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.

MORE FROM YOUNG VOICES

Blaze TV hosts Glenn Beck , Chad Prather, and Steven Crowder weighed-in with similar but different thoughts on the fascism associated with canceling Dr. Seuss.

Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Dr. Seuss books that have been cancelled due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity.

Chad Prather approached the issue from a comedic perspective, stating that "Dr. Seuss is dead and could not be reached for comment."

Steven Crowder explained that Dr. Seuss books were banned for being offensive and insensitive to some. So Steven decided to parody the six banned children's books with progressively titled and hilariously inappropriate versions.

Read the full story from TheBlaze News here.

'We DON'T destroy books'

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?" - Glenn Beck. Download the podcast here.

Chad Prather's comedic take on why Dr. Seuss got canceled

"Dr. Seuss is dead and could not be reached for comment'"- Chad Prather. Download the podcast here.

Dr. Seuss BANNING Bonanza! New Progressive Book Titles Revealed! 

In this 7+1 segment-- Crowder uncovers, new, unreleased Dr. Seuss titles that will be released in the near future (parody). Download the podcast here.

Use promo code BLAZE to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from BlazeTV?

To enjoy more Glenn, Chad, and Steven subscribe to BlazeTV - News & entertainment for people who love America.

"What's your climate credit score?" That's a question Americans may have to answer if the green global elites get their way.

While the media has distracted us with Orange Man Bad! and Russia, Russia, Russia!, the Left has been busy working on the fundamental transformation of America with a primary pressure point — YOUR money through YOUR bank. Democrats, forgetting the words of MLK, like to group people into categories. They judge you based on what skin color you have, your religion, occupation, your ideology, and now … your carbon footprint.

On his Wednesday night TV special this week, Glenn Beck exposes how they're now planning, not only to categorize you, but to give you a score. It'll determine everything for you: whether you can buy a home, get a new car, open a business … EVERYTHING. And if you don't bend the knee? You'll be blacklisted. But this isn't some far-off conspiracy theory. Multiple big U.S. banks are part of a private U.S. financial group enacting these policies now. It's here, and we're ALL at risk.

Watch the full episode below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Unlike the mainstream media, we at the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" decided to actually do the research and get to the bottom of CPAC's controversial stage design, which many on the Left have suggested was purposefully shaped like an obscure Nazi symbol. We got our answers straight from the source — and it's not what the media is suggesting.

American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp joined Glenn on Wednesday to share the real story of the stage design, who designed it, and why he's taking legal options against those smearing the Conservative Political Action Conference's name seriously.

Matt told Glenn he'd never heard of the alleged Nazi insignia, noting that even a staff member who "studied anti-Semitism in college" did not recognize the obscure symbol. He went on to explain how the stage designing firm, Design Foundry, and Hyatt Hotels worked collaboratively with CPAC event organizers for months throughout the designing and construction of the stage. However, when pressured by the cancel culture mob on social media, both companies "ran for the tall grass."

"Both the Hyatt and [Design Foundry] looked to CPAC and said [they] had nothing to do with this stage. That's outrageous," Matt stated. "This whole process takes months ... everybody saw this. Everybody had to figure out how to construct this. Everybody had eyes on it from every angle. And nobody in that process ever raised their hand and said, 'Oh, you know, I took a European history class, and I noticed [that the stage design looked like a Nazi symbol.] Nobody."

Matt went on to add that, while CPAC expects attacks from the Left, they also have every intention of standing up for themselves, the conservative community, the Jewish community, and all the people who love America.

"We're fine with taking the hits. We always take the hits, it's part of being a prominent conservative group. We'll take the hits, but we won't let people lie," Matt said.

"I can't tell you how many people have called me during the course of this most tumultuous of years and said, at what point does the conservative community, do the 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, do the people who love America, and think it's okay to read Dr. Seuss, and love Thomas Jefferson and Mount Rushmore, at what point do they start pushing back on the cancel culture? At what point do they say, this is a line you can't cross? I think we're at that line," he added.

"We called our conference, 'America Uncanceled.' The whole thing became about them canceling us. At what point do we not have the right to say,' you can't treat us this way'? You're disparaging us. You're destroying our reputation. You're destroying our ability to be respected members of our community. So, I'm taking your challenge of pursuing our legal options very seriously. And I think we have to go broader. We can't let these companies just follow the woke mob. We can't do it."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta was confronted at CPAC by The Federalist reporter David Marcus with a valid question: "When are you guys going to start covering Cuomo?" His answer — or, really, lack of an answer — perfectly demonstrates why he was earlier surrounded by CPAC attendees chanting, "CNN sucks!"

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere react to a video clip of the exchange with Acosta, as well as the mainstream media's double standards when it comes to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.