Former Missouri Prof: NRA ‘More Dangerous’ Than ISIS

George Kennedy posed this question in a recent op-ed that he penned for the Missourian:  “Which organization is more dangerous to Americans — ISIS or the NRA?”

As you might expect, by the end, you could tell that he was strongly suggesting that the NRA is responsible for far more deaths. Quoting estimates from Euronews, Kennedy said that “Islamic jihadists terrorists” were only responsible for 9 American deaths per year on average; in contrast, 11,737 Americans were killed by other Americans.

In addition, he wrote:

The 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.

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The odds of your being killed by a foreign-born terrorist are 1 in 45,808. The odds of your being killed by a gunshot are 1 in 358.

From his perspective, the reason American ‘gun homicides’ are so high is that the NRA has campaigned so heavily on removing any and all restrictions on firearms:

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,” Kennedy wrote.

Even if his statistics were correct about terrorist victims and murder victims in the U.S., how in the world are the murder victims the fault of the National Rifle Association? Blaming them for so-called ‘gun murders’ is like blaming Jack Daniels for drunk-driving deaths.

And if gun murders can be tied to the NRA, what are knife murders, hand-and-fist murders, and hammer murders tied to?

It’s utterly absurd to try to connect homicides committed with guns to the NRA, or even to pro-gun groups to the right of the NRA. Pro-gun groups like the NRA do not train people how to commit crimes. They advocate for gun safety and teach people – including kids – to respect firearms. A Chicago gang member doesn’t murder a rival gang member because of the NRA.

But a member of ISIS on the other hand will rape, murder, and behead (not necessarily in that order) men, women and children in Syria, because that’s what they’re trained to do. 

A 2016 study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that about 18 percent of all crimes involving a firearm were committed by licensed gun owners. Mind you, these were crimes in general where guns were recovered from the scene. Gun homicides would likely have been a small subset of that 18 percent. In addition, these were crimes specifically in Pittsburgh in 2008.

The point is that 80 percent of these gun-related crimes were committed by someone who either stole the firearm or otherwise obtained it illegally.

It still remains the case that the most dangerous place to be in America is a gun-free zone. The safest place is probably a gun show.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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