Everybody already knows that Keith Olbermann is no friend to the right. Following the Las Vegas massacre, he posted a new edition of “The Resistance,” in which he put the NRA on blast for what they’ve done. The NRA has the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands, and it’s time to call them what they are: A terrorist organization. Olbermann says:
We have the Second Amendment, which was designed to keep the federal government from taking away the right of each state to maintain its own militia, but which has now been transformed into an excuse for why madmen of whatever heritage or political purpose cannot be stopped from carrying at least ten long rifles into a hotel room in Las Vegas and setting up a sniper’s nest, and killing people, and why a group that enables such massacres, the National Rifle Association, is not branded for what it is: A terrorist organization.”
Right now, “terrorism” is defined as “unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” The NRA isn’t doing anything illegal, but they certainly allow, enable, and to a degree, encourage violence and intimidation to further their political aims – more guns for everyone. Gun sales in this country are driven heavily by fear and the NRA capitalizes on that fear.
(Let’s also keep in mind that just because something is legal, that doesn’t mean it’s okay.)
Olbermann went on to quote Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger (who wasn’t exactly liberal) on the matter, who said:
The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires. The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to have firearms at all.”
So things change, and NRA-loving conservatives would no doubt respond to that this way. Burger served during Nixon’s administration nearly 50 years ago. What about modern times? Well, Justice Antonin Scalia, quite possibly one of the most conservative people to serve on the Supreme Court in modern history, likewise said that the Second Amendment isn’t unlimited. Writing the majority opinion in the 2008 Heller case, which struck down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban, he said:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. [It is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
And he said this gem, too:
Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
None of that is politically convenient for the NRA. Only the continued loosening of gun laws, so money keeps flowing to the gun manufacturers and then to them, is politically convenient. Let’s not forget that the NRA’s solution to Sandy Hook was to put armed guards in schools. The fear of more school shootings also set off a flurry of manufacturing bullet-resistant and defensive apparel…for children. Let’s also keep in mind that the primary message from the NRA is, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” and let’s remember that conservative lawmakers have made a point to emphasize that.
And let’s absolutely not forget that the Las Vegas massacre blew every single talking point the NRA and its supporting conservatives have to smithereens. No good guys with guns could have stopped that. In fact, “good guys with guns” trying to fire back probably would have cost even more lives.
Does the NRA commit literal terrorism itself? No. But it damn well enables and encourages violence to serve its political ends. We don’t believe it’s too much of a stretch to label them a terrorist organization. Their messaging encourages bloodshed, and that bloodshed furthers their political agenda and puts dollars into their pockets. Olbermann flatly names what’s needed to be done ever since the NRA went off its rails over 35 years ago, and they’ll hate it. Watch his whole video below: