Labeling NRA Members 'Terrorists' Has Unintended Consequences

The tragic shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds was followed by the usual finger-pointing in Washington. Politicians huddle in their respective corners, as Democrats demand action on gun control and Republicans point to the Second Amendment. Both sides accuse the other of politicizing a tragedy, of dishonoring the victims and of failing to keep Americans safe.

While the routine remains the same, folks on the left have increasingly pushed to call tragedies such as Dylan Roof’s shooting and abortion clinic shootings “terrorism,” even while the suspects are not affiliated with a terrorist group such as the Islamic State. This irony is not lost on those on the right, who berated President Obama for saying that ISIS represented “violent extremism” instead of the right’s preferred terminology “radical Islamic terrorism.” It almost seems humorous that, for years, ISIS was considered a mere “extremist group” by people on the same side of the political aisle as those now referring to the National Rifle Association as a terrorist organization.

Gun control advocates have attacked the entity that they believe has prevented stricter gun laws.

Rather than only recycling the regular talking points following a shooting---that is, demanding more gun control immediately---gun control advocates have attacked the entity that they believe has prevented stricter gun laws: the National Rifle Association. Labeling the NRA as a terrorist group and implying that its supporters are somehow terrorists would be laughable if its implications weren’t so immense.

As Rep. Jim Himes, a Democrat representing Connecticut’s Fourth district, noted on Twitter, “Now we're obsessing over whether the NV carnage was "terrorism". If we decide it is, we'll mobilize untold resources. If not, nothing.”

Himes, whose district contains Sandy Hook Elementary School, is correct. Labeling an act, a group, or an individual with the label “terrorism” triggers more government action, surveillance and suppression.

Though it’s unlikely that the NRA and its members will ever be formally labeled as a terrorist group, labeling every mass shooter as a “domestic terrorist” will give government agencies more power to put more people under surveillance. The media has honed in on the fact that the Las Vegas shooter had 23 guns in his hotel room. People are asking themselves, why would a normal person need so many guns? Why shouldn’t the government investigate people who own a lot of guns, or make large firearm purchases?

Calling every domestic shooter a terrorist will not prevent mass shootings.

The simple answer is that government agencies will end up monitoring many innocent people without preventing any tragedies. Recreational hunters and gun aficionados are not terrorists. The desire to buy and own guns does not make a person a psychopath or a murderer. The desire to use weapons to harm and kill other people makes a person a murderer or a psychopath. Labeling the Las Vegas shooter as a terrorist when the only thing that we know for sure about him was that he owned a lot of guns does not make sense. As far as we know, he hadn’t pledged his support to a recognized terrorist group like ISIS or even any domestic white supremacist group. He doesn’t appear to have been a religious man or an ideological one. Authorities are still searching for his motive.

Calling every domestic shooter a terrorist will not prevent mass shootings. It will only give government agencies more latitude to monitor non-violent individuals and political groups. If the Las Vegas shooting was classified as “terrorism,” the Justice Department would have broad authority to investigate any people or groups associated with the suspect.

Given that the PATRIOT Act allows the FBI to obtain phone records, bank records, and computer records without a judge’s approval, the feds could legally monitor people without a criminal record simply because they live an odd lifestyle or own loads of hunting rifles. Or the government could begin to watch high-stakes gamblers more closely, simply because the Las Vegas shooter was a gambler. Surveillance of these groups could extend to any controversial political group, such as Black Lives Matter, which critics claim fomented the killing of five Dallas police officers last year. The government could monitor pro-life groups or Christian groups on the basis of abortion clinic shootings.

Expanding the definition of terrorism will only impede on the civil liberties of ordinary people.

The FBI already has abused the surveillance powers it has to monitor domestic groups, demonstrating that it does not have the self-restraint to only investigate violent activities. The FBI monitored Martin Luther King Jr., an avowed pacifist during the Civil Rights movement. More recently, the FBI has investigated anti-war activists and environmental groups such as Greenpeace. The FBI will take a mile when given a mere inch to investigate any group even remotely linked to violence in the United States.

Expanding the definition of terrorism will only impede on the civil liberties of ordinary people trying to live their lives. Using “terrorism” as a fast-and-loose term for any form of violence not only blurs the distinction between domestic ideologues and foreign terrorist groups, but also grants government bureaucrats increased latitude to negatively impact the lives of law-abiding citizens.

Amelia Irvine is a Young Voices Advocate studying government and economics at Georgetown University. You can follow her on Twitter at @ameliairvine3.


POLL: Should Universities allow pro-Hamas protests?

