Declare the NRA a supporter of domestic terrorism

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) in no longer a sportsmen's organization; it's a political lobby. It spends over $3 million per year since 2013 to keep our gun policies in a backward, 18th century state. More Americans have died from gun violence (over 1.5 million) than from all the wars since the Revolution, and Americans overwhelmingly want some form of gun control. A sensible reading of the 2nd Amendment would allow gun ownership but restrict purchase of equipment designed for mass murder: large clips, military grade semi-and fully automatic rifles, and ammunition for the same, which could be as easily tracked as over-the-counter medication. Yet none of this will be regulated while the NRA influences public policy through its lopsided donations to Republican legislators. The NRA is not a branch of government, yet it has enormous impact on American life by coercing politicians and voters with money, fear and intimidation, and restricting our safety and public health. Thousands have already signed another petition calling the NRA a terrorist organization, and the governor of Connecticut agrees.

One of the many stupid things NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre (who earns nearly a million dollars a year) has said is that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." As at Stoneman Douglas High, where three or four armed deputies waited outside during the shooting, this is rarely true and unfortunately doesn't help the shooter's victims. In Las Vegas, where over 500 people were shot with automatic gunfire, the shooter was completely inaccessible and shot himself before police arrived. What the NRA does in the wake of these horrific attacks is spread the demand for weapons, enriching gun and ammo manufacturers while putting Americans at increasing risk of being shot.

Domestic terrorism is on the rise in the wake of Trump's election. White nationalist groups were eager to claim the shooter in Parkland as one of their own. The NRA facilitates both the arming and the militant ideology of these groups, supporting domestic terrorism. While right-wing politicians divert or attention with imagined threats from immigrants, the real damage to our democracy is being engineered by the NRA, which has spread anti-government hysteria and the idea of armed insurrection for at least a decade. The FBI should stop hesitating and brand the NRA for what it does. Meanwhile this and other petitions can help tarnish its reputation enough to interrupt its pernicious political influence. The victims of Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fl), of Sutherland Springs (11/5/17), of Las Vegas (10/2/17), of the 2016 Orlando shooting, of Sandy Hook Elementary, and on and on and miserably on deserve no less. 

I will update this petition with links and contact information as it gains support. Please sign the petition, this petition seeking to designate the NRA a terrorist organization under the Patriot Act, and the growing number of similar petitions at and elsewhere, and support the Violence Policy Center.

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