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Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action blame Charlottesville violence on NRA, gun laws

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts on Saturday blamed the violent protests in Virginia on the NRA and open carry laws. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts took to Twitter on Saturday to vilify the National Rifle Association and gun laws in Virginia as the reason behind the violent protests taking place in Charlottesville.

Watt began retweeting various tweets with the same phrase: "The radicalization of America has been encouraged by the @NRA and open carry laws, which enable armed intimidation. #Charlottesville."

Watts retweeted a photo by Washington Post staff writer Joe Heim that showed two armed men.

According to the two men, they were at the protests to make sure both sides did not get out of hand.

The Moms Demand Action account then sent out a series of tweets condemning members of the armed militia, saying they were there to intimidate protestors.

The gun control group then went on to say open carry laws in Virginia played a major role in Saturday's violent protests.

Under Virginia law, open carry is allowed with or without a Concealed Handgun Permit, although there are some stipulations. Most federal buildings, airports, K-12 schools, universities and religious institutions prohibit carrying a firearm.

The cities of Alexandria; Chesapeake; Fairfax; Falls Church; Newport News; Norfolk; Richmond; and Virginia Beach and the counties of Arlington; Fairfax; Henrico; Loudoun; and Prince William all prohibit carrying a firearm.

Although Shannon Watts and Moms Demand Action want to say gun laws are to blame for what's taking place in Charlottesville, the numbers don't add up.

Firearm deaths weren't listed in the top 10 causes of death in Virginia in 2015.

According to the CDC, the top 10 causes of death in Virginia include cancer; heart disease; accidents; stroke; chronic lower respiratory disease; Alzheimer's disease; diabetes; kidney disease; flue/pneumonia; and septicemia.

In 2015, Virginia had 943 gun-related deaths, compared to 36,252 nationwide.


After seeing Watts' tweet, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch provided TheBlaze with the following statement:

"This is the same woman whose boss [Michael Bloomberg] believes in this tactic," Loesch said, referring to Bloomberg's call to disarm African American men."Watts and her boss say this. Not the NRA. This is the same woman whose supporters mail nasty threats to innocent people's houses simply because they believe in Constitutional rights. Her supporters have called for abusing law enforcement and 'SWATting' law-abiding men and women, moms and dads, endangers lives. There was never a tragedy she and her lobby didn't try to exploit. While this group scavenged, we pray for a nation of hearts to soften."

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