The National Rifle Association is promising that there will be an Islamic terrorist attack involving a mass shooting at a shopping mall, going so far as to release a video in which the NRA used a camera phone to case a real mall in Oklahoma. The video identifies where exits are “few and far between” and where there is “lots of open area,” “high ground” and “places to channelize people.”
Footage of the NRA casing a mall appears in a video released by the NRA News’ commentator series. The video opens with a re-enactment of a would-be terrorist planning his attack, then switches to the NRA’s camera phone footage of an Oklahoma mall, before returning to a video re-enactment of a planned mass shooting at a shopping mall. NRA News contributor and former Navy SEAL Dom Raso narrates the video, attempting to connect the NRA’s re-enactments with its footage of the mall, as well as news footage from the 2013 terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
The video begins by depicting a bearded man of apparent Middle Eastern descent watching a news program about a “generational problem in our Muslim community” while he plans a terrorist attack. Raso narrates, “Right now there is someone in America who wakes up in the morning and starts working, just like you. Think of the week before a huge job interview or a big presentation. Think about how much work you put into make it perfect. He is doing the same thing, except it isn’t for weeks. In some cases, it’s generations of dreaming, planning, working. … He is a radical Islamic terrorist.”
Raso then posits that the attack will occur at a mall, arguing, “He wants to be remembered for killing more innocent people than the terrorists before him. That’s exactly why he is looking for gun-free zones in states and cities where politicians have reduced our Second Amendment freedoms.” News coverage of the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack, depicting real security camera footage from the shooting, is played as Raso narrates. (In fact, the NRA’s claims about gun-free zones have been debunked: There is no evidence that mass shooters pick targets based on whether civilians can carry guns or that civilians with guns have stopped public mass shootings.)
The NRA video then switches to footage of a real mall, apparently shot on a camera phone by a member of the NRA’s video team. While video footage and freeze frames of shoppers at the mall are shown, Raso says, “As he walks through nearby shopping malls, he’s looking at the exits. He wants them to be few and far between -- hard to find in a panic, and easy to block. He wants lots of open area, high ground, and places to channelize people.”
The NRA video blurs out some faces and store signs, but not others, making the mall identifiable through its distinct characteristics. The shopping center the NRA cased appears to be Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City, OK, less than a mile from the offices of Ackerman McQueen, the NRA’s ad firm. The location of the mall also undercuts Raso’s argument that a terrorist would only target “gun-free zones in states and cities where politicians have reduced our Second Amendment freedoms,” given that Oklahoma has some of the loosest gun laws in the country.
After the Oklahoma mall footage, the video returns to a re-enactment of a mass shooting breaking out at a mall. Raso narrates the viewer’s impending death amid sounds of screams, saying, “You still have no idea where the shots are coming from, but you see an exit sign. Tunnel visions sets in, your heartbeat increases, and now you feel a shortening of breath. You think you’ve escaped, but then you realize the shots and screams are getting louder. You’re surrounded. He’s planned this in advance. He’s covering the exits. He is going to kill you.”
With the re-enactment over, Raso acknowledges, “The people who want to restrict your right to bear arms will call this fearmongering.”
The video closes with Raso stating that the prospect of a mall terror attack means we should be asking, “What are we and our leadership doing to prevent it?” But while the NRA’s answer to combating terrorism apparently involves pushing against legislation to reduce gun violence, the terror group Al Qaeda infamously released a video urging terrorists who wish to carry out an attack on American soil to exploit the United States’ lax gun laws.
Here is the NRA’s full transcript of its video:
Right now, there is someone in America who wakes up in the morning and starts working, just like you.
Think of the week before a huge job interview, or a big presentation. Think about how much work you put in to make it perfect. He is doing the same thing … except it isn't for weeks. In some cases, it's generations of dreaming, planning and working: 50, 60, 70 hours a week in anticipation of the moment he's been waiting for his entire life.
His job is to disrupt freedom by killing you, your family and our fellow Americans.
He knows he gets one shot, and it has to be perfect. He wants maximum chaos and maximum fear; he needs the news media to replay his work for years to come.
He is a radical Islamic terrorist.
I spent 12 years of my life hunting down people like him, and I know exactly how they think.
And I know they are looking at shopping malls. Because they've already done it.
September 21, 2013. Nairobi, Kenya. A group of heavily armed gunmen executed a pre-planned attack on Westgate Shopping Mall during a busy Saturday. Sixty-three innocent people were brutally murdered. Close to 200 more were injured.
That terrorist I mentioned earlier? His goal is to outdo the Westgate massacre. He wants to be remembered for killing more innocent people than the terrorists before him.
That's exactly why he's looking for gun-free zones in states and cities where politicians have reduced our Second Amendment freedoms. He wants to produce mass chaos, mass panic; he wants to immediately assume control over everyone in the building. So of course he is only going to consider malls that prohibit his targets from carrying firearms.
As he walks through nearby shopping malls, he's looking at the exits. He wants them to be few and far between—hard to find in a panic, and easy to block.
He wants lots of open area, high ground, and places to channelize people. Most important, he wants an unsuspecting and an unprepared crowd. In order for his plan to work, he is counting on everyone in that mall being completely and utterly unprepared.
Think about this.
You're at the mall with your kids on a busy Saturday, picking up clothes for your family's summer vacation. As you wait in a long line to checkout, you and your kids laugh and smile. You'll be at the beach in a few weeks.
Out of nowhere, you hear shots fired. A few seconds later, screams. Your mind tells you what's happening, but you still try and convince yourself it isn't real. The shots get louder, and the screams multiply.
People begin to realize what's happening. Panic spreads and chaos erupts. Kids get separated from their parents. The elderly are pushed to the ground. The teenager behind the checkout counter is frozen in fear.
You still have no idea where the shots are coming from, but you see an exit sign. Tunnel vision sets in, your heartbeat increases, and now you feel a shortening of breath. You think you've escaped, but then you realize the shots and screams are getting louder. You're surrounded. He's planned this in advance … he's covering the exits … he is going to kill you.
The people who want to restrict your right to bear arms will call this fear-mongering. They'll say it almost certainly will never to happen to you.
Maybe it won't. But it will happen to someone. And what if that someone is you? And what if it is your family?
Both as a society and as individuals, what are we doing to prepare for it? More importantly, what are we and our leadership doing to prevent it?
Deal with reality as it is, not as we wish it was … or face the consequences.