn the NRA’s intentional, outrageous criminal incitement. We cannot allow this hate speech to stop common sense gun violence prevention such as #HR8.#SundayThoughts https://t.co/vrCOO531yW— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) February 24, 2019
The statement, whether intentional or not, comes a week before Congress is set to vote on a bill that requires universal background checks for gun buyers.
Pelosi, along with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), unveiled the bill in January of this year. Under the current law, prospective gun buyers are to go through background checks only when buying from “only federally licensed vendors,” and not from private sellers or gun shows, who are not required to conduct background checks. This is precisely what the new bill addresses, and would require all vendors to do so.
Another measure, put forth by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), would lengthen the review period for gun sales to 10 days, and allow buyers to request a review if they haven’t received a response from the background check system in that timeframe. Current law allows gun sales to go through if a background check is not completed in a three-day period.
H/T Huffington Post