Political Animal


June 06, 2011 1:30 PM When al Qaeda endorses the GOP line on guns

By Steve Benen

A few weeks ago, House Republicans killed a proposal to prevent those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from buying firearms. It’s the same party that’s supported the gun-show loophole for years.

When it comes to organizations that appreciate the Republican approach most, the National Rifle Association certainly comes to mind, but Chris Brown flags a different group that seems pleased.

In a video released [Friday] Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn encourages terrorists to use American gun shows to arm themselves for potential Mumbai-style attacks. Gadahn’s video laid out a new tactic for Al Qaeda to continue their murderous terrorist agenda:

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. 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?”

At gun shows buyers can purchase guns from private sellers without passing a background check.

Because the discourse allows no meaningful discussion of restricting gun ownership, this news will probably spark exactly zero debate on Capitol Hill.

But it’s a reminder of just how complete the NRA’s victory really is. Al Qaeda itself is urging radicals to take advantage of loose American laws to arm themselves, presumably to aid in acts of terror … and policymakers who fear the NRA more than they fear terrorists don’t say a word.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • c u n d gulag on June 06, 2011 1:37 PM:

    This would be funny if it weren't so tragic and stupid.

    And without pressure from the politicians in DC and around the country, the NRA probably won't even have to try to spin this.

    Nowaday's it's the NRA and guns that are the 3rd rail. Not SS, Medicare or Medicaid.


  • Davis X. Machina on June 06, 2011 1:46 PM:

    Al Qaeda is simply exercising Second Amendment remedies against apostates, heretics, infidels and modernizers.

    Why on earth would the NRA have a problem with that?

  • Burr Deming on June 06, 2011 1:47 PM:

    As we all know conservatives have always been unwavering in their defense of individual rights.

  • beejeez on June 06, 2011 1:52 PM:

    I've always wondered to what extent the NRA is underwritten by criminals, but I'm sure we can get some idea about it from the extent to which the association is willing to open its books to public review.

  • Mr. Serf Man on June 06, 2011 1:57 PM:

    My only hope is that Colbert and Stewart pick up on this providing some easy clips for Mourning Joe ...otherwise you ain't hearing shit. Booga Booga Booga NRA (Old Crone: Agh! Do your worst! )

  • stormskies on June 06, 2011 2:00 PM:

    Yes, and I sure, totally positive, that we will see this news on all of the nightly propaganda, 'news', shows .. if not, why not ? Of course we all know the answer ...

  • DAY on June 06, 2011 2:02 PM:

    Mr. Serf Man points out that it is still the Mark Twains and Will Rogers who bypass the Media, and speak directly to the people.

    Thankfully, there are still a few producers who will re-air these "Daily Show Editorials" on mainstream TeeVee.

  • Zorro on June 06, 2011 2:03 PM:

    Why does the NRA hate America so much?


  • Just Guessing on June 06, 2011 2:04 PM:

    And they can buy horses without a background check too so they will be able to ride through the countryside telling us to their coming. Crafty those terrorists.

  • Mike on June 06, 2011 2:21 PM:

    my favorite part about this is that even if this were to get some traction, we'd have Fox News (and minions) talking about how this is some kind of al Qaeda headfake to get increased gun restrictions for "law-abiding citizens"...

    purposefully ignoring the fact that regardless of whether or not its a headfake, its utterly and completely true.

  • Mitch on June 06, 2011 2:26 PM:

    The GOP has proven time and again that their ideology trumps logic, reason and evidence. That to me is the most frightening thing about Conservatives.

    Historically Lefties were sometimes just as guilty of this (particularly in other nations, not quite as much here in the States), but it seems that today Conservatives are taking it to a whole new level.

    Name almost any category: homosexuality/DADT, Climate Change, the Auto bailouts, tax rates, government spending, the War on X (Drugs, Crime, Terror), public sector employment, public schools, health care, regulation of industry/business and -of course- gun control.

    In all cases their ideology is more important and real to them than any fact or lesson or truth.

    That scares the bejeezus out of me.

    When polical parties with millions of members place their ideology so far above reality, well, very bad things happen.

    It's almost eleven-thirty in the morning here on the West Coast. Is it too early to start drinking? I could use one, lol.

  • golack on June 06, 2011 2:32 PM:

    and if there is a Mumbai style attack in the US, the Republicans will blame Obama and insist that it has nothing to do with gun laws.

  • martin on June 06, 2011 2:32 PM:

    Seems other people have been renditioned for less aid and comfort to terrorist organizations. Maybe it is time for the FBI to give Wayne LaPierre (FRENCH!) a visit.

  • Gummitch on June 06, 2011 2:34 PM:

    The NRA will not see anything wrong with this because, in their view, it will encourage more Americans to arm themselves so they can enjoy furious gun battles with the terrists at the mall.

  • kahner on June 06, 2011 2:43 PM:

    "and policymakers who fear the NRA more than they fear terrorists donít say a word."

    I'd rephrase that "policy makers who care more about their job security and getting campaign contributions than they care about protecting America from terrorists don't say a word".

  • Al Swearengen on June 06, 2011 4:00 PM:

    Let's make sure we get our facts straight before we get called out about it:

    1. It is completely too easy to get large-capacity semi-automatic guns at gunshows with no background checks.
    2. You can't buy fully-automatic weapons openly at a gun show. Al Quaeda is talking out of their butts about that. The only civilians who can trade/sell/buy/own fully-auto weapons are Class C license-holders, and those aren't just handed out at a gun show or anywhere.

  • Mitch on June 06, 2011 6:46 PM:

    @Al Swearengen, You are correct; although I have been to gun shows where one could buy automatic assault rifles under the table for cash if you knew the right people. Of course that was in Kentucky, and I doubt anyone there would sell anything to someone not-white.

    As I side note, I spent a lot of time on the range in my younger days and I have to say that I would rather use a semi-automatic than fully auto any day of the week.

  • Sean Peters on June 06, 2011 8:16 PM:

    @Mitch: "the right people" can end up in very serious trouble if they sell full-automatic weapons under the table. Not saying it would never happen, but the BATF does check up on this stuff from time to time.

  • Saleem on June 07, 2011 9:34 AM:

    Re your last line: To be fair, *I* fear the NRA more than I do terrorists. I think Al-Qaeda are not likely to have another successful attack in the U.S. But point taken.

  • john on June 07, 2011 12:42 PM:

    Except it's not Al-Qaeda that said this, nor do they exist. It's the will of those who own our government. attempting to chip away at our rights as they see fit, by whatever means necessary. no matter the cost. open your eyes people.