While Republicans and gun owners are mounting a campaign of xenophobic fear-mongering against Muslims across the world, the evidence continues to pile up that our reckless proliferation of deadly weapons is a primary factor in terrorist attacks. One of the guns used in the Paris terror attacks, a M29 semi-automatic pistol, has been traced to a Florida gun dealer, Century Arms, who purchased it from the a Serbian arms manufacturer, Zastava Arms.
Century Arms is an importer of heavy weapons that they then redistribute to dealers across the United States, and use loopholes in our irresponsibly lax gun laws to import high-powered rifles that are “stripped of their military features” so that they can be sold as “sporting rifles.” Once the rifles have entered the United States, malicious companies like Century Arms then modifying them back into assault rifles, restoring the full killing power of the weapons, and then distribute them to civilians.
Unsuprisingly, this is not the first time they’ve been implicated for providing weapons to terrorists and insurgents. Century Arms is one of the primary importers of the WASR-10, a Romanian modified version of the AK-47 that are then bought legally and smuggled into Mexico, which are then used by some of the world’s most vicious drug cartels to spread terror and death. Century Arms has also been implicated in the Iran Contra scandal of the 1980s, when they “supplied rockets, grenades and other weapons to Nicaraguan rebels as part of the Iran-Contra scandal.”
The conclusion to be drawn from this is that the American arms industry is one of the biggest enablers of terrorism in the world. There is absolutely no excuse for a civilian population to have access to military-grade weapons. It is clear that the “sporting” loophole is just that- a way for dealers to dodge assault weapons bans. The American epidemic of gun violence not only takes the lives of thirty Americans every day, but actively contributes to instability and terrorism across the world.
While Republicans point to the terrorist attacks in Paris as an excuse to close our borders to Muslims, a heavy portion of the blame falls on them. Our lax gun laws undermine the effectiveness of every other responsible nation’s efforts to keep guns out of the hands out of their civilian populace. When taken into consideration with their virulent Islamophobic rhetoric that plays into the hands of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL), it is no longer a question: the NRA and the Republican Party are supporters and exporters of terrorism.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.