The Florida School Massacre Is Domestic Terrorism: and the NRA and the Republican Party Are Terrorist Organizations


It was domestic terrorism pure and simple. Our children were its object. And our politicians don’t give a damn.

Of course I’m talking about the most recent school shooting in Florida. There, Nikolas Cruz, an expelled high school student slaughtered 17 of his former schoolmates.

But Cruz was white and a gun worshipper. So the politicians don’t care. Instead of talking about the most elementary, common sense restrictions on gun ownership, they bow down before the NRA and a sacralized interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Instead, they offer their de rigueur “thoughts and prayers.” They explain how “this is not the time to politicize the tragedy” by discussing gun control. They explain away the massacre’s causes in terms of the Mr. Cruz’s supposed mental illness.

However, just imagine the reaction if the shooter were an immigrant, a DACA dreamer, if he were black, or especially if his name were Mohammad! The response would be generalized and immediate regardless of constitutional protections, regardless of international law. Conclusions would be drawn about the intrinsic violence of Islam and about how immigrants are criminals and prone to mayhem. We would be told that all of them need to be expelled and/or excluded. There’d be references to “ISIS links.” There’d be talk about bombing, drones and military options.

Everybody knows that’s all true.

Moreover, if the shooter had been Muslim or immigrant, we would never hear mention of mental illness on his part. (Apparently, the victims of colonial control, war and U.S. bombing remain psychologically impervious to such effect.) There would never be sympathetic statements (as in the case of Charlottesville) about “very fine people” that can be found among those sympathizing with the violence.

If you doubt that, just recall that following 9/11 and shootings by Muslims, constitutional protections like the 4th Amendment were overridden without a second thought. In case you’ve forgotten, this is what the Amendment says:

‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’

Despite those clear words (every bit as “sacred” as the Second Amendment), the government now claims the right to surveil all of our e-mails, and listen in on our phone conversations. Moreover, it says it can extrajudicially kill U.S. citizens anywhere in the world regardless of what the Constitution might say. And this despite the fact that terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, compared with the frequency of school shootings, have been far rarer. Since the beginning of this new year, school shootings like the one in Florida have occurred once every 60 hours!

No, the time for calling terrorism by its true name has long since arrived. Nikolas Cruz is a terrorist. The NRA is a terrorist organization. And so is the Republican Party (along with pro-NRA Democrats). As Noam Chomsky has indicated, because of its stand on climate change, nuclear warfare, and (I would add) gun control, the GOP is the most dangerous organization in the history of the world. They are all terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

In the name of our children that must be said and its logical conclusions acted upon!

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

9 thoughts on “The Florida School Massacre Is Domestic Terrorism: and the NRA and the Republican Party Are Terrorist Organizations”

  1. Amen, Mike – a thousand times! I agree with everything that you have said here. I would add, however, that many of the so-called Evangelical Christians – especially those in the Republican Party currently serving in Congress who have blood on their hands. They are hypocrites who are the antithesis of everything that Jesus said, taught, preached, and lived. They, too, must be held accountable and they will be — at the separation of the sheep and the goats (Mt. 25:32) and the wheat and the chaff (tares) (Mt. 13: 24-30) will be dealt with.


  2. I agree with the overall sentiment, but I think terrorism is the wrong word. The dictionary definition of terrorism is this: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” Drone warfare would be an example of terrorism. The epidemic of gun violence is a symptom of moral decay and meaninglessness in a world that doesn’t make any sense any more. In such a world all things are permitted.


    1. You may be right, Cave. However, I’ll stick with my description as terrorism. The NRA as a front organization for the arms industry has “political aims.” Those aims are identical with those of the politicians they’ve bought off – making money for the world’s richest people. For them, if doing so means the deaths of the innocent, so be it. For me, such tolerance of absolutely predictable “violence and intimidation against civilians” represents willful cooperation with the shooters in question. That not only makes the shooters terrorists, but the NRA a terrorist organization. Their use of violence and intimidation may at this point be “lawful.” But the laws in question are invalid because they prioritize money-making over human welfare.


  3. In a society, a world, based on Love, there are no weapons. No hand guns, no nuclear bombs. I own no weapons myself. Peace begins with individuals renouncing violence. The widespread ownership of weapons in the US is a testimony to the fact that we are a war culture, one of the worst in history. Lay down your weapons and practice peace. Police departments need to learn Aikido – the art of loving persuasion. (google: Aikido police depts) Please refuse to worship the War God of fear and violence.


    1. Thanks for the quotation, Mary. This sort of philosophy inevitably emerges in response to the structural violence of imperial colonialism, whose political power, of course, always emerges from the barrel of a gun. Violence begets violence.


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