Democrats Stage Sit-in Over Gun Control and the No Fly List
In a surprising turn of events on June 22nd, House Democrats staged a sit-in over recent gun-control measures that failed to pass Congress. One particularly troubling piece of legislation, was to prevent people on the government’s ‘terror watch list’ or ‘no fly list’ from purchasing firearms. From a high-level perspective, this sounds reasonable. Once one digs into the mechanisms of the no fly list, however, it’s extremely concerning.
The Selectee List, No Fly List, and Terror Watch List were all created under the George W. Bush Administration. It was supposed to be used as a way to limit terrorists’ mobility to and from the US, but it is wrought with problems.
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
Even more startling was the number of people on the list, and how many had no connection to terror organizations:
Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database … more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.”
The abysmal revelations don’t end there. There is a racial component to the list:
The second-highest concentration of people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” by the government is in Dearborn, Mich.—a city of 96,000 that has the largest percentage of Arab-American residents in the country.
So why is the Democratic party doubling-down on a failed Bush-era list that has been proven to be ineffective, and inherently racist? When they typically have touted themselves as the ‘party of the people?’ As far as I can tell, it’s to push more unproductive gun control legislation. Even the ACLU, who vehemently doesn’t defend the 2nd Amendment, has called this legislation problematic:
We believe that the right to own and use guns is not absolute or free from government regulation since firearms are inherently dangerous instrumentalities … At the same time, regulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy.
At least the ACLU has some sensibilities regarding this problematic legislation. Hopefully, they can teach Democrats some sensibility.