Thursday, April 28, 2011

You give up your rights first, Senator

New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, along with a few other members of Congress, wants to make it illegal for people placed on a top-secret document known as the "terror watch list" to buy or possess firearms.

That sounds pretty reasonable on the surface, at least until one realizes that

1.  Such people haven't even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.

2.  The government won't list the criteria they use for putting someone on that watch list, what happens to the people so labeled or the process by which an innocent person placed on it by mistake might get off it.

3.  There apparently hasn't been a single incident of such a listed person buying a firearm and then using it even in a garden-variety criminal act, much less a "terror" incident:

"There is no public information about anyone on the watch list who was allowed to buy a firearm using it in a crime."

4.  Finally (and most importantly), does anyone else have a problem with a government official having the sole power to arbitrarily designate, using a secret process unknown to just about everyone, a person as a "terror suspect" in order to deny them their Constitutional rights without any due process whatsoever?  What about denying them free speech?  Indefinite detention without charges being filed?  Cruel and unusual punishment to obtain information about terror plots?  Under this argument, those steps would be perfectly OK as well.

"'This is a homeland security issue, not a gun issue, and there's no reason we shouldn't be able to stop a terrorist from buying a dangerous weapon in the United States,' Lautenberg told the AP."

No reason except the Constitution, thankfully, which prevents overweening bureaucrats and politicians from imposing their unlawful will on the peasants under the guise of "homeland security" and "it's really for your benefit so shut up and submit to whatever we want you to".

Lautenberg would have been a model apparatchik in the old Soviet Union.

1 comment:

My Local Hosting Inc said...

As you know Doug, I don't always agree with you, or sometimes I agree at different levels. That's why I am sometimes silent on commenting. :)

But this is an issue that has nothing to do with guns and *everything* to do with every other basic freedom. Even anti gun rights folks should find this frightening for all of the well stated reasons you gave. I have been too busy today to fume much about this, but had been thinking of sending you a pm to beg you to post on it.

Excellent post and "spot on" my friend. Amen and again... Amen.