San Francisco names NRA as terrorist group

Category:  Opinions
Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 11:30 AM

On Sept. 4, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to declare the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a domestic terrorist organization. National Public Radio (NPR) reported that San Francisco lawmakers stated “all countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence.”

The board has proposed blacklisting NRA members, as well. Blacklisting the NRA would keep NRA members from receiving government contracts, and they are encouraging private companies to do the same.
Catherine Stefani, a member of the board, stated, “The NRA exists to spread pro-gun propaganda and put weapons in the hands of those who would harm and terrorize us.”

She continued, “Nobody has done more to fan the flames of gun violence than the NRA.”
As citizens, we must look to how our federal government classifies domestic terrorism in order to decide if we are to allow San Francisco to do this or not.

The U.S. Criminal Code has the definition of domestic terrorism as an organization or person that participates in “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State.”

The NRA petitions, lobbies and campaigns for the preservation of the second amendment. None of these activities are illegal, and San Francisco is going out on a limb by making false claims. Not only does the NRA legally go about the preservation of the second amendment, but no member of the NRA has committed a mass shooting or kidnapped someone and demanded political reform. There is no evidence that they have ever assassinated a political figure who opposed them.

If it is clear that the NRA is a legal and well-organized group, why give them a bad label?

The answer is quite clear. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is attempting to use their power to make a clear enemy. Gun control and gun violence are very nuanced and confusing issues with no clear answer. There is no cut and dry remedy like banning all firearms or letting everyone have any gun they please. It’s more complicated than that, but people want simplicity.

Stefani and her fellow supervisors are trying to give people a simple enemy. People want a bad guy, but with these awful mass shootings, there isn’t a clear bad guy. Is mental health the issue? Do people in general just value human life less? Is it the way kids are being raised?

Shifting the focus and blame onto the NRA is a hugely beneficial move for The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, even if it isn’t true that the NRA is a domestic terrorist group. It gives people a boogeyman to direct their hate at rather than the public officials that failed to keep them safe.

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