American Rifleman, a magazine published by the National Rifle Association, used the headline “Target Practice” next to an image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in its March 2019 issue, drawing accusations that the NRA was promoting violence.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who herself survived an assassination attempt in 2011, is also visible in the magazine’s image.
HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery flagged the image and headline in a tweet Friday evening:
Someone sent me this image of the latest copy of NRA's magazine, featuring a story with the words "Target Practice" next to a photo of Nancy Pelosi with Gabby Giffords. Maybe don't do this @NRA. pic.twitter.com/u9fQhxwEyk
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) February 22, 2019
Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi called the headline “criminal incitement.”
The NRA published a magazine headline “target practice” with a photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Rep Gabby Giffords. We must condemn this intentional, outrageous criminal incitement. We cannot allow this hate speech to stop common sense gun violence prevention.
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) February 23, 2019
And Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) called it “a call for violence” against Giffords and Pelosi.
This is a call for violence by the @NRA against @GabbyGiffords, who was nearly killed by gunfire and @SpeakerPelosi, the most powerful legislator in America. The NRA should face legal consequences. But let’s put them out of business with boycotts and ballot boxes. #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/XFTAg5XJWI
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) February 23, 2019
The story itself focuses on H.R. 8, a bill to expand background checks that has the support of a handful of House Republicans. Giffords was present at the Jan. 8 event launching a push to pass the legislation. It marked the eight-year anniversary of the shooting that killed six people, including a federal judge, and left Giffords with serious injuries as a result of a shot to her head.
The article marked as an “ILA Story,” referring to the NRA’s influential lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action. NRA-ILA’s executive director, lobbyist Chris Cox, is listed as the article’s author.