01.19.2013 08:47 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: the case against the NRA, terrorist organization

Good morning, Your Honour.
We appear before you this morning to argue for the proposition that the defendant, the National Rifle Association of America, hereafter referred to as the NRA, is properly classified as a terrorist organization.  And, accordingly, that the NRA’s directors and officers have been engaged in a campaign of terror against civilian populations.
Our indictment of the NRA, as you know, arises out of section 802 of the USA Patriot Act, No. 107-52, which has expanded the definition of terrorism to cover “domestic,” as opposed to international, terrorism.  Therein, the Patriot Act, which was overwhelmingly supported and passed by all parties in Congress, sets out that a person has engaged in domestic terrorism if they do something that is “dangerous to human life,” which the NRA has in fact done since the earliest days of its 1871 charter in New York State.  
To be successful in prosecuting a crime under the Patriot Act, it must be shown that the NRA, one, intimidated or coerced the civilian population – which they have done, ceaselessly, for generations.  Two, that they have influenced the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion – which they have done, with armies of millionaire gun lobbyists, threatening elected representatives with defeat and disgrace if they do not do the NRA’s bidding.  And, three, most crucially, we must show that the NRA has attempted to affect the conduct of our government by “mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.”
We cannot state for a fact, Your Honour, that the NRA has actively engaged in assassinations or kidnappings. They have certainly attempted to kidnap and murder democracy.  
We can state, however, that the NRA will be shown to have energetically advocated mass destruction, even in the wake of the killings of 20 innocents – mainly children – before Christmas in Newtown.  Their most recent advertising campaign, which offers up the president’s own children as rhetorical fodder, is ample evidence of the NRA’s willingness – like any terrorist organization – to terrorize children, and parents, to achieve their political goals.
The political goals of the NRA are simple, Your Honour.  While the NRA repeatedly claims that it seeks to protect the Second Amendment to the Constitution –  and said Amendment states that “a well regulated militia [is]necessary to the security of a free state.”  We take the view that the NRA and its cohorts have willfully twisted the meaning of “a well-regulated militia” to mean the sale of assault weapons, with high-capacity ammunition clips, to the mentally ill.
We also take the view that, at the time Thomas Jefferson and other founders ratified the Second Amendment, they did not intend it to be applied to the mass murder of five-year-olds, using assault weapons.
We are aware that the definition of terrorism is broad, Your Honour, and that there is a robust debate about when it applies.  But under section 802 of the Act, we remind you that this court need only find that the NRA has – within the territorial confines of the United States – engaged in a campaign of intimidation of coercion of our government, and our citizens.  You  need only find that the NRA seeks to affect the conduct of government by advocating “mass destruction.”
Lobbying for guns in schools is that, Your Honour.  So is threatening members of Congress into lifting the ban on assault weapons. So is helping teenagers to purchase AK-47 assault weapons at gun shows.  So is calling law enforcement “jack-booted government thugs.”  So is suggesting the President of the United States facilitates murder.  So, most of all, is assassinating minimal efforts to prevent something like Newtown from every happening again.
All these things the NRA has done, Your Honour.  All of these acts of intimidation and coercion are not dissimilar to the campaigns of the Taliban or al-Qaeda.  
They may wear expensive suits, Your Honour, but the NRA is not much different from the terrorists.
They deserve to be treated as such by this court.


  1. Marchockachu Raby says:

    Pot, meet kettle.

  2. Morley Bolero says:

    I can hardly wait to read the Sun comments. Here’s one of my latest favs: https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/307255_498691056838424_489062526_n.jpg

  3. Canada Joe says:

    Is that desperation I smell Warren? Is that you can’t bare to stand the thought of the train wreck Obama’s administration is about to become. He will broken just like Allan Rock, Micheal Bryant and Mark Holland.

  4. reformatory says:

    I hear ya and yes the NRA is nuts! But…. whose kidding who! The NRA gets its power from American citizens and they are the one’s that are making it so hard for Obama to pass gun laws not the NRA. Americans are reaping what they sow!

    • Spencer says:

      Actually the NRA probably has a disproportionate amount of influence because it is one of the best funded lobby groups in the US. A good chunk of the people at the top of the NRA and have ties to gun manufacturers that help fund the organization. The gun manufacturers in turn benefit from fewer gun restrictions because they can sell a larger variety of guns and more ammunition (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/nra-gun-control-firearms-industry-ties_n_2434142.html). The gun manufacturers also benefit from the NRA’s scare tactics that the government will take legislate against guns and use that as a way to encourage people to go on gun shopping binges.

