Michael Hammond, a spokesman for Gun Owners of America who just weeks before the recent mass shooting at a school in Florida, boasted of his group’s role in stopping gun legislation after school massacres in Colorado and Connecticut, appeared on VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program on Thursday, where he attacked a CNN town hall about gun violence as a “lynch mob” and entertained callers promoting various conspiracy theories about the Florida shooting.
In response to host Jim Schneider’s question about the claims of one student who claimed that CNN required him to read a “scripted” question at the town hall (CNN has released emails rebutting this), Hammond said that “CNN basically accumulated a lynch mob.” He repeated NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch’s claim, which is not backed up by videos of the event, that attendees yelled “burn her” at her as she left the town hall.
“I mean, that was not a town hall, that was a lynch mob orchestrated by CNN to create the illusion that young Americans, in fact, want to ban guns when in fact, it’s just a carefully selected, carefully group of people that don’t represent America at all,” Hammond said.
Later in the program, Hammond took a question from a caller who wondered if, in the next decade, “law-abiding” gun owners are “going to be forced to start shooting to defend ourselves” against government gun confiscations.
“I think that’s exactly what we’re fighting over today, tomorrow, and the next day, whether we reach that point,” Hammond said.
He added that gun control proponents are using expanded background check laws “as a battering ram to break down the resistance of the Second Amendment community, and once they demoralize our people and energize the gun-control left, then there’s the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, and at that point it will just be a series of gun control measures that never stop.”
Hammond also took questions from two callers who promoted conspiracy theories about the Florida shooting, one saying that an outspoken survivor of the shooting is actually a 26-year-old “paid actor” and the other saying that he was beginning to think it was a “pre-planned” event being used by “the communists of our nation to take away our guns.”
While not directly addressing either conspiracy theory, Hammond told the first caller that another point he had made had been “well said” and told the second that “I do agree that basically these kids are being used by billionaires” and that “in that sense, I think they’re being doubly victimized.”