The anti-gun group “Change the Ref” pretended to represent a fake school, “James Madison Academy,” when they invited former NRA president David Keene to give a speech at a graduation ceremony. He was told that he was participating in a rehearsal, as he addressed a stadium of empty chairs. Another gun rights advocate, John Lott Jr., also was lured into the trap by the same ruse.
In reality, the group was filming an anti-gun video. As Keene exhorted the imaginary students to revere the Second Amendment, the video added audio from 911 calls, and the sounds of terrified students during an active shooter episode (or simulations of them). Keene addressed empty chairs, 3,044 of them, allegedly representing children and teenagers who were shot and killed before they could graduate from high school, though he wasn’t told that. Just a rehearsal! After they provided the desired footage to be used against their cause, Keene and Lott were told that the ceremony was canceled.
Change the Ref was founded by Patricia and Manuel Oliver, parents of a boy killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting. The video is called the “The Lost Class.” Powerful! Clever! Also dishonest, unfair, disrespectful, unforgivably unethical and one more thing: signature significance. A group that would do this is untrustworthy. Nothing it says or publishes can be trusted; none of its arguments can be taken at face value; none of its statistics or analysis can be relied upon by anyone. With this video and its abuse of Lott and Keene, Change the Ref exposes itself as practicing “by any means possible” warfare, not legitimate policy advocacy. It believes that the ends justify the means—their ends. It is a perfect match for the current progressive movement, which has taken an ominous turn to totalitarian strategies with its full embrace of Alinskyism.
Good to know.