Obama confidante Rahm Emanuel once let slip the Democrat go-to playbook. He insisted, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” This philosophy is on full display frequently. From terrorist attacks to school shootings, when a tragedy occurs, the political opportunists that lead the radicalized Democrat Party are quick to emerge to gruesomely capitalize upon death and carnage.
On Wednesday, Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky claimed that the Paris terrorist attacks illustrate the need for increased “sensible” gun control laws.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration seeks to mimic the kind of disastrous border policies that have so greatly endangered Europe…
On the same day as Schakowsky’s ill-informed comments, the New York Daily News blasted the NRA and millions of patriotic Americans who support them and claimed on the front page of their paper that the NRA was engaged in a “sick jihad.”
Their central argument is that the NRA and Republicans are blocking legislation that would prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms:
The legislation was initially proposed in 2007 by the Bush administration, with King formally introducing the bill in Congress two years later.
Currently, some known or suspected terrorists are prohibited from boarding airplanes by the government’s no-fly list — but all are allowed to buy assault rifles and other weapons.
While the bill remained a nonstarter, more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist bought weapons in the U.S. over the last 11 years, according to the federal Government Accountability Office.
Of course, the truth is significantly more complicated than that.
The main area of opposition by the NRA and other patriots is the means by which someone ends up on the watch list. With arbitrary determination and no due process of law, one can easily end up on this list and lose his or her constitutional rights.
As the name suggests, the “watchlist” is not limited to people guilty of “terrorism”1 or who are suspected of other acts serious enough to warrant their arrest. It broadly includes people “known or reasonably suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism,”2 including those only “being preliminarily investigated to determine whether they have links to terrorism” and those “for whom the FBI does not have an open terrorism investigation.”3
A person accused of serious wrongdoing has the right to know what he has been accused of, to offer evidence in his defense, and to be judged by a jury. A constitutionally protected right cannot be taken away on the basis of a secretive or unsubstantiated accusation. A judge should be allowed to consider evidence which may support the innocence of the accused.
S. 34 and H.R. 1506 are aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners. Ninety-five percent of watchlisted persons are already prohibited from acquiring firearms in the U.S., because they are not U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens. (See below.)
NICS already checks the relevant portion of the watchlist, and denies firearms to watchlisted persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms. Tellingly, S. 34’s and H.R. 1506’s sponsors could not name a single gun crime committed by a watchlisted person who purchased a firearm after passing a NICS check. (See below.)
As D.C.’s and Chicago’s handgun bans have proven, prohibiting the possession of firearms doesn’t stop criminals from illegally acquiring them.
There would be an enormous potential for abuse, if the FBI were given arbitrary power over a constitutionally-protected right. This would be true even if the FBI had an unblemished record where civil rights are concerned.
Since the days of Heller, the left has repeatedly claimed that they are not trying to disarm Americans but that, instead, they just want to keep certain people from obtaining guns.
The catch? The government wants to define without due process who is “mentally unfit” for firearm ownership and who, also without due process, should be placed on the “terrorist watch list” and thus disallowed from exercising their constitutional rights.
When we apply this standard to other constitutional rights, it becomes even more clear how ridiculous this position is.
What if a person was placed on this list without any due process and they could no longer speak freely? Could no longer remain free from warrantless searches? There would be no protection of law anymore as anyone suspected of wrongdoing could simply be added to the list and their constitutional protections against government would simply evaporate.
Yet, for some reason, this brand of tyranny is acceptable when we apply it to the Second Amendment?
And that is why an armed populace is so important to the continuation of liberty in America…