, 02.17.2018 10:18 AM

The gun lobby are terrorists

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 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. We can state, however, that the NRA will be shown to have energetically advocated measures that are bound to lead to mass destruction, even in the wake of the killings of 20 children in Newtown.

One of their recent advertising campaigns even offers up the former president’s own children as rhetorical fodder, and is ample evidence of the NRA’s willingness — like any terrorist organization — to terrorize children and parents to achieve its political goals.

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 six-year-olds using assault weapons. It was to be applied to flintlocks, which were what existed at the time of the amendment’s promulgation.

We are aware that the definition of terrorism is broad, Your Honour, and there is a robust debate about when it applies.

But under section 802 of the Patriot Act, we remind you that this court need only find the NRA has — within the territorial confines of the United States — engaged in a campaign of intimidation or 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 openly threatening members of Congress so that they will lift bans 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 last same president of the United States facilitates murder. So, most of all, is assassinating minimal efforts to prevent something like Newtown from ever 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-Qaida.

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.


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    BillBC says:

    You are 100% right. But what will happen is this: the blood will be mopped up, the president’s “thoughts and prayers” will go out to the relatives of those killed, and nothing will change.

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    Sean McLaughlin says:

    The second amendment just killed 50 people and wounded over 400. So, #thoughts and prayers, forget in a week’s time, then rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

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      Robert Frindt says:

      France has no Second Amendment, yet terrorists with full auto Ak47s killed 89 people at the Bataclan Theatre.

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        Sean McLaughlin says:

        France has 1/3 the number of gun deaths per 1000 people compared to the the US with, shockingly, about 1/3 the number of guns in circulation. So, kindly piss off with the let’s do nothing because a terrible thing happened somewhere else too argument.

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    Warren says:

    It’s an opinion column, obviously. If you don’t like the opinion, don’t read it.

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    David Ray says:

    And now Congress or the House wants to approve silencers. not only could someone kill 58 and counting but you wouldn’t know where the shots were coming from.

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    Ted H says:

    Every time one of these senseless gun related massacres happens there isn’t one single f****ing US politician who doesn’t send out their “thoughts and prayers” to the survivors and the relatives of the deceased. So what? What good are thoughts and prayers? And the most prayers are from Republicans who tout their Christianity at the same time as they block any attempt as some kind of common sense approach to gun control. And it is guns at fault. Suppose this man filled his hotel room with knives or baseball bats in order to throw them at the concert goes, obviously the result would not have been the same. Guns are the problem and until someone addresses this issue seriously, all the prayers in the world are useless.

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    Gord says:

    Warren – well said. The continued American insistence that guns = freedom is baffling to me. Sadly, I think that if Newtown / Sandy Hook wasn’t going to be the tipping point, I have a hard time seeing what will be.

    That said, Saturday night’s events in Edmonton should remind us that we also need to be careful to mind our own backyard.

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    Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Far from a terrorist organization, the NRA is nothing more than a highly successful lobby that exists to ensure Americans their second amendment rights.

    The NRA realizes 90% of a successful battle on social issues is based on where along the spectrum the battle takes place. I believe many of the NRA’s positions regarding gun control are ridiculous but I also recognize if you’re debating AR-15’s and silencers, no one is questioning whether a farmer should be locked up for not properly registering their favorite gopher rifle.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    In a word, HOPELESS…

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    Miles Lunn says:

    Agree, but it seems the gun culture is so entrenched in the US that nothing is likely to change. My real focus as a moderate conservative is keeping the gun lobby from going anywhere in Canada. There are some on the right who want to legalize AR15s, allow silencers and even some advocating concealed carry. Groups like the CCFR and NFA should be watched closely to make sure they remain on the fringe. What I find most annoying about the gun lobby is they claim if you aren’t a gun user you should shut up. I strongly disagree as although I am not a gun user, we are all affected by innocent people killed by them. Owning a gun should remain a privilege and only those that have legitimate uses for hunting and target shooting should be permitted but with tight restrictions. You find the restrictions too much don’t own one. Our right to not be shot up is more important than the gun owner’s non-existent right to own one. Funny thing is in Japan and UK, they have even tougher gun laws and UK only has 35 gun murders a year while Japan has 6 whereas US has 12,000. Yes UK has more knife murders, but you cannot kill 58 people at once with a knife, at most one or two so while tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders, they will reduce its rate. Interestingly enough in the UK and Australia, even their conservatives are for strict gun laws, so our Conservatives should follow them, not the GOP.

