Last week former NRA president David Keene accepted an invitation to address the 2021 graduating class of James Madison Academy.
He arrived at the school and was scheduled for a rehearsal of sorts at the socially distanced ceremony, and took the stage and gave his speech in front of 3,044 empty chairs.
Trouble is, there is no such school as the James Madison Academy, so there was no graduation, What Keene did was speak to the 3,044 AKA “The Lost Class,” which represented all those students who should-have-been the 2021 high school graduates but were killed by gun violence before they finished school.
The stunt was devised by Change the Ref, an organization deeply involved in the gun control movement. Founded by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin was tragically killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Footage from Keene’s speech was released last week, edited into a video advocating for raising awareness against gun rights advocacy and the threat it poses to middle and high school students. Keene was unaware that he was set up to make a fake speech which caused a Change the Ref spokesperson to say:
“Ironically, had the men conducted a proper background check on the school, they would have seen that the school is fake.”Snap. Background checks are good.