      • gro0ve says:

        Scare tactics? They ARE taking guns! They aren’t about to, this new legislation is exactly what they have warned against.

        Seems to me the ignorant enjoy remaining such in this day and age.

  5. Pipes says:

    Well done man! I prefer a world, as much as possible, without guns. They are simply designed, to kill stuff.
    When I am King there will be no guns.

  6. Bobby Salinas says:

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn writes in the Gulag Archipeligo:

    “But, to his misfortune, they arrested another tenant in his apartment, a debauched, perpetually drunken writer, L. S—-v, who had bragged somewhere while he was drunk about owning a pistol. Owning a pistol meant an obligatory conviction for terrorism, and Fastenko, with his ancient Social Democratic past, was naturally the very picture of a terrorist. Therefore, the interrogator immediately proceeded to nail him for terrorism and, simultaneously, of course, for service in the French and Canadian intelligence services and thus for service in the Tsarist Okhrana as well.”

    It will be interesting too, when the Idle No More protests turn violent that a) huge unregistered weapons caches are discovered on Indian reserves – thus proving that gun control is of extremely limited value and b) as you have stated on your blog that you own firearms, your viewpoint when your firearms are confiscated during a martial law type scenario thus leaving you to depend on the Conservative controlled police/military …

    Enjoy your cozy historical denial while it lasts my friend.

  7. John Matheson says:

    Michael Moore wrote an article claiming the second amendment was used to enforce slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation. The average gun owner, however, feels that their right to bear arms defines them as Americans, and is actually a foil against tyranny. With Canada’s record on aboriginals and the environment, I doubt Americans are going to pay much attention to what Canadians think about the NRA. It is a cultural thing. We don’t like guns, and they don’t much like hockey. Underneath all these political self-identifications, they are all human beings at heart, and some of them are very nice people.

    We have to ask why if support for gun control is at an all-time high, guns are flying off the shelves in the US. It may be an issue beyond Canadian comprehension.

    • Chris says:

      “I doubt Americans are going to pay much attention to what Canadians think about the NRA.”

      Wait’ll you see the Sun comment section on this column.

  8. kit says:

    Why does anyone need an assault weapon with a 30 round magazine? Afraid the deer are going to start shooting back?

    How about this: women the world over should take up arms to defend their reproductive rights. Bet the GOP and the NRA would ban guns in a minute. And if you wanna see how absurd the NRA, check this out;


    And guess what….. the public supports what Obama is proposing so f*^K the NRA


  9. David says:

    Minor edit: “… but the NRA is not much different from the terrorists” should read “… but the NRA is not much different from these terrorists”.

  10. mauser98 says:

    another terrorist organization
    “American Intelligence officials are acknowledging that the bulk of the weapons flowing into Syria for the US-backed war to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad are going into the hands of Al Qaeda and like-minded Islamist militias.”

  11. mauser98 says:

    do as i say……….
    “Chuck Schumer, one of the most anti-gun Senators in Washington D.C., obtained a permit to carry for self-defense.”
    “Senator Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, have a permit to carry. Both have concealed carry permits because of their self-delusional importance. Yep you can’t carry a weapon but they can.”

    “Democrat Harry Reid in 2010: “I carried a gun with me everywhere I went”

    • Austin So says:

      Yeah…somehow carrying a handgun is equivalent to carrying an assault weapon…

      • Eric says:

        I’m not defending the original post, but a handgun is equivalent to an assault rifle. Both are dangerous in the hands of an untrained user and neither have any purpose except to kill people – neither can be used to hunt.

  12. J.A. says:

    Before we Canadians feel smug, we must remember that at least two close cousins of the NRA in Canada are members of the Prime Ministers advisory committee on weapons issues, and we have elected MPs who are very open about their sympathy with the NRA. i could name at least one such MP in Manitoba if I weren’t afraid of him/her. All these NRA-and-Charlton-Heston-loving people claiming to be patriots who need their guns for king and country really are missing the point.
    There are dozens of types of firearms, designed for different purposes. Some are designed for soldiers on the battlefield. Why do you think your teenage neighbour should have the “right ” to use such a weapon? we are not talking about a 1776 rifle anymore.
    Good on Warren for having the guts to criticise the NRA in a Canadian newspaper!

  13. GPAlta says:

    Sadly, as always, it all comes down to money. The NRA’s positions don’t even represent the views of its members, 70% of whom support background checks for private sales of firearms (gunshows). The NRA only represents the view of manufacturers and sellers, for whom the only measure of success is expanding the market. If guns become more difficult to trade into the black market, fewer guns will be sold, therefore they will do whatever they can to ensure that the flow of guns to criminals, abusers, and terrorists continues: it’s just good business.

