There has recently been a renewed push to have people on the terrorism watch list forbidden to buy guns. I wrote about this back in March; it still baffles me that the same people who think we should close the prison at Guantanamo Bay (populated by foreigners captured on the battlefield) think it’s OK to take the rights of U.S. citizens away based on the say-so of a political appointee. There are two baffling points here:
1) What makes you think that banning a terrorist (assuming the watch list is perfectly accurate) from buying a gun from an FFL means they can’t get any weapons of any kind? It’s not like street-corner drug dealers are registered with the DEA, or guns are some kind of mysterious technology that only a handful of PhD’s can make. The drug cartels that ship cocaine thousands of miles to the U.S., and then thousands of miles within the U.S. can and will do the same with guns if paid.
2) What other rights should we deny people based on the Attorney General putting their name on a list? 4th Amendment rights? Your home can be searched without a warrant if a political appointee says so? Due process? You can be imprisoned without trial or even probable cause because the AG doesn’t like you? 1st Amendment? No more going to church or mosque or wherever because we think you are dangerous?
There is no question that dangerous people of all kinds take advantage of freedom. That’s a reason to meticulously build cases for those people to be imprisoned, not throw away due process for the innocent.
But it’s OK to do that to gun owners, because they’re not people, right?