Journalism professor: NRA more dangerous than ISIS

Journalism professor: NRA more dangerous than ISIS

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NRA ISIS professor
Kennedy
NRA ISIS professor
Kennedy

What is it with “professors” these days?  In an unhinged rant published at the Missourian on Thursday, George Kennedy, a former managing editor at the Missourian and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, argued that the NRA is more dangerous than ISIS, the radical terror group known for beheading everybody in its path.

After asking, “Which organization is more dangerous to Americans — ISIS or the NRA?” Kennedy wrote:

As you know, ISIS is the acronym for The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is a terrorist organization founded in 1999, headquartered in Syria and feared around the world.

The NRA is the acronym for the National Rifle Association, founded in 1871*, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and feared by politicians across America.

What makes ISIS so feared is its willingness to kill in pursuit of its goal of creating a fundamentalist caliphate.

What makes the NRA so feared is its willingness to spend heavily and campaign aggressively in pursuit of its goal of removing all restrictions on the possession and use of firearms just about anywhere by just about anyone.

In our country, the NRA is a lot closer to meeting its goal. See, for instance, the report mentioned above and the recent history of Missouri’s legislators.

So which is the greater threat to the safety of Americans? Let’s look at the facts rather than the ideology.

He then cited these statistics:

The gunviolencearchive.org website tells us that more than 15,000 Americans were killed by guns in 2016. Another 30,626 were injured. Of those killed or injured, 672 were children under the age of 12 and 3,117 were teenagers ages 13 to 17.

Euronews calculated some annual averages on U.S. soil since 9/11:

  • Number of Americans killed each year by Islamic jihadist terrorists: 9
  • Number of Americans killed each year by another American: 11,737

That well-known rightwing publication Business Insider drew on such sources as the National Safety Council and the National Center for Health Statistics to come up with some probabilities.

Of course, the implication here is that the NRA is responsible for every single firearms incident, a notion that is ludicrous at best.  Does that mean General Motors is responsible for every person killed or injured in a car crash?

Responding at wearechange.org, Cassandra Fairbanks noted:

Kennedy asserts that the average number of Americans killed per year is nine, ignoring the surge in mass tragedies such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting and San Bernardino attacks. He then blames the NRA for every murder in America, citing 11,737 “Americans killed by other Americans.”

Perhaps realizing midway through his article that he sounds like a lunatic, Kennedy acknowledges what most readers were surely thinking.

“Now, you might object that it isn’t fair to hold the NRA responsible for every misuse of a firearm. You might argue that the pro-gun passion of our politicians, especially but not only the Republicans, can’t be attributed altogether to the clout of the NRA,” Kennedy wrote. “You would be correct. There’s plenty of blame to go around.”

Still, Kennedy continues his bizarre piece by claiming that “there is no denying that the NRA is Missouri’s and the nation’s most vociferous, most generous to its friends and most vindictive to its enemies advocate of a free-fire zone for guns of all types in all places.” Ultimately, he concludes that the NRA is a “danger to us all,” after downplaying the threat of Islamic terrorism.

That’s right — no need to worry about terrorists who openly declare their intent to kill everyone in sight, but you’d better be careful of a civil rights group protecting the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.  Something tells me that deep down, if ISIS fighters were heading in his direction, set to lob his head off, he’d love to see an armed member of the NRA somewhere nearby.

Between anti-gun nuts like this and teachers who get put on paid leave after saying Pres. Trump “must hang” to save democracy, I’m coming to the opinion that a college degree holds about the same value as a roll of Charmin.

Sadder still, Charmin probably does a better job…  At least it’s softer…

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