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    Charlie says:

    Your logic was reasonably sound until you hit the second paragraph with Crosby, then you full-on derailed into nonsense.

    Firstly, you’re describing Crosby as if he were some TFW working the till at McDonalds. He’s a pretty significant sport personality, particularly in Pittsburgh where he lives. Secondly, how is not attending the WH expressing a political opinion by default? ‘Commit suicide’ is an overdramatic description seeing as how public opinion is nowhere near tilted in the direction you seem to think it is.

    Let’s examine the circumstance here: Trump has made every goddamn thing political. Disinviting Stephen Curry to the WH was Donald Trump turning this innocuous, self-congratulatory affair into a ‘me versus them scenario’. Through no fault of his, Sid is now faced with a decision: go to this event that Trump has portrayed as an act of support or stay home and have Fox News bitch and whine.

    For the record, I don’t think Crosby is some hyper-MAGA douche because he wants to go and I don’t envy his position. But this notion that his attendance would avoid controversy is fucking absurd. You are going to get controversy whether you go or not, however, going means standing next to Trump and getting your picture taken next to a man who, as a plethora of polls have shown, is disliked by the vast-majority of Americans. The ‘commit suicide’ assertion of your comment is applied towards the wrong decision.

    Furthermore, the US has spent the better part of the past 70 years ‘expressing their opinions’ across the world. They are in no place to start pissing themselves in anger at others making observations towards them.

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    Steve T says:

    I have asked the basic question to many pro-NRA Americans, which they don’t seem to want to answer: Why does this happen exponentially more in the U.S. than any other developed country in the world? If it isn’t the lax gun laws, what is it?

    Inherently more violent citizens? I don’t think anyone believes that.

    Soft justice system? Uh, no. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the developed world.

    Ummm….. any other ideas?

    The pro-NRA morons are already lining up on Fox News, saying how stricter gun laws wouldn’t have stopped the Vegas shooter. Really? How can you say that with certainty? How many Las Vegases, Newtowns, etc.. does it take to see things for what they are?

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      Miles Lunn says:

      I’ve found most NRA types including ones here cherry pick stats like saying Chicago has a gun ban so that is proof gun laws don’t work forgetting there is a gun shop on practically every block once you leave city limits or they use various gun lobby studies. Others make the comparison to Mexico, Brazil, and Jamaica who have very tough gun laws unlike the US, but forget those three are developing countries, amongst developed countries as mentioned none are nearly as high. Some point to states that loosened gun laws and saw murder rates fall but murder rates have been falling considerably throughout the developed world largely due to an aging population but in general they’ve fallen faster in countries that tightened theirs than loosened theirs. The problem I find with debating a lot of the gun nuts is they aren’t interested in hearing the other side and are convinced their side is right and only use evidence that supports their argument while ignore anything that goes against it.

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    Charlie says:

    Man, if only every one of those concert goers had a gun so they could shoot the ‘bad guy’; some how instinctively knowing where the shots were coming from and not frantically shooting at each other in chaos.

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    Eric Weiss says:

    I’m done feeling sympathy for America whenever a mass shooting occurs. This is the country they chose. They decided that their gun fetish and “personal freedom” to own their dick replacements is more important than human lives or public safety. Sympathy for the victims and their families? Of course. But fuck their “national grief”. More and more states are allowing public carry and reducing restrictions on assault weapons. Trump made it easier for people with mental illness to get guns. Now congress will vote for less restrictions on silencers?

    America is in free fall. All empires end. Most collapse from within. I didn’t think I would be alive to see the end of the American empire, but maybe it’s about time.

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      Lynn says:

      Well said. I am on the same page. Empires die and we are watching one erode and implode a little bit more everyday.

      I do feel badly for the victims of all these crimes, but come on, no one needs to walk around in a “civilized” society armed to the teeth and ready for a battle. Why in the name of all that is holy do you need to be armed to live your daily life? It boggles my mind. What kind of society are you creating there?

