One of the most idiotic ideas to have emanated from the Obama White House appeared after a jihadi couple killed 14 people and wounded 22 in San Bernardino, CA. The idea was to prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone on either the no-fly list or a terror watch list. Of course there are numerous problems with this. It potentially warns people on a terror watch list that they are on said list and thereby compromises investigations. There is no viable way to allow a person on such a list to challenge being placed on the list without divulging classified information. Both lists are fallible and subject to political manipulation. The no fly list, in particular, is useless. Toddlers and fat drunks, like Ted Kennedy, have found themselves forbidden to fly because their name is on the list. More importantly, neither of the San Bernardino shooters was on such a list.
Now, in the aftermath of the jihadi shooting in Orlando, the same proposals have been resurrected. Never mind that the Orlando jihadi, Omar Mateen, was not on either a terror watch list or a no-fly list.
Make no mistake about it. This proposal is not a benign, give-the-illusion-of-doing-something, proposal. It is an attempt to allow the administration to broadly ban firearms by targeting political opponents. The FBI has for the past eight years been warning that right wing militia groups and “veterans” are the real terror threat. If a law passes like the no-fly-no-buy law, if you are affiliated with a pro-life or small government group you will be listed. Count on it.
Today a House committee voted to kill this amendment to a spending bill:
House Republicans on a powerful spending committee rejected an amendment to limit the sale of firearms to terrorist suspects Wednesday, just days after Senate Republicans blocked an identical amendment on the chamber floor.
“This policy could have made areal difference in Orlando,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who introduced the amendment during a House Appropriations Committee mark up. The measure would block firearms purchases by those who the Attorney General has a “reasonable suspicion” are engaged in terrorism.
Republicans said the provision would violate due process rights for those seeking to buy firearms. Democrats fired back by reciting the names and stories of some of the 49 victims of the June 12 massacre in Orlando, arguing that new gun controls are the best way to stop future bloodshed.
After pointed back-and-forth, the measure was defeated, 16-31.
“This list has been faulted for producing a high error rate in the past,” said Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) of the terror watch list, urging his colleagues to oppose the amendment. “I cannot support a standard that is so inherently subjective, especially when it is used to deny a constitutional right.”
This was a critical victory but a temporary one. These people are determined to make the Second Amendment a curious artifact and they will not give up.