[image-1] The National Rifle Association’s political group announced Thursday that it was “proud to endorse Gov. Henry McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson for re-election in South Carolina.” Both Wilson and McMaster face Republican opposition in the June 12 primary.
McMaster is in a five-way primary to be elected governor for the first time, a position he assumed when Nikki Haley was appointed U.N. Ambassador. Wilson faces two Republican challengers. In a press release Thursday, Gov. Henry McMaster said, “The NRA is a highly-respected organization, and I am proud to receive their endorsement.”
In recent years, instead of advocating for legislative change, the NRA has marked repeated incidents of mass gun violence with campaign donations, endorsements to friendly politicians, and “clinched fist” calls to action for dues-paying members. The NRA enjoys significant influence over politicians both through financial support and mobilizing single-issue voters to support their preferred politicians by floating the threat of gun reform as a secret plot to ban guns.
The NRA notes that McMaster and Wilson both have “A” ratings from the group.
South Carolina had the tenth-highest rate of firearm deaths in the nation in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the highest rate of any Atlantic coast state. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said the number of guns on the streets in 2017 was “astronomical” as the city dealt with what became a record year for homicides.
As we write this today, news is breaking that “at least eight people were killed, and other were injured” in a shooting at a Texas high school this morning. A police officer was among those injured; his condition is unknown, according to the New York Times.
Since news broke of that shooting, neither the NRA nor Gov. McMaster have posted on Twitter. As for Wilson, some 19 hours after touting the endorsement of his “spotless” record “defending your 2nd Amendment rights,” he tweeted at 12:44 p.m. Friday that he was “Praying for the victims of the school shooting in Texas.”