Gun owners are thoroughly outraged after an American newspaper labelled all of those responsible for recent mass shootings as “terrorists” alongside the head of the National Rifle Association.
Through a provocative front page, the New York Daily News suggests a common trait among those responsible for a number of high casualty shootings, and compares their actions with the role of NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.
In the wake of the California shooting, which left 14 dead and dozens more injured, the paper reports the association’s "sick gun jihad” operating “in the name of profit".
San Bernardino suspects Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, are thought to have embarked on their assault of a social services centre after Malik pledged allegiance to Isis on Facebook.
In an apparent challenge to the previous day’s front page of its rival New York Post, the Daily News declared: “Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit.”
And in an editorial titled “Making mass murder easy” the paper lambasts the lack of restrictions on the sales of guns.
It wrote: "In a sane world, Farook may well have been barred from buying a weapon legally — which would have forced him at least to risk arrest by looking to arm himself on the black market.”
Many were pleased by the paper’s treatment of San Bernardino and of the NRA.
Someone had to do it and I'm glad NY Daily News had the guts: Lists NRA's leader as a "terrorist" on front page. pic.twitter.com/k4LlFwyq5h— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) December 4, 2015
But the paper’s stance prompted waves of criticism from some readers, gun owners, and members of the NRA.
Lobbying, a constitutionally protected practice, in favor of a constitutional right isn't terrorism. This is asinine https://t.co/AzAnd1njf0— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) December 4, 2015
Has the New York Daily News been classified as a "hate group" yet, and warned their extreme rhetoric could get someone killed?— John Hayward (@Doc_0) December 4, 2015
The paper was described as a “liberal hate group”.
@NYDailyNews I think the liberal hate group who calls itself the New York Daily News showing its biased should no longer be considered news— Alan Megill (@Jevic21814) December 4, 2015
The publication has previously used its front page to score points against the NRA.
A (brief) history of New York Daily News covers on guns pic.twitter.com/9E90S4lwbK— Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) December 3, 2015
The Daily News isn’t the only publication to take on the issue of gun crime, however.
This week, The New Yorker magazine carries an illustration of a husband and wife buying weapons as easily as purchasing milk from a supermarket.
Warning: Graphic Images