- Date published:
9:13 am, September 6th, 2019 - 22 comments
Categories: australian politics, blogs, Dirty Politics, International, Politics, Simon Bridges, us politics - Tags: cameron slater, gun control, massacre, nra, san francisco
I was joyful to see that the San Francisco board of supervisors has declared what I have long thought; that the National Rifle Association in America has for many years been acting as a terrorist organisation.
It follows a shooting attack against the Gilroy Garlic Festival, south of the city, which killed three in July.
The resolution says the US is “plagued by an epidemic of gun violence” and accuses the NRA of using “its considerable wealth and organisation strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence”.
“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 resolution says.
In my opinion, that is a very accurate portrayal of the activities of the NRA. In the case of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, the mass murderer was a 19 year old male who appears to have been sucking up on pseudo-nazi skinhead ideology.
The gunman opened fire with a WASR-10 semi-automatic rifle, shooting 39 rounds. He had a 75-round drum magazine and five 40-round magazines. The gunman bought the gun in Fallon, Nevada, on July 9, three weeks before the festival. The possession and sale of the weapon are banned in California, but legal in Nevada.
That was a serious level of firepower. Fortunately this shooter was ill-disciplined sprayer of rounds and, unlike our own coward shooter in Christchurch, this younger idiot chose a harder target than people praying in a mosque. Three armed police officers responded with pistols severely wounding him.
However the proximate cause of this largely thwarted disaster was a direct consequence of the decades of hard work by the NRA in a well funded and concerted effort by their activist executive and their gun-making firm funders to try to reduce controls on assault weapons – state by state. The idea of selling a young idiot an expensive semiautomatic weapon with high capacity magazines with no other reasonable purpose other than killing large numbers of people is exactly what they are promoting.
This is not only in the US. In Australia, far right politicians and the NRAA and other gun idolaters have been wooing the NRA for funding and expertise in how to perpetuate similar legal atrocities across the Tasman. Which probably partly explains the creepy unwinding of the controlling gun laws in Australia by political targeting of states in the decades since the Port Arthur massacre.
Similar activities haven’t been as directly observed here. Mostly it appears that the beleaguered NRA has been using our own efforts to clean up gun control largely as a fund raising exercise. However the way that some of the stranger parts of the local gun lobby like COLFO (Council of Licensed Firearm Owners) has been framing their language and targeting their political lobbying is highly reminiscent of the NRA. As the Gun Control NZ pointed out in a press release last month after National party leader Simon Bridges appeared to swallow COLFO assertions wholesale about the costs of a gun registration system.
“COLFO appear willing to say almost anything to get attention. They have been exaggerating their membership numbers for years and have failed to provide any evidence as to how they obtain knowledge of the majority of their members’ views. The evidence from Police and media suggests that participating gun owners are happy with the buyback.” says Hera Cook.
I’d add that COLFO appear to be out of tune with actual licensed firearm owners. A recent survey showed little support for their position. While it showed considerable agreement between gun-owners and non-gun-owners in what the government has been doing with gun control. Gun trusted
In addition to asking about trust in groups such as police, medical practitioners and corporations, we asked people how much trust they had in gun owners and the pro-gun lobby to do the right thing. This scale ranged from 1 (no trust at all) to 5 (complete trust). Unsurprisingly, gun owners reported a higher average trust level in other gun owners: 3.4 compared with 2.7 among those who did not guns – a moderate to large effect size.
When looking at trust in the pro-gun lobby, gun owners still reported higher levels of trust than non-gun owners – 2.7 vs 2.2. But the overall levels of trust were much lower than in gun owners generally. Gun owners tended to rate the gun lobby similar in trust as corporations and politicians. Those who don’t own guns rated the gun lobby as only more trustworthy than bloggers or online commentators.
Ouch, I can understand that last sentence after having dealt with it for a while. The loudest voices in NZ online communities for the last decade has been the sleazy criminal behaviour that proponents like Cameron Slater exhibited. After listening to that putrid and unlawful bile, the rest of the online community gets tarred with the disgusting ichor that overflows from the Whaleoil garbage and its many imitators. That we have been legally dealing with the blight on our communities has been less obvious.
Perhaps licensed gun-owners should start to deal with the blight of such unrepresentative mouthpieces trying to claim their name in a similar way.
But for the rest of us, I’d suggest what we should push for is to treat the NRA as just being another terrorist organisation. We have the appropriate legislation for this
The designation of terrorist entities is one measure New Zealand takes to contribute to the international campaign against terrorism. The Terrorism Suppression Act 2002(link is external) (TSA) provides for a list of terrorist entities to be established and maintained in New Zealand. Police are responsible for coordinating requests to the Prime Minister for designation as a terrorist entity.
A designation under New Zealand legislation freezes the assets of terrorist entities and makes it a criminal offence to participate in or support the activities of the designated terrorist entity. This includes in particular dealing with the property of the designated terrorist entity or making property or financial services available to the entity. Other support for terrorist activities such as fundraising and recruiting or harbouring terrorists is a criminal offence whether a group is designated or not
The current lists include many organisations who promulgate and support violence worldwide. I think that the NZ government should support the San Francisco initiative and be pressed to add the National Rifle Association of America to the same list. This will ensure that if they start to interfere in our internal politics in the manner that they have been doing in sates of the USA and Australia, that they can be monitored and controlled.