For a while now, anti-gun voices have been screaming that the National Rifle Association is a terrorist organization. Of course, it’s a group that condemns terrorism and has no members who have carried out any form of terrorist attack, but they still scream and push for this.
As noted on Thursday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors decided that those voices are right and declared the NRA a terrorist organization.
It’s unsurprising that voices rose up in defense of the NRA. It’s surprising that they rose up from the pages of the Washington Post, though.
Liberals often wonder where conservatives get the notion that they are hated and despised. Wonder no more: Just look at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ resolution labeling the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.”
Words matter, and there are few words that stigmatize a person faster than calling him or her a terrorist. A terrorist by definition is someone who engages in terrorism, and terrorism is defined as “the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective.” To be a terrorist organization, therefore, the NRA would have to intentionally encourage and support the use of violent attacks on U.S. citizens with the intent of creating general fear so as to force submission to its political agenda.
The NRA clearly does not do that. It does not advocate, fund or support violence, nor does it try to create “a climate of fear” to advance its policies. It does support an expansive view of gun rights, but that is not a terrorist act — unless political disagreement is now a criminal offense.
But that is exactly what the resolution says. It contends that any use of a firearm with the “intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals” is “terrorist activity.” In other words, every murderer is a terrorist if they used a gun, regardless of whether they had any political motives behind their act. It then states that “the National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism.” You can’t get clearer than that: Constitutionally protected speech supporting the private ownership of guns is an act of terror.
Obviously, there’s more there, but that last paragraph, in particular, is important. It gets to the meat of the issue here. The NRA is considered a terrorist organization by these progressives simply because they’re engaging in constitutionally protected speech that advocates for something these people don’t like.
Keep in mind that many of these same voices argue that words are violence, then defends Antifa’s violence as free speech. Their ideas of what actually constitutes violence and speech tend to be a little skewed anyway.
However, we still need to push back on the idea that engaging in free speech to advocate for another constitutionally protected right–the right to keep and bear arms–is somehow engaging in terrorism. This is nothing more than a continued effort to demonize and stigmatize gun owners. The idea is to make groups like the NRA seem so damn evil that no one will want to be part of them.
“You’re a member of the NRA? I’m sorry, I don’t associate with terrorists.”
That’s where we are. That’s what they want and what this is all about. Welcome to 2019.