    Canada is in a similar situation with the gun industry, except that our “prime minister” is firmly in the gun industry’s pocket, which is why he opened up the private sale of long guns to inelligible purchasers, why he took the time to open up Canadian gun exports to Columbia, and why he has announced that we will permanently remain in violation of the UN’s small arms trafficking treaties. It’s just business, nothing to lose sleep over. I truly feel sorry for all the Conservatives who waste their time supporting the NRA or Harper on this business issue, because they’re not getting a cut.

  14. Bruce A says:

    Firstly, there should be a list for dummkopf’s with guns, let alone mental health issues. These people shouldn’t be allowed to walk and chew gum in public.


    Secondly, this is going to get ugly. Somebody is going to lose it.


  15. Ed Frink says:

    Great article.

    Progressives should tell gun nuts how stupid they are and say it as loud and as proud as we can. Gun control is a vote getter and we need to make the gun fetishists feel ashamed of themselves. They don’t deserve respect or acknowledgment.

    • The Doctor says:

      I’m pro-gun control myself, but I can’t agree with you that “Gun control is a vote getter”. I think the evidence shows precisely the opposite. It’s not a NET vote-getter. Due to the “activism gap.” People who are pro-gun tend to be politically active about it. People who are pro-gun control, by and large, don’t tend to get off their butts and be politically active about it.

  16. John Matheson says:

    Thinking about this some more, trying to use the Patriot Act as an argument is not too great. The Patriot Act is widely thought to curtail freedom, and using it to curtail the freedom of Americans to associate in the National Rifle Association might belie a misunderstanding of the value which is placed on freedom in the United States, and its constitution. Even more, it seems to show a bit of a misunderstanding of the American condition. Using the Patriot Act as a hammer may be legal, but it is definitely not liberal, by most definitions of the word.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      That is kind of like arguingthat if you oppose public funds subsidising political partys that you should not collect your tax credit for a political contribution. The Patriot act is the law, whether you disagree with it or not, so if it serves your purpose, there is nothing wrong with using it. By all means, fight to overturn it, but at this moment, there it is.

  17. Anne Peterson says:

    If Al Qaeda ever killed as many US citizens in terrorist attacks as gun violence does in even one year domestically, the US would launch WW111 against the Middle East. Reason is sadly lacking.

  18. LAS says:

    In this article, Kinsella projects his own pants-wetting tendencies with regard to guns onto the general population and calls that ‘terrorism’. Apparently advocating for policies Kinsella dislikes also equals ‘terrorism’. I’d like to think this is a joke but it’s probably a pretty good example of Liberal Fascism.

  19. Tim says:

    The most likely victim of gun violence in the USA is the gunowner himself. (usually him) Attempted suicide with a gun is by far the most effective way to successfully kill yourself.

    The next likeliest victims of gun violence are friends and family members. The two “A’s” alcohol and accidents are big factors in gun violence. Congress at the behest of the NRA actively tries to suppress this type of information from being published or further researched.

    I don’t think terrorism is the way to describe what’s wrong about the NRA and I don’t have a word for it. But whatever it is, it’s just as evil and far more deadly than terrorism ever will be.

  20. Philippe says:

    A quick look at the Sun comments gave me a good laugh and proved the effectiveness of your article. Well done! You got those redneck yahoos riled up, as usual.

  21. V says:

    Are you railing against the 2nd amendment here, or the 1st?

  22. Ottawa civil servant says:

    Kinsella, this is over-the-top. The NRA is not terrorizing anyone. Is its position acceptable? Not to my mind. I mean, seriously, who needs assault rifles? But terrorism? That is just silly.

    In fact, claiming that a lobby group that promotes responsible (if too liberal) gun ownership is the same as a people who blow up pizzerias and seek out victims based upon their religion, well that is morally indefensible.

    Face it, restricting gun ownership is to some what abortion is to others: any control is too much; any common sense approach is perceived as the ‘thin edge of the wedge.’

    • VC says:

      I don’t think, and you shouldn’t either if you read and followed the article, that WK is making a moral argument here. It is clearly a legal argument and while it may be underwritten by moral reasoning, which is not explicit here, the two are not the same. In the legal sense, because views on what ‘terrorism’ actually entails can vary under different moral regimes (as your ‘silly’ normative judgement demonstrates), the cogent argument produced by WK is internally consistent with the legal understanding of ‘terrorism.’ That’s the strength of WK’s argument, while yours is a visceral reaction that is legally indefensible irrespective of what gut feelings you may have towards gun ownership.

