There was a visible mass shooting in Gilroy very recently, and a lot of people are upset.
The gunman used a semiautomatic rifle which is illegal in California, but was legally purchased in Nevada.
The NRA has continually fought to ensure people have access to the tools to commit these atrocities.
Only semiautomatic rifles with particular combinations of ergonomic features (pistol grip, folding stock, etc.) are illegal. The shooter's WASR fell under this category. The shooter's high-capacity magazines were also illegal in California.
Full disclosure: I'm a life member. I'm no longer happy with that decision but it's true .
I mean you have the right to smoke, but any organization promoting it has been squashed by legislation, banning advertisements and glorifying it. Why? Because smoking causes cancer and will kill you and your kids.
Why should that not apply to guns, which are built to kill? It's a weird double standard. Sure you have the right to have a gun, but it doesn't mean it has to be advocated by an organization.
It does make me wonder though, how come the NRA is successful where the multi-billion dollar tobacco industry failed?
Any time there's a group of people who fear that one of their rights will be taken away or diminished, don't they "need" an organization, or something, to voice their concerns?
Is it that you just don't care about what they have to say, so you don't mind if they're not allowed to say it? Seems like a scary position to hold, given the subjective nature of what people care about or not.
Guns are a 'tool' I suppose, and therefore will always require a user. Not every gun owner is going to use it to kill people. It's harder then to make the argument that guns are inherently bad, it's the people using them incorrectly that is the problem. I certainly think that there are other factors in American society which contribute and to these horrible events, such as mental health and education. I think this because there are other countries, such as Canada, where many people have weapons but these tragedies occur a lot less often.
As a Brit, I think some of the gun stuff in the States is bananas, but I do recognise that there is a significant cultural difference that means I probably wont get why people are so keen to protect gun ownership to the extent that they do. I don't mean to suggest that either way is right or wrong, but I do feel that the use-case for an AR-15 is limited. Surely that's a bit over the top for hunting? And defending your home may be easier with a handgun. I am no expert though, and would be interested to hear some other views.
Edit: I should also say that I recognise that mass shootings make up a tiny percentage of gun-deaths and that they receive a disproportionate amount of media attention.
It would be great to have scientific evidence on mass gun ownership's effects on health and society, and linkages between gun violence, mental health, and a variety of other factors.
Unfortunately, Congress forbids the federal health research bodies (NIH, CDC, etc.) from funding or studying research into those effects. Congress made that decision because of lobbying pressure by...let me check my notes here...huh, interesting, the NRA.
That's not actually true. The limitations set in the Dickey amendment were only regarding the use of funding to the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for the purpose of advocating gun control.
The CDC's entire purpose is to come up with mitigation plans for public health issues. If a study finds that increased rates of gun ownership alone causes an increase in gun violence, what conclusions would the CDC be allowed to come to, and what possible mitigation could they recommend that couldn't be viewed as advocating for gun control?
Their position is to avoid all such research entirely. The letter of the law seems to speak only to funding, but its effect is to shut down all research into the issue. Which, of course, was the intended effect from the beginning.
If a study finds that increased rates of gun ownership when isolated from the list of variables that they have controlled for, is linked by correlation to an increase in gun violence then why do you believe publishing that correlation is supportive of gun control?
I strongly doubt such a conclusion would pass by unchallenged. If I had to guess, it would probably lead to letting go at least the head investigators of that study, and at most, replacing the head of the CDC.
A study with a conclusion like that was what lead to the Dickey amendment in the first place.
It's not a problematic conclusion because a correlation isn't causation. There is a lot more to study and frankly just going direct from that kind of correlation to gun control is intellectually lazy.
No, but it sure makes branding a lawful organisation as terrorist a somewhat heinous. (Also, counterproductive. The NRA just got a sweet fundraising spot.)
If San Francisco can Brando the NRA as terrorist, Montgomery can do the same to the EFF. Preventing that is the point of Constitutional rights and due process.
I kid, I kid
FWIW, I know of at least one pro smoking body with some prominent supporters in the UK (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOREST)
5.5 million members of the NRA would seem to disagree with you, as is their right.
I challenge you to show any way in which hundreds of millions of random citizens with handguns and zero training to fight together qualifies as well-regulated, or meaningfully as a militia to defend our country against an invasion.
And I believe it is not meant to defend against invasion so much than to defend against tyranny (whether internal or external).
And it is still true today that no army, even the US army, can control a hostile population that has a wide access to weapons. It is why the colonial wars were futile, and why no major power has ever successfully won a guerrilla war.
> How awful of the Confederacy to fight for a right to slaves.
Societies change and evolve. The desperate clinging to ancient, outdated concepts won't hinder that progress.
Replying to comment below: please see the HN guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
> Please don't comment on whether someone read an article.
