The NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” was a show about the power of community and civic engagement that was created and run by outspoken gun lobby critic Michael Schur.
It’s arguably not the best show for the National Rifle Association to reference on its social media accounts. Yet that’s exactly what the organization did late Wednesday evening.
The occasion was a thank you tweet from the NRA to Dana Loesch, the organization’s spokeswoman who fielded questions from Parkland, Florida, residents in a CNN town hall following the mass shooting that killed 17 people last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
It read “thank you for being the voice of over 5 Million #NRA members.” Attached was a GIF of comedian Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, the show’s main character, saying “thank you.”
Several of the primary people attached to the show – including Schur, Poehler and comedian Nick Offerman who played the beloved Ron Swanson – were not pleased. They quickly took to Twitter to demand the NRA remove the tweet.
Schur, using his Twitter handle @KenTremendous, wrote to the NRA, “Hi, please take this down. I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro-slaughter agenda.”
He added that Poehler “isn’t on Twitter,” but that “she texted me a message: “Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said” (expletive) off.
Offerman was less polite. He tweeted at both the NRA and Loesch, saying “our good-hearted show and especially our Leslie Knope represent the opposite of your pro-slaughter agenda – take it down and also please eat” (expletive). He followed that with an American flag emoji.
As of early Thursday morning, the NRA’s tweet had not been removed.
The debate over gun control has been raging anew in the week since the Parkland shooting. Several students who survived have spoken out, telling and retelling their stories of that day while calling for stricter gun control laws. They’ve organized rallies in Washington, D.C., Florida and throughout the country.
On Wednesday, many of the survivors and their parents confronted both Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and the NRA about their stance on gun control.
Schur, who currently runs the NBC sitcom “The Good Place,” has used his Twitter account to voice his support of tougher gun control laws, and he pulls no punches.
For example, he retweeted this from the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent Daniel Dale: “‘News: Trump now appears to be endorsing the Fox News-promoted idea of sending veterans into schools with guns. He says ex-Marine, ex-Air Force people could ‘be spread evenly throughout the school,’ and that could ‘solve your problem.’”
Schur added the message, “This is maybe 1% less dumb than arming teachers, which still makes it the second dumbest (expletive) idea in the history of America.”