    • Philippe says:

      The NRA indirectly contributes to more innocent civilian deaths per year than any terrorist organization.

  23. MCBellecourt says:

    Brian Gable had a really good cartoon on this subject, too, it was “Paradise according to the NRA”. It’s in this month’s Editorial Cartoons in the Globe & Mail website, you only need to click thru the ‘toons to see it.

    Worth a look Gable’s one of the best, IMO.

  24. Sally says:

    You know Warren I oppose violence, especially the death of children. I heard the argument the other day about how Canadian public schools in the sixties had military Cadet programs for kids that included the training and firing of rifles. This training and firing of rifles usually took place in the school’s basement at a firing range. As a child of the late eighties I am appalled about this type of school program that offered military and gun training. Guns and the military have one purpose: to KILL!!! I fully support a “Gun Free Zone” in all schools and all public places with no exceptions. It’s the only way to truly be safe..…NO GUNS!!!

  25. Ryan says:

    Gun control means that criminals and terrorists will still have their illegal guns but the peaceful population must be stripped of all guns, just because some nutcase goes berserk. Now that sounds fair to me.

  26. Al in Cranbrook says:

    How about a tad bit of history and facts here, from someone who a) owns firearms, b) has read lots of history about them, and c) who has looked into “gun control”. For the sake of brevity…

    The industrial revolution got started when someone figured out the technology to facilitate mass production of barrels and/or actions for firearms. Forward from there, firearms became affordable and attainable for the common man…and the power of kings, emperors, tyrants and the like started to go south. The term “great equalizer” originated in Europe, not America. Fact is, armed civilians are a tad tough for governments to push around. And thus, democracy and human rights actually started to mean something to governments…if they were going to survive over the long haul. This in mind, America was born in revolution, read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. The Second Amendment was born of this reality.

    Up until WW1, the rifle of choice for the vast majority of Americans was the lever action. However, when the soldiers came home, they’d had ample experience with far more accurate and flatter shooting bolt action rifles, notably in calibers such as 30.06 Springfield (US), .303 British (Britain and commonwealth, including Canada) and assorted European calibers for the German designed Mauser rifle. And thus, over the next couple decades the bolt action rifle became the primary weapon of choice for hunting/sport shooting. Reality is, when you come to put your faith in, and your life on the line, with something, it sticks with you for life.

    The AR15 platform, derived from military weapons used first in Viet Nam, and then Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., is specifically designed to preclude modification from semi-automatic to automatic fire…because automatic weapons are illegal in civilian hands in the US, and just about everywhere else that matters. Young men and women in the military learned on this style of weapon, fought with it, and again, gained faith in its abilities. And when they left the military, they brought home this familiarity and trust, if not passion for use, in this style of weapon. While it has the appearance of a paramilitary weapon, in practice and factually it is no more potent than any other firearm…and indeed, due to the restrictions on ammo that works in most of them, primarily .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, they are arguably most often less potent than many. In fact, in most jurisdictions, the .223 Rem. is not legal for big game (like deer) hunting, but is only suitable for small game/varmints.

    How much faster can one crank 10 rounds through a semi-automatic AR15, as opposed to, f’rinstance, a lever action? I believe the world record for a lever action is 10 rounds in 1.73 seconds. In the real world, the difference between this and an AR15 isn’t worth mentioning. Some would say pump actions are faster than lever actions. It doesn’t take a lot of practice to get close enough to this rate of fire that it doesn’t matter. A quick cruise on YouTube would provide some fairly convincing demonstrations.

    With little practice, one can swap clips on an AR15 in less time than it takes to say it. Point being, 10 rounds or 30 is merely a matter of very little extra convenience. For two world wars, 10 round clips were the norm.

    At the end of the day, a gun is a gun is a gun. Banning a class of firearms because they look scary is, frankly, silliness. But politically it’s attractive because politicians know that at least half the population doesn’t know unowhat from shinola in the first place about any of it…and most of ’em don’t care that they don’t know. Worse, most of those in the MSM don’t know a damn thing about any of it, either…which is even better from a political opportunity aspect.

    The MSM are certain to report every negative incident involving a firearm…but rarely if ever mention the positive. Americans are passionate about their rights, in particular regarding self-defense. Frankly, I don’t blame them. Self-defense is, IMHO, a God given right, period, end of argument. Being forced by law to, at best, beg for one’s life, and relying on police to come around and do a body count after the fact, simply is a bloody joke, and a concept with no place within the context of a “free” society!

    Anyway, FWIW…

  27. Bradley says:

    How many death threats a week do you get from crazed gun lobbyists? just curious.I entirely agree,the NRA are a bunch on nutcases.

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