I read the article too. The article doesn't answer the question.
- What evidence is there that the NRA exists to arm terrorists?
- Which terrorist groups are the NRA arming?
- If the NRA does exist to arm terrorist groups how does that make the NRA themselves terrorists?
That role has long since been dwarfed by their political advocacy for unfettered access to guns without regard for safety. Look at their budget. Safety programs are in the noise. Many gun owners have left the NRA over this exact issue. Presenting the NRA as a gun-safety organization is deeply disingenuous.
The more common sentiment in the comments of the gun community is that the NRA is not doing enough to protect gun rights. Can you honestly say that the other organizations that gun owners are flocking to like the Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition are less supportive of gun rights?
Deeply disingenuous indeed.
There has been no evidence in the article that the NRA exists to arm terrorists.
I think people are hurt and appalled at gun violence and looking for solutions.
Unfortunately expanding the definition of terrorism to include the NRA means they will unwittingly catch other groups they may support. Eg, the EFF promotes privacy, terrorists use privacy, therefore the same misguided logic could be used there.
This won't help gun violence and will hurt other freedoms.
Limiting relationships with the NRA is a good move. The private company Delta ended special discounts for NRA members and the state (!) of Georgia responded by hitting Delta with a tax. If SF can help disentangle the NRA from the states, that can only be a good thing.
"Since its creation in 2016, it has adopted an increasingly apocalyptic, hard-right tone, warning of race wars, describing Barack Obama as a “fresh-faced flower-child president,” calling for a march on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and comparing journalists to rodents."
"Chuck Holton, an NRATV correspondent, attributed terrorist activity in Europe to “the broader problem of multiculturalism and socialism” and to “gender-bending.” He also claimed that left-wing groups, the billionaire George Soros and the Venezuelan government were trying “to influence the 2018 midterms by sending Honduran migrants north in the thousands.”
This is the comment I replied to. Clearly they espouse different ideologies to simply gun safety.
You're the one putting words into my mouth.
Of course if anyone tries to bring up the topic of radicalisation I'm sure you'd deflect in a similar way.
Arming people that could potentially hurt others is not the same thing as targeting attacks on civilians for political change.
If you have any ideas you're welcome to contribute them.
No offense but this is cowardly, and frankly, bad reasoning. First, guns kill fewer people than speeding, alcohol or junk food. So no we have't crossed some threshold.
Second, you are just rationalizing the criminalization of anyone who disagrees with you on public policy.
A facist would say "I don't think I've ever seen the democrats advocating for islamic terrorism. However, it would seem as if we've crossed a threshold were the mere existence of muslim immigrants is seen as a thread, therefore anyone that advocates for muslim immigration is a a threat. Therefore, I'm banning the democratic party from the next elections on the basis of being a terrorst group."
I’m merely trying to describe the position held by those that passed the resolution.
Further, are you not aware of the difference between San Francisco and say, Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto... do I need to go on?
(Nevermind the astronomical housing prices and the relatively easy and affordable public transit into the city, making it more than feasible to work in the city and live elsewhere...)
I’d say most shadiness of the NRA has to do with their lobbying efforts, and especially how closely they are tied to the gun manufacturing industry.
In fact, among hardcore 2nd amendment advocates, there has been a movement to stop supporting the NRA due to corruption, poor management, bloat, and a perception they don’t do enough to support 2nd amendment right, and only further their own existence. 
 - https://www.reddit.com/r/progun/comments/c3e4rs/hickok45_for...
Then, some time in the '70s or '80s or so, they decided they really wanted to make lots more money, and the way to do that was to radicalize their support base. These days, they not only oppose any and all restrictions on the purchase of firearms (including preventing random people from getting their hands on military hardware, preventing convicted violent felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill from buying firearms, etc), but they are actively involved in spreading propaganda to keep their base scared of an Other that they'll need guns to protect them from. This ranges from Democrats coming to take their guns, to immigrants coming to take their jerbs, to brown people coming to take their women.
They foment racism and hatred, specifically in order to ensure that people will keep paying them to protect the only amendment to the Constitution that's truly sacred: the right of every single real (white, straight, cis, Christian, male) American to own whatever guns he wants.
- Members of the NRA are now 'domestic terrorists', i.e. when entering the US they have to tick the "I'm a terrorist" box?
- Donating to the NRA can be considered financing terrorism?
I'm not a big fan of private gun ownership, but if these interpretations are accurate, this move seems pretty excessive.
I'm a US citizen who lives in Europe, and I'm here to help.
San Francisco is a city only, and has no Federal power, so the answer is "no" to both of your questions above. As for what it actually _means_, the action by San Francisco is merely rhetorical, and has no legal meaning. It would be unconstitutional for San Francisco to actually use the force of government to punish NRA or its members, since this would violate the 1st Amendment.
