Isn’t It All Really Terrorism? Dan Gross asks in a huffingtonpost.com editorial. That, my friends, is what I call a conversation stopper. If the American public accepts the Brady Campaign President‘s idea that all firearms-related injury and death is a form of terrorism then it’s chocks away on a police state. Dissent disappears and liberty takes a dirt nap. After all, what rights won’t the American people surrender to stop terrorism? I mean, other than the ones we’ve already surrendered during the War on Drugs and the Global War on Terror? Gross’ editorial is a serious—and seriously disturbing—look behind the curtain of the gun control mindset. Check this out . . .
I appreciate the literal difference [between terrorism and gun violence]. Terrorism is politically motivated, and most gun violence in our nation is not. But when it comes to the impact of the easy availability of guns, it is hard to argue against the premise that we are being terrorized.
It’s great to see a gun control advocate acknowledging the Fort Hood shooting—something the President of the United States studiously avoided in his post-Newtownian rush to civilian disarmament—even if Gross mentions the attack obliquely and completely out of context.
Which is par for the course for the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and his ilk; anti-gun agitators whose shameless language manipulation in pursuit of slippery slope gun control gives no meaning to the word “Orwellian.” For example, “common sense gun control,” “gun safety” and “gun reform.” And Gross’ conflation of the words “terrorized” and “terrified.”
Just to be clear, terrorists terrify us, but not everyone who terrifies us is a terrorist. I am terrified at the idea of a car accident taking the life of a loved one. But drunk drivers and other automotive killers are not terrorists. By the same token, children in high crime areas may be terrified by gang bangers but gang bangers aren’t terrorists. As Gross points out—and then completely ignores—there is no political component to these acts.
I am a New Yorker. I knew people who were lost on 9/11. I remember what it was like to walk around our great city in the weeks, months, even years after that attack. Our sense of security was lost. Every time we entered a subway or followed a rental truck into the Lincoln Tunnel we thought about it. Fear became interwoven with the fabric of our daily lives. We were truly terrorized. Sometimes it felt like our entire city was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
But the terror that we felt after 9/11 is no different than what people in many parts of our nation feel every day. Children in some neighborhoods do not feel safe walking to school in the morning, and hear gunshots outside their windows at night. The only difference between the terror they feel and what we felt after 9/11 is that, in terms of an actual threat, their fear is far more justified. In fact, researchers have concluded that young people in many of these communities show clear symptoms of real post-traumatic stress disorder, only there is nothing “post” about it. They continue to live with the threat of violence every single day.
This is disgusting. Comparing the death of 2,979 innocent people in a single instance of politically motivated mass murder with the firearms-related violence in [unnamed] high crime neighborhoods is a slur against the memory of the people who died on 9/11, including dozens of office workers forced to jump to their own deaths. And yet Gross goes there, and invites his affluent white suburban admirers to go there with him.
Then there are those fortunate enough not to live in the cities and neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence — those of us who are robbed of a little more of our innocence with every new shooting at a school or movie theater or workplace. Parents who never used to think twice about the safety of their children when they send them to school but now do. That is what terrorism does – it eats away at our peace of mind. Even if these acts of gun violence are not literal terrorism, the impact on our society is one and the same.
Other than the fact that people in terrorist attacks and firearms-related homicide (and suicide) die (as they do in many other ways), 9/11 and “gun violence” are not even remotely similar. Not in terms of cause or effect. Connecting dots serves Gross’ purpose though: to set the stage for a tyrannical government to unleash their enormous anti-terrorist apparatus on “gun crime.” More specifically, gun owners.
In a nation that has devoted such significant resources to fighting terror, we should pay at least as much attention to addressing the every day terror created through gun violence. There is a far greater chance of any of us being killed by a bullet in our home or neighborhood than there is being killed in a terrorist attack. Should we not be every bit as committed — in the name of patriotism — to preventing that?
That’s the scariest paragraph on gun control I’ve ever read. I think it’s the calm tone. I can easily imagine these words coming out of President Obama’s mouth after an NRA member goes postal. And/or a New York gun owner shoots and kills a SWAT team member trying to confiscate his unregistered gun. After his family is slain. Like that.
Make no mistake: Gross has crossed the line. These are not the words of a man who has the slightest respect for the Second Amendment. He sees firearms-related crime as terrorism—which justifies the obliteration of our Constitutional protections. Here it is again:
Especially in light of the horrific attack in Nairobi, Congress should consider our lack of background checks for gun purchases a huge red flag. We saw at Fort Hood and, on a smaller scale, my family’s tragedy, the kind of damage that can be done by someone with a gun and the intent to commit terrorism. By refusing to address background checks, Congress is making us far more susceptible to that kind of attack. In fact, an al-Qaeda manual entitled “How Can I Train Myself for Jihad” recovered in Kabul advises would be terrorists in the U.S. to “obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably AK-47 or variations.”
Gross’ brother was shot by an apolitical pyscho. At the risk of seeming insensitive, the Brady President’s shown that he’s ready, willing and able to desecrate his brother’s memory by using it to further his political agenda.
Of the 46 senators who voted against expanding Brady Background Checks in April, it’s a safe bet that they would all list homeland security as an important priority. Their reason would probably be about their duty to protect the safety of the American people. Yet, these same members of Congress repeatedly shirk that responsibility on an issue that claims more lives in a few months than all of the acts of terrorism in the history of this nation combined.
Clearly this hypocrisy alone, even magnified by horrific mass shootings, is not enough to get Congress to act; and we cannot expect anything to change until we, the American people are willing to stand up and hold our elected leaders accountable to represent our well-being ahead of the corporate gun lobby’s — and to act in the true interest of our homeland security.
Ironic eh? The Brady Campaign manager is using patriotism to motivate Americans to undermine the values enshrined in our Constitution. It’s nothing new, but this idea must be resisted at all costs, lest we lose what liberty we have left.