On Wednesday, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch fielded questions from Parkland, Florida residents during a CNN Town Hall just one week after the tragic mass shooting that claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The meeting did little but fuel the national conversation surrounding gun legislation in our country, a large part of which has been taking place on Twitter. The NRA added their two cents to the Twittersphere, a chunk of change that sparked outrage, derision, and bafflement because the tweet featured a gif of Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in beloved NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
“Thank you for being the voice of over 5 Million #NRA members” read the tweet, thanking Loesch for her appearance.
— NRA (@NRA) February 22, 2018
Maybe a show about the power of community, civic engagement, female rights and friendship which was created and run by outspoken gun lobby critic Michael Schur was not the best imagery for the NRA to employ.
Several of the big players of ‘Parks and Rec’ — including Schur, Poehler and comedian Nick Offerman, who played Ron Swanson — were less than pleased. Some quickly took to Twitter to demand the NRA remove the tweet.
Schur, who goes by Twitter handle Ken Tremendous wrote “Hi, please take this down. I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro-slaughter agenda. Amy Poehler isn’t on Twitter,” he added, “but she texted me a message: ‘Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said f‑‑‑ off?'”
Nick Offerman was less polite.
The actor said that Knope ― a progressive politician who admires Hillary Clinton and once called President Donald Trump ‘a giant farting T. rex’ ― represents “the opposite of [the NRA’s] pro-slaughter agenda.”
Adam Scott, who played Leslie Knope’s adorable husband Ben Wyatt on the sitcom, also had something to say:
Loesch received harsh backlash on social media for her defense of the NRA and her comments about gun violence pertaining to the Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland. She also took heat from Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel after she claimed she was “fighting” for the survivors of the shooting.
“I understand that you’re standing up for the NRA…but you just told this group of people that you’re standing up for them,” the sheriff told the NRA spokeswoman. “You are not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.'”
You know who does get to use GIFs of Leslie Knope?
I’m in total awe of the extraordinary students in Florida. Like every movement for progress in our history, gun reform will take unyielding courage and endurance. But @barackobama and I believe in you, we’re proud of you, and we’re behind you every step of the way.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) February 22, 2018
Survivor Emma Gonzalez in response to ex-FLOTUS Michelle Obama.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) February 22, 2018