Should we consider the NRA a terrorist cult?

This was originally published on Medium on 3/7/18, before I created Issues Unite. So, some of the info is dated but the point remains valid.

Recently, the NRA released a video warning journalists that their “time is running out”. Very intimidating and threatening tone.

If such a video had come from another source, perhaps we, as a people, could laugh it off. But this is the NRA. Realistically viewed, a minority group of people who gather for the near worship of firearms and appear to seek to use those firearms. They routinely use veiled threats of force and various forms of coercion to attain their ends, no matter the cost to society.

Perhaps at this point we should consider declaring the NRA a terrorist group. Or at least spark the comparison and the suggestion of doing so. Because they themselves have made it completely evident that they will not even discuss reasonable gun control measures without the use of political and legal force to bring them to the bargaining table.

For the record, I personally do not suggest the complete disarming of America. I am a veteran and a gun owner. Like so many, I only want to see steps taken in regards to stricter gun laws. Our children and our citizens should have more rights than our guns do. That’s not being unreasonable.

One has to ask why the discussion of arming teachers went directly to firearms, skipping immediately over less lethal options such as Tazers or electromagnetic locks on schoolroom doors.

Back to the subject, let’s compare characteristics of a terrorist cult with the NRA.

They basically worship firearms.
They hold large rallies to reinforce their commitment to guns.
They have their own Bible.
They consider anyone who even questions their teachings a “heretic”. 
Elitist- You are with them or you are an enemy.
They indoctrinate children to their beliefs.
They hold training camps and events involving large numbers of weapons, often in remote, sometimes undisclosed areas closed to the public and media.

They have their own media outlet. Non-members truly have to question what mentality it takes to watch gun-related media on a daily basis. They have magazines, newsletters, websites and mailing lists in addition to their meetings. 
With media coverage, they have preferred sources (aside from their own media). If not approved, media sources are treated with suspicion, contempt or simply not allowed. 
Funded by large private and corporate donors, often covertly.
They enjoy tax exempt status, just like a church. (Which should tell us that our government recognizes them as a religion. They cannot be viewed as a charity or realistically as an educational organization.)
Continuous efforts at political power with many members in elected office. This has been true since their inception.
They basically bribe elected officials via campaign donations and PAC’s. 
Members are a minority of the population, yet speak as though they represent all Americans. If you do not agree, they accuse you of not being a “true American” and make statements to the effect that you do not belong in this country.
They publicly denounce use of violence while defending a large number of violent fanatical members.
Some members are willing to engage in suicide missions and will admit to this publicly.
Some members make death threats to anyone who opposes or exposes them. Rarely if ever are such members ejected or sanctioned by the organization.

So, if using such tactics as this do not constitute terrorism, then what does, short of blatant large scale armed conflict? Is that what this will come down to? From their own words and actions, it seems that way. It is what they infer with such media releases as the ad mentioned above.

If this were a smaller private group the government would have been stepping in to place limits on them long before this point. As far as their own attitude toward the government is concerned, they claim to be completely in favor of the government while also claiming fear of the same government and ready to take up arms against the government if they do not get their way on every single thing they want.

Make no mistake. Many members of the NRA support stricter gun laws. Yet even they become oppressed and intimidated by the more radical members of their organization. It is highly notable that there has not been a general poll of NRA members to ask THEM what they think of stricter gun laws. That is because the NRA does not represent the members nearly as much as it represents gun manufacturers.

I know there are good chances that I myself will receive threats as a result of this article. Anyone who speaks out against the NRA receives death threats. This is not new. Many are afraid to speak out against them for that very reason.

No matter what threats are issued at any level, from personal to economic to political to large scale violence, it is beyond time that we recognize the NRA for what it is. A direct threat to the safety and security of the United States. They have the power to change that but none of us expect them to respond with anything but more aggression and thinly veiled threats.

So bring on the insults, the personal attacks and threats. Tell me I am wrong but present no evidence. It is exactly what is expected from cultists when their belief system is questioned.

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