Gun control groups blame NRA, Trump for Charlottesville violence
By Chris Eger
The weekend clash left one dead and over 40 injured, mostly from a vehicular ramming (Photo: AP)
Gun control advocates laid the blame for the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend on the nation’s largest gun rights group, citing the National Rifle Association’s provocative rhetoric against liberal demonstrators and support for open carry.
The violence, including a vehicular assault that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, came as part of a standoff between protesters and counter-protesters gathered at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park in anticipation of a rally by far-right groups over the removal of Confederate monuments from the park. Though the suspect in the ramming was taken into custody and charged with murder among a host of other crimes, gun control groups placed the blame on the NRA and the White House.
“The violence we saw today in Charlottesville is the result of the dangerous rhetoric and hate speech that the NRA and Trump have promoted,” said Lori Haas, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in a statement. “The symbiotic relationship between the NRA, Trump, and America’s far right hate groups cannot be ignored.”
While there was no gun violence reported, the group noted that the white nationalists protesting were