Adam Gadahn is a 34-year-old American Islamic jihadist who advises al-Qaida on media and cultural issues. He is seen in a recently posted YouTube video encouraging Muslims in America to buy guns and kill “Zionists” and “crusaders.”
“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,” Gadahn explains. “You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”
Could there be a clearer warning? Here’s a professional terrorist telling wannabe terrorists the best way to kill Americans is to buy a weapon privately because no questions will be asked.
Terrorists and criminals know America is awash with easily obtainable firearms because Republicans and some Democrats are terrified of the National Rifle Association. To the NRA and its lickspittles in Congress, anyone should have access to as many guns as they want, regardless of who or what they are.
But shortly after the Columbine High School massacre, the NRA itself called for expanded background checks.
“We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere, for anyone,” the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre told Congress in 1999.
After the slaughters at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown, with public opinion against it, the NRA reversed itself. “I just don’t think that law-abiding people want every gun sale in the country to be under the thumb of the federal government,” LaPierre told the Senate Judiciary Committee last January.
Wrong. Law-abiding people do want expanded federal background checks. Some 90 percent of Americans think they’re reasonable. So do three-quarters of the NRA’s own members.
That’s because background checks work. Nearly 2 million felons and mentally ill persons have been prevented from buying guns because of background checks. How many lives were saved as a result? How many mass shootings were avoided?
It’s not just the vast majority of Americans who want expanded background checks. So do the most all law enforcement authorities, who see them as a critical tool in protecting the public and police officers.
The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, a group of nine major professional police organizations, wants Congress to pass expanded background checks along with upgrading the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
“Congress must act now to curb rising gun violence by passing legislation requiring background checks on all firearms sales…,” said Baltimore Police Chief Jim Johnson, chairman of the group.
So why did 46 mostly Republican senators ignore this overwhelming public and police opinion when they blocked expanded background checks on Wednesday?
The answer is simple. The NRA is the lobbyist for gun manufacturers and, like most all other commercial trade organizations, the NRA’s only concern is protecting the profits of gun makers.
To that end, the NRA pumps millions into the re-election campaigns of its toadies on Capitol Hill and threatens the re-election of uncooperative lawmakers, while pumping out misinformation and lies to confuse and frighten gun owners. For example, LaPierre claims expanded background checks will lead to a “national registry” of gun owners. In fact, the defeated legislation specifically bans any such lists.
What about the 8,000 people killed by guns every year? They’re just a cost of doing business. Profits always trump public safety at the NRA, which explains why congressional conservatives are so soft on terror and crime.
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.