A Missouri journalist wants to know which organization is more dangerous to Americans: the Islamic State terrorist group or the National Rifle Association.
George Kennedy, former managing editor at the Columbia Missourian newspaper and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, posed the question in a column published Thursday by the Missourian.
The piece was a response to two recent news stories: The first was about the man who walked into a San Bernardino, California, school last week, where he killed one teacher — his estranged wife — and an 8-year-old student. The gunman then took his own life. The second was about a proposed Missouri House of Representatives bill that would allow guns to be carried into child care centers, public universities and churches.
The legislation drew criticism from Democrats, including state Rep. Jon Carpenter, who asked during a Missouri House General Laws committee hearing, “Is this for show or is this for real?”
Republican state Rep. Jered Taylor, who sponsored the bill, replied, “I want individuals to be able to choose whether or not they carry a gun to protect themselves and others if the need were to arise,” according to the Missourian.
In light of those two recent stories, Kennedy wrote in his opinion editorial, “My follow-up question then, is this: Which organization is more dangerous to Americans — ISIS or the NRA?” He continued:
What makes ISIS so feared is its willingness to kill in pursuit of its goal of creating a fundamentalist caliphate. What makes the NRA so feared is its willingness to spend heavily and campaign aggressively in pursuit of its goal of removing all restrictions on the possession and use of firearms just about anywhere by just about anyone. In our country, the NRA is a lot closer to meeting its goal.
Kennedy cited the anti-Second Amendment website gunviolencearchive.org, which documents instances of gun-related deaths and injuries across the country. The website recorded more than 15,000 gun-related deaths in 2016. Kennedy contrasted the number of Americans killed annually with the number of Americans killed each year since 9/11 by American born and non-American born jihadi terrorists.
According to the liberal publication Euronews, Kennedy noted, an average of nine Americans have died each year since 9/11 as the result of terrorist acts.
While acknowledging that the NRA is not to blame for every gun-related death, Kennedy still declared that the organization is a “danger” to all Americans:
Now, you might object that it isn’t fair to hold the NRA responsible for every misuse of a firearm. You might argue that the pro-gun passion of our politicians, especially but not only the Republicans, can’t be attributed altogether to the clout of the NRA.
You would be correct. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
However, there is no denying that the NRA is Missouri’s and the nation’s most vociferous, most generous to its friends and most vindictive to its enemies advocate of a free-fire zone for guns of all types in all places.
And that’s a danger to us all.
(H/T: Bearing Arms)