The NRA & ISIS: A Shared Strategy?
For years, policymakers have known that the NRA’s “guns everywhere — background checks nowhere” policy means more dead Americans and a country that’s less safe.
Yet, instead of using common sense, we stand by and allow 30,000 Americans to die every year.
Tragically, the NRA’s dangerous policies have found a new supporter: ISIS.
The most recent edition of Rumiyah, ISIS’s glossy multilingual “magazine,” encourages US-based recruits to take advantage of our nation’s tragically-lax gun laws to kill Americans. In fact, they call the entire process “very simple” and note that neither IDs nor background checks are required.
In fact, ISIS is very specific in its support of key NRA priorities: no background checks for gun show sales, no background check for online gun sales and military-grade weapons for all.
Are we going to continue ignoring these bad policies that ISIS is exploiting to target Americans?
Are we going bypass common sense and ignore vulnerabilities that allow ISIS to arm up?
Are we just going to ignore a real threat from ISIS because taking action would hurt the NRA’s bottom line?
I’ve heard a lot of tough talk on ISIS. This is a telegraphed punch we can dodge — why are we doing nothing?
ISIS didn’t mince words: “The acquisition of firearms can be very simple depending on one’s geographical location,” the piece read. “In most U.S. states, anything from a single-shot shotgun all the way up to a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle can be purchased at showrooms or through online sales — by way of private dealers — with no background checks, and without requiring either an ID or a gun license.”
ISIS specifically calls out the AR-15, a military weapon capable of firing up to 180 rounds per minute. Should it really be that easy for a terrorist to get a military-style assault weapons? Seems the NRA has no problem with that.
Instead of working with policymakers to prevent terrorists from buying guns, the gun lobby wants to make it easier for ISIS.
Right now, they are working overtime to legalize silencers. Do we really want gun shots — potentially from another domestic terrorist — to be silenced from police officers and victims?
Are we — the American people and Congress — going to stand by and let the NRA do ISIS’s dirty work?
Congresswoman Kelly serves on the Emerging Threats subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee and is the Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.