      It is beyond crazy and the NRA leadership are dangerous people with far too much money and power to influence the process, at the expense of the ordinary person who is just trying to live a life .

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      The Doctor says:

      As someone I know said, Americans clearly like guns more than they dislike mass shootings.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Let me borrow the universal translator: thoughts = you are expendable; prayers = you are collateral damage.

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    P. Brenn says:

    Hi ..I think they should remove all security from whitehouse, congress buildings, state legislatures and sure give all govenors/senators gun training as they recommend for teachers… why do these folks deserve more protection then 4 year olds , grade schoolers and high schoolers …

    If I’m american with kids ..screw open schools and campuses..put up barb wire , metal detectors at edge of school grounds , ID everyone – replcate what they do at Capital hill

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    C. Fleck says:

    As someone smarter than me always said – follow the money.

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    Steve T says:

    Excellent article when you first wrote it, and still excellent.

    Now it seems “mental illness” is the diversion tactic being used by the NRA and its supporters. Again, ignoring the hugely disproportionate number of gun deaths in the U.S.. So, if it is mental illness that’s the problem rather than guns, then I guess there are a disproportionate number of mentally-ill people in the U.S.?

    Well, Trump is President, so maybe that’s not such a bad theory after all…

    (relax everyone, it’s sarcasm)

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    Fred from BC says:

    I see a whole bunch of experts (teachers, metal health professionals, sociologists, et al…) have proposed certain measures to deal with this problem, some of which have already been implemented in a handful of US states. Even the parents of some of the previous victims are onboard.

    But then there’s the other side, as represented here. The side for whom nothing but “more gun control!” will suffice. Clearly everyone here is in this camp.

    Fine. No problem. I’ve done my research and come to the conclusion that the previous approach is the only reasonable, rational and most importantly *possible* solution, but I’m willing to change my mind if someone can show me a better way.

    So in that spirit, just answer me one question, if you will: exactly what kind of ‘gun control’ law would you implement to prevent further school shootings? I mean *specifically*. What particular law would you pass (that Barack Obama didn’t), that would end this scourge once and for all?

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      Steve T says:

      Basically replicate the Canadian system. Smaller magazine capacities; extreme restrictions on handguns; thorough background checks; a license required to purchase, which must be renewed regularly.

      Yes, it won’t solve everything, and there is a ‘gun culture” in the U.S. that will be difficult to change, but you’ve got to start somewhere. The perfect can’t be the enemy of the good.

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        Fred from BC says:

        If it was that simple, Obama would have tried it.

        The only thing you mentioned that is actually possible is the background checks, and they already have those (plus waiting periods) in most states. Magazine restrictions are a joke, given the numbers of them already in circulation and the ease of pinning/unpinning them, “extreme restrictions on handguns” you’ll have to be more specific about (you’re not talking about the type they have in DC, Chicago, NYC and all the other ‘murder capitals’ in the US, are you? Yeah…they don’t work…) and licensing is a just a non-starter; these people have always equated gun ownership with freedom and that will never, ever change as long as they have their Constitution.

        Since semi-auto handguns have been around since before WWII and civilian versions of ‘assault rifles’ have been available since 1960 or so, and school shootings were few and far between until around the time of the Columbine incident, it’s obvious that the guns are not the real problem. The kids themselves are the problem. When I grew up this stuff was unthinkable, but now these kids seem to think this is cool, and they treat these school shooter as some kind of folk heroes (modern-day versions of Bonnie and Clyde, perhaps?). In a perfect world, we could just ban Facebook and Twitter…but in the real world, Red Flag laws (as implemented in 4 or 5 states so far) and similar measures represent our best chance to stop this carnage.

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    Lance says:

    There are so many guns in the U.S. that any logical, sense based idea of gun control would be impossible to implement, let alone enforce. How many PEOPLE are there in the U.S. illegally that have not been deported with valid due process? Their government cannot even do that, how do you expect them to convince or coerce a gun obsessed culture to give up its hold? They should still try, but I believe its never going to happen, its too late.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    They could bring back the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban.

    That would be a start – – but with Congress bought and paid for by the NRA and the gun lobby…

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    James Grenke says:


    Americans love guns a whole lot; and these GOP reps and senators always get re elected. So nothing will change.

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