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Just one day after Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel, which left over 1,400 people Israelis dead, 34 different student groups from Harvard University wrote a joint statement pinning the blame of Hamas' terrorist attack on Israel. In the following days after publishing this callous statement, these students staged a walkout and rallied in support of the Palestinians. As Glenn has discussed, this is not an isolated event, and campuses across the country have hosted similar rallies where antisemitic jargon like "we don't want no Jew state" and "globalize the intifada" is freely spewed.

Should Universities allow pro-Hamas protests?

While the Universities have not officially backed any of these rallies or student groups that organized them, they haven't stopped them either, which raises the question: should they? On one hand, these are American students in American Universities, who are protected by the First Amendment. On the other hand, history tells us how dangerous antisemitism is if left unchecked; and what of the rights of Jewish students to be safe on the campuses they pay to attend? Let us know what you think in the poll below:

Should Universities allow pro-Hamas protests? 

Would you feel safe if your child attended a University that allowed pro-Hamas protests?

 Should Universities allow pro-Israel protests?

Is pro-Hamas rhetoric protected by the First Amendment?

POLL: What do YOU think Israel should do about Gaza?

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Should Israel take over Gaza after defeating Hamas? This contentious historical question has resurfaced amid Israel's retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza following Hamas' terror attacks, which resulted in the greatest death of Jews since the Holocaust. Biden and the global elites have warned Israel against occupation of the Palestinian territory. When asked on 60 Minutes if he would support the Israeli occupation of Gaza, Biden said, “I think it would be a big mistake.” Today Glenn responded to Biden’s answer: “I don't think it's a mistake to occupy."

This has been a long-standing, polarizing issue that is now more relevant than ever, and we want to hear YOUR thoughts. Let us know in the poll below:

Would you support an Israeli occupation of Gaza?

Do you think the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza are justified?

Do you think a two-state solution is still possible?

Funding IRAN?! Here are the TOP 5 reasons Joe Biden should be IMPEACHED

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On September 12th, the House announced an official impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden with allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption. Naturally, the media quickly jumped to the President’s aid claiming that “there is no evidence to support these claims” and that the whole affair is a witch hunt.

If you’ve been listening to Glenn, you know that this is simply not the case. Biden has been committing impeachment-worthy deeds before he even stepped foot into the Oval Office—there’s no shortage of evidence to justify this inquiry. Here are 5 scathing reasons why Biden should be impeached:

He was responsible for the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster.

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The Biden administration began with the US's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Under his watch, Biden left thousands of US citizens and allies stranded in the Taliban's hostile regime. Countless Afghan allies have been murdered by the Taliban due to the Biden administration's negligence.

He was involved with Hunter Biden's illicit foreign business dealings.

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There is clear evidence that Joe Biden was more than aware of his son Hunter's foreign business dealings. From suspicious money laundering through the Biden family's accounts to Joe's involvement with important business meetings within Hunter's company, there is mounting evidence to warrant an impeachment inquiry.

He lied about his involvement with Hunter's business dealings.

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Not only did Biden involve himself with his son's less-than-legal foreign business ventures, but he lied to the American people about it too, claiming he had NO KNOWLEDGE of what was going on.

He failed to protect the Southern border, and actively made it worse.

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Biden singlehandedly turned the Southern border into the worst illegal immigration crisis in US history. He reversed many policies set in place by the Trump administration, resulting in 2.3 million illegal immigrants flooding into the US under his watch, a historic high.


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Biden reversed the Trump-era policy that halted all funds going into Iran. The Wall Street Journal revealed the smoking-gun evidence proving that Iran trained AND funded Hamas before its gruesome terror attacks against Israel. Moreover, shortly before the attacks, the Biden administration unfroze $6 BILLION dollars of Iran's assets as a part of a prisoner swap. On top of this, Biden resumed $200 million worth of "humanitarian aid" to Gaza that Trump had ended—because the money was being used to buy weapons for Hamas.

Top 5 economic milestones that show HOW BAD Bidenomics has made the economy

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From groceries to house prices, everything seems to get more expensive, and you can thank Biden for that. Glenn recently exposed the truth about 'Bidenomics' and the havoc it has wrought on the American economy. Here are five economic milestones during the Biden administration that expose the glaring track record of "Bidenomics:"

In July 2022, the inflation rate hit 9.1 percent, a 40-year record high.

In June 2022, gas hit an all time record high of $5 a gallon for the national average.

61 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck as of this September.

Interest rates reached a 15-year high at 5.25 percent and are still increasing.

Americans have $1 trillion in collective credit card debt, in part due to food/staple pieces being very high.