U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)-
“A federal judge ruled … that a federal government database that compiles people deemed to be ‘known or suspected terrorists’ violates the rights of American citizens who are on the watchlist, calling into question the constitutionality of a major tool the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security use for screening potential terrorism suspects,” The New York Times reports.
“Being on the watchlist can restrict people from traveling or entering the country, subject them to greater scrutiny at airports and by the police, and deny them government benefits and contracts.”
The CAIR affiliation behind the complaint acknowledged, the net cast is wide and the watchlist can do much more than that if the gun-grabbers have their way. Prohibiting people on such lists from buying a gun has been a longtime goal of citizen disarmament zealots like Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords, who made big noise a few years back over a poll indicating “a majority of Nevadans would support a federal law prohibiting people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list or the no-fly list from buying firearm.”
The thing about polls is they’re only as good as the recipients’ understanding of what they entail, and that’s where a quote from Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow” proves (once again) relevant:
“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”
“The government’s use of terrorism watchlists has grown enormously since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and over time, the practice — and the opaque standards and rationales by which people’s names are added to such databases — has come under harsh scrutiny by civil libertarians,” The Times article continues.
“Opaque” hardly seems strong enough. If Ted Kennedy, with all his connections, could find himself ‘misidentified,” imagine what you or I would go through if we found our names kicked out as a false positive from a secret list. And using the “terror watch list” to disarm Americans has been a goal for years, exemplified by Barack Obama spouting manipulative inanities like:
“Right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun…And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now.”
The antis call any potential for evading an infringement a “loophole.” Why tamper with a successful tactic?
If being on that list is going to prevent you (but not criminals or real terrorists) from buying firearms, who thinks the next step won‘t be to confiscate the guns you already own? (That’s where registration lists, which the National Institute of Justice acknowledges are necessary for “universal background checks” to “work,” can come in so handy, especially when supplemented with so-called “red flag laws.”) And if you are one of those real terrorists and are dumb enough to fill out a Form 4473 and submit yourself to a NICS approval, what better way to be tipped off that you’ve been “made” than to be helpfully told the feds won’t allow your firearm transfer to proceed?
And then there are the arbitrary disqualifiers. I remember years back how one guy found himself on a list for the heinous crime of taking a giant, inflatable pink pig to political rallies to protest government waste! And the pressure is on to expand the disqualifiers even beyond the animal-shaped balloon owner menace. We have the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force to help further expand the dragnet by circulating flyers asking gun dealers and ranges to be on the lookout for such deadly threat giveaways as shaving beards, paying in cash, or traveling an “illogical” distance to a gun-related event. Seriously, for those of you who don’t remember it, I’m not making this up. See for yourself.
Naturally, if common and benign behaviors are cause for suspicion, how much more of an indictment of guilt would actual membership in a domestic terrorist organization be? That’s what the San Francisco Board of Supervisors resolved NRA to be, and as is to be expected with all “progressive” ideas, the charge is hardly original. Remember 10 years ago, when “cartoonist” Ted Rall ranted of peaceful open carry demonstrators:
“These town hall terrorists could be declared enemy combatants and bundled off to Bagram with the stroke of a pen. If ever there were a reason for suspending civil rights, this is it.”
So good job, NRA, for suing the city over this. Longtime readers know I don’t shy from taking Fairfax to task, often caustically, when I think they’re being inexcusably wrong-headed, so it’s important to encourage good behavior when they deserve an “Attaboy.”
In the meantime, it’s interesting to note how far the American psyche has been perverted, as a recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows us:
“[N]early one-out-of-three Likely Democratic Voters (32%) favor declaring the gun rights group a terrorist organization in the community where they live. Fourteen percent (14%) of Republicans and 20% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Democrats say Americans should be prohibited by law from belonging to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA, a view shared by 15% of Republicans and 10% of unaffiliateds.”
I’ll give anyone thinking of disarming Americans over this the same warning I gave Rall, one that prompted the strategically-renamed National Coalition to Ban Handguns to lie about what I was responding to when I wrote:
Careful, Mr. Rall. You’re talking about testing the ultimate last-resort purpose behind the Second Amendment. Some of us armed Americans take our Bill of Rights seriously and will not go gentle into that good night, bundled or by ourselves. You and your fellow travelers are playing a most dangerous game.
Let’s hope the watchlist ruling and the NRA lawsuit move us a step or two back from that precipice, but don’t forget the undeniable truth that is now out in the open: The antis not only want your guns, they want you treated like terrorists, that is, imprisoned without rights and/or killed. That’s not hyperbole. The words are theirs. And those in government want to make it official.
That’s what useful idiot cud-chewing Moms, parroting buzzwords like “commonsense gun safety laws,” are enabling. Whether they’re too blinded, biased and stupid to realize it or not…
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.