Missouri School of Journalism professor emeritus George Kennedy suggests the National Rifle Association (NRA) is more dangerous than Islamic State.
Writing in the Missourian, Kennedy observed:
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a terrorist organization founded in 1999, headquartered in Syria and feared around the world. The NRA was founded in 1891, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and is feared by politicians across America.
To be fair, the NRA was actually founded in 1871, but Kennedy continued:
What makes the Islamic State so feared it 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.
Notice how Kennedy went from incorrect information–the wrong founding date for the NRA–to unsubstantiated claims that the NRA wants to allow “possession and use of firearms just about anywhere by just about anyone.” In reality, the NRA fights for the enforcement of the law and the prosecution of firearm-wielding criminals with a fervor equaled only by its defense of law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. Kennedy’s language muddies the water and misses the point.
Kennedy then claims the number of Americans killed by ISIS jihadists since 9/11 is nine. That is not a typo, he actually links to a Euronews source and claims only nine Americans have been killed by ISIS jihadists since the terror attacks on NYC in 2001.
Where were Kennedy and the Euronews when an attacker claiming allegiance to ISIS attacked Orlando Pulse and killed 49 people on June 12, 2016? That gunman literally used a 911 call to announce his allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And the Orlando Pulse attack is not the only one that could be mentioned to disprove Kennedy and his Euronews source.
Kennedy’s purpose is claiming “only nine” Americans killed by terrorists was really to set up his second point, that “11,737 Americans” are murdered each year with guns. This figure is actually close to the truth. The average number of firearm-related homicides hovers around 10,500 to 11,500 annually. Many of these homicides occur in gang-riddled cities like Chicago and Baltimore. For example, there were nearly 800 homicides in Chicago in 2016 and over 300 in Baltimore. So a tenth of our nation’s homicides occurred in two Democrat-controlled cities, both of which look to gun control as the solution for the failure of gun control.
The NRA supports harsh penalties for the use of guns in crime in these cities, but individuals like U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon–former head prosecutor of those committing federal gun crimes in Chicago–did not make the prosecution of gun crimes a priority, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In fact, the prosecution of gun crimes in Chicago became so lax that Chicago Police Board chairwoman Lori Lightfoot addressed efforts to rein in the city’s relentless violence by saying:
We need to have more federal gun prosecutions in Chicago. Our federal partners from the U.S. attorney’s office, the ATF, the FBI need to be much more invested in this overall strategy. Chicago Police Department cannot tackle this issue by itself.
The point is simply that there is reality–which shows the NRA defending natural rights while simultaneously supporting harsh penalties for gun crime–and there is make believe–which pretends the NRA wants to allow “anyone” and everyone to own a gun. At the same time, there is ISIS, a group hellbent on killing Western infidels wherever they can. It is harder for ISIS to fulfill their goals if their would-be victims are armed.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.