By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “The House will vote on a counterterrorism package that will include a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns, Speaker Paul D. Ryan told Republicans on a conference call Thursday,” The Hill is reporting. “The House, when it returns next week from its July Fourth recess, will also vote on a mental health bill, sponsored by Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, Ryan told his House colleagues. Republicans believe terrorism and mental illness have been leading causes of most mass shootings.”
Here’s the crux of what gun owners should be concerned about:
On the call, Ryan said it was common sense that suspects on terror watch lists should not be able to buy guns, but the Wisconsin Republican wants to be sure that any provision protects due process for people who may mistakenly be added to such lists.
Define “due process.” Is it being charged, tried in accordance with laws respecting rights, and found guilty before being denied a fundamental right? Or is it some law enforcement careerist using a secret list of undetermined sources and reliability convincing a judge or panel of unknown political sympathies that some tenuous “probable cause” alibi exists?
The same concern applies to mental health-related gun prohibitions—has the “accused” been afforded the equivalent protections of a jury trial, or is someone who may be quite learned in the field of mental health and quite ignorant and opinionated about “gun control” all that’s needed to sign off on a “no guns” life sentence?
Are we to believe the kinder, gentler Republican version will take care of that? How? In all cases? What will that cost, how will people of limited information and means be ensured equal protection, and how long will it take? Will there be recourse against wrong denials? Does anyone know of a shrink who will risk his reputation and career to sign off on a guy he previously accused of being dangerous so that he can now buy guns? What about his malpractice carrier? And ditto for judges and panels predisposed to be “anti-gun”?
Before we passively go along with all this, shouldn’t we have the specifics fleshed out?
And what of real terrorists? Assuming they actually go to an FFL and fill out a 4473 to buy a gun, wouldn’t telling one the transfer has been rejected be a big red flag to warn him he’s been made? Yeah, I know Loretta Lynch says that won’t be a problem, but she’s also the person who says she had a private meeting with Bill Clinton to talk about grandchildren.
As far as Islamist extremists are concerned, it’s fair to wonder what good bolting the barn door does once the horse is out. Why is it in the interests of U.S. citizens to let anyone into this country unless the process for doing so helps fulfill a fundamental obligation of government, “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”? And does anyone really believe Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson when he assures us they’ve all gone through “rigorous security screening”?
For some strange reason, establishment Republicans aren’t much interested in doing what needs to be done to stop the cultural terraforming that will result in an overwhelming Democrat majority once that “pathway to citizenship” has a few more lanes added.
Meanwhile, none of this refutes the observable truism that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. And that requires a finding of guilt with real due process protections in place.
The correct position for the Republicans to take on guns, since the only clear mandate is the right to keep and bear them shall not be infringed, is to reject all citizen disarmament attempts, and make the monopoly of violence cult fight for every inch. We know that’s the end game, so why cede any beachhead from which they WILL launch further attacks? Why make any concessions, even on a floor vote? What, are we going to find out which politicians are anti-gun? We don’t already know?
Outrageously, the Republicans think they can get away with this because, sadly and outrageously (but unsurprisingly), the National Rifle Association is on board with their plans. Responding to that, a coalition of gun rights groups has put out a call urging NRA to “stop support of secret lists & gun free zones.” I urge you to read their position and add your support.
I also urge you to send the same clear and unequivocal message some of us sent wavering politicians and politically-minded “gun rights leaders” after Sandy Hook, when, as now, the timorous were convinced that we had to give up something, as if throwing a circling pack of jackals a scrap or flesh in the hopes they’ll then leave you alone is consistent with reality. Our message to them then and now needs to be:
WE WON’T STAND FOR SCAPEGOATING
NO NEW GUN LAWS
DENY SUCCESS TO MASS MURDERERS BY ABOLISHING PHONY ‘GUN-FREE’ VICTIM / KILLER-ENABLING ZONES NOW
WORK WITH US OR WE WILL WORK TO RETIRE YOU
They need to hear that message from you loud and clear.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.