On gun-law proposal, GOP is right and Obama is wrong

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High-capacity magazines and other equipment found alongside the dead suspects in the San Bernardino terror case are documented as evidence.

“There are several steps that Congress should take right away (to fight terrorism),” President Obama said Sunday in a speech from the Oval Office. “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”

Clearly, the president was frustrated. A few days earlier — and just one day after the San Bernardino terror attack that killed 14 — the Republican-led Senate had rejected just such a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The 45-54 vote was almost entirely along party lines: All but one Senate Democrat had voted in favor of banning those on the no-fly list from buying guns; all but one Republican had voted against it. Similar legislation has been blocked in the House.

In this case, the Republicans are absolutely right; the Democrats and Obama are plainly wrong. The proposal may have have been smart politics for the Democrats, allowing them to depict their political opponents as more concerned with protecting guns and their pals in the NRA than in fighting terrorism. But the proposal that they championed would have made very bad law and set a terrible precedent.

Why? Because like it or not, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to purchase and possess firearms is a constitutional, individual right. And under no circumstances should a person be stripped of a constitutional right by simply putting his or her name on a secret government “watch list” based on unknown evidence from unknown sources, with little to no ability to challenge it in open court. If you are one of the tens of thousands placed on such a list, your government won’t tell you why. It won’t tell you what evidence it used to place you on the list, and in fact it won’t even confirm that you’re on the list in the first place.

Basically, you’re screwed, condemned to second-class citizenship with little legal recourse.

As Sen. Marco Rubio noted in a CNN interview:

“Ted Kennedy once said he was on a no-fly list. I mean, there are — I — we — there are journalists on the no-fly list. There are others involved in the no-fly list that wind up there. These are everyday Americans that have nothing to do with terrorism. They wind up on the no-fly list. There’s no due process or any way to get your name removed from it in a timely fashion. And now they’re having their Second Amendment right being impeded upon.”

Again, that’s absolutely correct. But let’s take this an obvious and necessary step further: If “everyday Americans that have nothing to do with terrorism” end up on the lists¹, with “no due process or any way to get your name removed from it in a timely fashion,” as Rubio claims, then how do you justify using those same highly flawed, bloated lists to deny people the fundamental right to travel, a right that is also recognized by the courts?

Curiously, I’ve seen no outrage from Republicans about that kind of violation of basic civil liberties. Quite the contrary. Their concern extends to guns, and only to guns.² If you’re on the list and you want to fly to visit your grandmother in England, you can’t because the government said you can’t, and because “national security.”

But if you’re on the list and want to buy a gun, fine.

—————

¹There are two such lists. One, known as the “watch list,” is compiled by the FBI and is reported to contain more than 1 million names. Many of those named are neither U.S. citizens nor legal residents of the United States, so their constitutional rights are not at issue. But tens of thousands are citizens, many with no idea that they have been officially labeled by their government as suspected terrorists.

The second list, the “no-fly list,” is a smaller subset of the “watch list,” containing an estimated 47,000 names. But again, even the government concedes that many on that list are probably there in error.

——-

²In 2014, a federal judge in Oregon confirmed that the no-fly lists constitute a denial of basic liberty and a violation of constitutional due process. (I wrote about the ruling at the time.) And in a continuation of that case, the ACLU will argue in court today that the government’s proposed changes to the listing process do not resolve the problem.

 

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1174 comments
TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

Clarence Thomas was a far-left liberal until tapped by H.W. to become a Republican token on the Supreme Court. Does that tell anyone anything about why he doesn't ask questions from the bench?

skydog12
skydog12

DIA, You need to worry about your own Phoebe Putney Hospital, they are making a KILLING on ya`ll.


My wife`s uncle literally owns Phoebe. It is a huge operation.


What you need to worry about is income inequality. 


Our uncle donated one million dollars to build a gate at Emory. A GATE! Not a building or a lab, but a million dollar gate. He also donated most of the money to build Deerfield.


Yes, I am jealous and a still a little p*ssed at the "Button Toppers" I got for Christmas last year. The frigging postage cost more than the gift!


DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@skydog12 Been there, done that.  I could write a book on what is wrong with that place.  In fact, I'm sure that "your" uncle and I disagree on just about everything regarding that place.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Almost two-thirds of likely 2016 Republican primary voters favor Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., while more than a third say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Those are some of the findings from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll, an online survey conducted Tuesday, that shows support at 37 percent among all likely general-election voters for the controversial proposal put forward by the Republican front-runner.


Not sure I believe the poll's methodology, but it's a data point to have some level of consideration.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The Times/CBS poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans are either concerned or frightened over the prospect of a Trump presidency (including one-third of Republicans surveyed).

[snip]

The poll also found that more than half of the surveyed voters are either concerned or scared about the prospect of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton occupying the White House. According to the poll, Clinton continues to enjoy a 20-point lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

A sorry "set" of circumstances in which we find ourselves.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@FIGMO2 Once again: a vote between the lesser of two lessers.  Just like in 2000 and 2004.

skydog12
skydog12

@FIGMO2


One mans sorry circumstances are the next mans hog wallow.