️Patriot act! Donations to nra are tax deductible, so the state already has a record.
All you have to do is browse hn once in awhile to see several articles about the US gov't brazenly breaking our constitutional rights.
It's not because of the differences in culture, or the nature and history of governance, or any other possible externality. The only reason the US is not a totalitarian state where dissenters are run over by tanks and sent to death camps is because the American government is simply terrified of and quelled by the mere presence of an armed populace.
I have a magical rock in my garden that repels tigers. I never see any tigers in my garden, so it must work.
If the gov't was going to put you in a camp because you were jewish or japanese or even muslim, wouldn't you want to have a gun? I know it would make them think twice that's for sure.
Sure. But of course, the Second Amendment was a thing when the government from rounding up the Japanese, with popular support.
Hell, after 9/11 much of the gun-owning community would have supported rounding up all of the Muslims into camps. Currently, they don't seem to be too upset about the government aggressively rounding up immigrants.
I don't agree with the premise that government can never be trusted, but an armed mob always can. The world has plenty of democratic states which seem to function without an armed populace keeping them in check.
>I know it would make them think twice that's for sure.
It wouldn't stop them, though.
I guess, maybe the people didn't exercise their rights.
>Hell, after 9/11 much of the gun-owning community would have supported rounding up all of the Muslims into camps. Currently, they don't seem to be too upset about the government aggressively rounding up immigrants.
You can absolutely be on the left and believe in the right to bear arms. Fighting for our constitutional rights is not a partisan issue.
>I don't agree with the premise that government can never be trusted, but an armed mob always can. The world has plenty of democratic states which seem to function without an armed populace keeping them in check.
Another name for an armed mob is called a militia. They were formed when we fought against 'taxation without representation'.
>It wouldn't stop them, though.
Maybe, the only time I can think off of the top of my head of a government subjugating a well armed people was the english/american civil war.
Regardless, I would absolutely exercise my right to bear arms if mao/stalin/hitler gov't came knocking on my door.
They didn't want to, that was the general point of my comment. American gun owners aren't a guaranteed bulwark against tyranny - they're just as likely to welcome and defend it, if their ideology supports it.
>You can absolutely be on the left and believe in the right to bear arms. Fighting for our constitutional rights is not a partisan issue.
I have yet to meet an NRA member (and granted, I haven't met them all) who doesn't believe the American left poses an active threat to their right to keep and bear arms, and who wouldn't consider a "pro 2nd Amendment leftist" to be a contradiction in terms.
In theory, you're correct. In practice, thanks to the success of the NRA and Republican party, American gun culture (at least the activist part of it) has become synonymous with conservative, right-wing identity politics.
> I have yet to meet an NRA member (and granted, I haven't met them all) who doesn't believe the American left poses an active threat to their right to keep and bear arms, and who wouldn't consider a "pro 2nd Amendment leftist" to be a contradiction in terms.
Your first statement proves the importance of having the right to keep and bear arms be upheld in the "American left".
And you will probably run into many in the Democratic party who think being a "pro 2nd Amendment leftist" is a contradiction in terms too.
From a European perspective the level of gun violence in the US is completely absurd and out of control and has been for decades.
This is just preaching to the choir, for scoring some cheap political points. Don't they have better things to do?
Also in the news, Social Credit Red Flag Laws based on speech...
Surely these laws will be applied evenly to all people & not used to suppress anybody like what has happened repeatedly throughout history. It's different this time, right?
Enjoy the dystopia folks!
I personally disagree very much with the politics of the NRA. But I staunchly defend their right to exist and advocate for their views. Because human history, and especially that of the 20th century shows that gagging political viewpoints when it is convenient is a road that leads towards autocracy.
"First they came for the NRA, but I didn't speak up because I am pro gun-control. Then they came for the alt-right, but I didn't speak up because I am not a Nazi. Then they came for the global warming deniers, but I didn't speak up because I was not a climate skeptic. Then they came for ___________, and there was no one to speak for me." (Fill in the blank with your own preferred political group.)
Using the gag on political speach of any kind is dangerous because the winds of change are unpredictable and power to silence political opposition is corrupting. Is unrestricted gun ownership that the NRA advocates for a bad idea? Yes. But people MUST be allowed to form political organizations to advocate for bad ideas, because the alternative is that someone is given the authority to decide which ideas are bad and therefore marginalized. And allowing that is a very, very bad idea.
My understanding is that they do not carry out attacks on civilians and they seek to maintain the status quo.
Regardless of your position on gun control (personally I'm in favour of gun control), words have meaning.
Edit: missed a 'not' above, pardon the confusion
The NRA is a lobbying organization that spends hundreds of millions  on advocating political change (or blocking it), so your second question is also a yes.