Just two days after the horrific mass-shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the New York Daily News ran a column urging the U.S. State Department to officially characterize the National Rifle Association as a “nearly-state sponsored terrorist group” and arguing that "its influence is more of an immediate threat to the lives of our citizens than foreign terrorists."
Columnist Linda Stasi writes:
One terrorist group is responsible for more civilian deaths since December 2012 (the Sandy Hook massacre) than Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas and the Taliban. Yet it is the only nearly-state sponsored terrorist group that is not listed by the U.S. State Department as such.
It is the National Rifle Association and for their unending lobbying that’s kept a lid on gun control we now have 428 times more American deaths by gun than deaths by foreign terrorists.
As justification for this claim, Stasi explains:
Between 2012 and 2015, according to University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, ISIS has murdered approximately 12,138 civilians, Boko Haram,10,092, the Taliban 9,427 and Hamas, 85.
In that time, Americans have murdered or spree killed via gun and assault rifle, 87,423 people in the United States.
In contrast, terrorism killed 28 Americans per year on both U.S. soil and abroad according to the Global Terrorism Database.
In conflating these figures, Stasi neglects the question of motive. ISIS was founded on the slaughter of infidels, whereas the NRA has supported laws regulating gun ownership and fights for the right of American citizens to arm themselves for their own protection. None of this matters a whit to Stasi who concludes:
Therefore the NRA should take its rightful place on the State Department list of terrorist organizations, because its influence is more of an immediate threat to the lives of our citizens than foreign terrorists.
Stasi’s hysterical opposition to the Second Amendment will come as no surprise to those familiar with her previous work, including a column she wrote after four Marine recruiters were murdered by an Islamic terrorist in Chatanooga, TN. In that piece, Stasi argued that “While arming recruiters might seem correct, it’s just not the American way.”
In justification for this oddly-worded critique, Stasi references the Posse Comitatus Act, which was signed into law in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes to “limit the powers of the federal government in using its military personnel to act as domestic law enforcement personnel.” Stasi explains, “in other words, to prevent a militarized police state.”
It’s a strange world that Stasi is living in, where allowing members of the military to carry arms for their own defense constitutes the establishment of a “police state,” but protecting the Constitutional right of ordinary citizens to possess firearms—as the NRA does—merits designation as a “terrorist group.”