These are the best of times.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@SFM_Scootter Nah, both of those were slam-dunks on who to vote for instead of who to vote against.

ugaboy2016
ugaboy2016

Since we know that the rifles used in SB massacre was purchased legally how come the actual purchaser hasn't been tracked down? 

YouLibs
YouLibs

@ugaboy2016 He committed himself to a mental institution the day of or the day after the shootings.

skydog12
skydog12

@ugaboy2016


He has. He committed himself into a mental institution the next day.

lvg
lvg

@Peachs @DownInAlbany How 's that work when our governor refuses federal Medicaid funds for treatment of the poor?

ugaboy2016
ugaboy2016

@DownInAlbany obamacare continues to close hospitals nationwide. Its sad that rural communities filled with democrats have to live with this partisan law that forced down the throat of the American people...

Paul42
Paul42

@ugaboy2016

Same as the other day:  there is a higher-than-Redstate standard for trolling on this forum, thank you very much.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@SFM_Scootter 

You overlooked my important word, "new," Scootter. The NEW Democratic Party in Georgia is not the same as the OLD Democratic Party in Georgia.  All those white, old Southern men are now Georgia's Republicans, donyaknow?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@lvg 

Funds that Georgians had paid into the federal government, now being reassigned to other states which do not have such a large ALEC constituency of state representatives and state senators in their capitol buildings.  Vote the new Democratic Party in Georgia.  The only way to move Georgia ahead.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

ByteMe...did you ever find the link for the 5 regional hospitals that have closed in Georgia?  I'd really like to read it.  Apparently I've missed that news.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Paul42 @DownInAlbany The Affordable Care Act was designed to improve access to health care for all Americans and will give them another chance at getting health insurance during open enrollment starting this Saturday. But critics say the ACA is also accelerating the demise of rural outposts that cater to many of society's most vulnerable. These hospitals treat some of the sickest and poorest patients — those least aware of how to stay healthy. Hospital officials contend that the law's penalties for having to re-admit patients soon after they're released are impossible to avoid and create a crushing burden.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/12/rural-hospital-closings-federal-reimbursement-medicaid-aca/18532471/

fedup52
fedup52

 Thomas didn't say a thing about what Scalia said either.insulted Thomas but Thomas stayed quiet

White man's boots on a black man's neck.  That is my take and I stick by it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@fedup52 
Actually Thomas is legendary for not saying anything during oral arguments. This shouldn't surprise.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Byte me@VC this is sad because Thomas is a product of Affirmative Action .

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@Byte me

Very true. You take the same tests in college. Can't just blame Bush.a lot of black leaders overlooked the red flags with Thomas..

ByteMe
ByteMe

@BuckeyeGa I don't think AA gets you much past the admissions desk for the college, you still have to do the work.  Correct me if I'm wrong there.  I blame it on Bush I, who made a poor pick, and the politicians on the Hill who turned his hearings into a circus for their own political gains.

lvg
lvg

Looking at the two  latest  jihadis from SB coming into the US from their Saudi honeymoon in their Muslim garb, I wonder how many Americans would gladly fly with them on the plane?

Should they have been on a no-fly list?

Should they have been allowed to buy assault weapons if they already had decided to commit murder and mayhem?

Should their computer usage have been monitored ? cell phones?


I do not hear the moderate candidates countering Trump on how that should be done in the  future,with 

Jihadis plotting to kill us and  who are for all appearances normal Muslims.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@lvg Too many parts of the constitution to be violated to track them without any kind of probable cause.  I'll stick with the constitution and take my chances.  I have a much higher likelihood of dying in traffic on I285 anyway.

Peachs
Peachs

@ByteMe @Peachs that is what I tell south Georgia, a terrorist couldn't find you on a map, what are you worried about..


But a nut probably lives next door!

fedup52
fedup52

@lvg Once every body figures how to track domestic terrorist we can use the same methods.  

Peachs
Peachs

@fedup52 @lvg just like a fat person, you may not see them eat but you know that is not mother nature causing that, take those guns away and you will never hear the word domestic or terrorism in this country again. 

skydog12
skydog12

@Peachs @ByteMe @lvg


These Atlanta driving Jihadisist try to take me out every day.

About 30% of my riders are Muslims. Very nice and polite people compared the Buckhead beaches. I avoid Bulkhead like the plague. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@lvg 
Ya think maybe the kind of training requirements we'd written about earlier might've raised some red flags? I mean, if part of the training is taking some written tests that could ascertain certain psychological leanings--why, we might actually weed out a mass murderer or three.

And frankly I don't much care if a mass murderer does the deed because he thinks Allah wants him to kill infidels, or because Jesus wants him to save the baybee partz, or because Fido wants him to kill the trollops, y'know?

skydog12
skydog12

@lvg


Nobody can predict or intercept most Lone Wolves, no matter if the are Muslim or Christian. If you can, the FBI needs you. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Peachs I work from home, so I rarely see I285, so not really much much higher, just much higher 8^)

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@fedup52 @lvg

Many of our domestic terrorists are there in plain view for everyone to see, occupying seats in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and lobbyist offices scattered across D.C.

skydog12
skydog12

@Visual_Cortex @lvg


I`m with you VC dead is dead.

Kinda like my family wanting to know if I want to be cremated or buried? I don`t care. Ya`ll can roll me under TD`s house and make him pay for removal for all I care.