The National Rifle Association released a scathing statement on Saturday pushing back against the outrage and boycott millions of Americans have directed at the pro-Second Amendment organization in the days following the tragic Florida school shooting on Feb. 14.
A multitude of companies in recent days have severed longstanding relationships with the NRA after anti-gun advocates threatened the companies with boycotts.
What did they say?
In the statement, the NRA pushed back against the corporations, calling their actions a "shameful display of political and civic cowardice."
"In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve," the NRA wrote.
"Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world," the statement added.
The organization characterized the movement to boycott them as an effort to "punish" its millions of members, who are law-abiding Americans who faithfully exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The statement went on to defend the NRA from accusations that the organization was somehow responsible for the tragic shooting, a claim the mainstream media has helped propagate by giving very large platforms to anti-NRA, anti-gun advocates.
Instead, the NRA placed blame on mental health, government failures and failures by local and federal law enforcement — institutions that actually carry partial blame for contributing to and not preventing the shooting.
"The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement," the NRA wrote.
Where does real responsibility lie?
As TheBlaze has covered, federal and local law enforcement likely take a lion's share of the blame for not preventing the shooting, given they were provided with ample warnings about the eventual shooter, including dozens of interactions between the shooter and law enforcement, internet reports and anonymous tipsters relaying their concerns the shooter would act on threats.
In addition, it was revealed in recent days that the school resource officer, who was a Broward County sheriff's deputy, didn't engage the shooter and only took cover outside. To make matters worse, it was reported on Friday that three other Broward County sheriff deputies had arrived to the scene and also didn't act. Coral Springs police officers were the first to enter the school building and adequately respond to the active shooter situation.
Subsequently, thousands have called on Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to resign.