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Once again, the President and his congress of anti-civil rights apes are politicizing a horrific incident by flinging crap at the wall and seeing what sticks.  In this instance, they’ve chosen to toss around a stinking wad of “people on watch lists shouldn’t be allowed to get their hands on guns” so everyone can get a good whiff.

Their proposal boils down to not allowing people on ‘no-fly’ and other government lists to legally purchase firearms.  Now, to refresh everyone’s memory, federal law enforcement keeps at least a few lists of people who, for one reason or another, have come to its attention.  One of these lists is popularly called the “no-fly” list, because those on it are not allowed to board an airplane, but there appear to be others.  Nobody will say how one gets on these lists, who is already on them, or how to get off of them if you don’t belong.  The first sign of membership appears to be when your name, or one that’s similar, comes up when you try to check in at the airport or do something else where your name is flagged.

Now, it would appear that the murderer in Orlando was on at least one government list, but was able to legally purchase a firearm through a dealer.  This means that he passed a criminal background check, had never been adjudicated as incompetent or unwillingly committed to a mental health facility, and had no convictions or protective orders pertaining to domestic abuse.*   The FBI looked into him on a few occasions, and concluded that there was no there, there.

But he was indeed on a list, and now people want to know why such a list with no due process, not even to the point that someone is told they are on it, isn’t used to deprive someone of a constitutionally protected right.

I have a little thought experiment for those folks, so please, close your eyes and do a little imagining for me.

Now, for the sake of the argument, let’s just imagine that every single person on said list is there because they are, indeed, a terrorist.  Let’s also imagine that President Obama and Mrs. Clinton are wise, dedicated, honest individuals who would never use a secret list to disarm and discredit their political opponents.  Let’s imagine that the process for denying legal purchases is linked to that list.  Let’s even imagine that such a measure, justly wielded by anti-gun philosopher kings, is effective and keeps guns out of the hands of terrorists.

You with me?  Just imagine that for a moment.

Now, imagine giving the power to deny a right by putting someone on a secret government watch list to Donald Trump.

Still with me?

Still think that giving someone, anyone, the power to deny civil rights, without going through the bother of working through the courts, is such a good idea?  Any power you give to the best president to ever lead this republic will also be wielded by the most venal, evil president ever inflicted upon it.

Administrations change, for good or ill, but their powers rarely decrease.  If you wouldn’t give the power to someone you don’t want to be president, you should not, cannot, give it to someone you do, no matter their party.

Secret watch lists can and will be enlarged to include the actual and perceived political and social enemies of those in power. What seems like a good, limited response to a real threat can only grow, encompassing more people and more rights.

I recognize that we have a problem with violence in this country, be it done with guns, fists, knives, or whatever.  I recognize that many of us want to find a solution.  I just fail to recognize how using a tool so ripe for corruption and abuse can be that solution.

*It has come to light that his ex-wife and family acknowledge that he was an abuser, but apparently nobody made it official and went to court. Doing so would probably have kept him from legally owning a firearm.

 

2 Comments

  1. Making the official accusation that he was an abuser probably would also have kept him from his job as a licensed security guard, as well.

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