You know who needs to always have access to guns?
Oh, I should be more clear. I don’t actually think terrorists should be able to buy guns, but House Republicans sure as hell do. In the wake of Newtown, this country seemed to be willing to have a real, honest discussion about guns. There are many thoughts and points of view on the subject of firearms in America, but I daresay that most of us would agree that people on the FBI’s watch list — people suspected of being terrorists in other words — should be barred from purchasing a firearm. Well, House Republicans have set out to prove themselves unlike most Americans.
In the House Appropriations Committee this week, Republicans were able to kill an amendment proposed by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and David Price (D-NC) that would have given the Department of Justice the authority to deny people on the terrorist watch list ability to purchase a firearm. That sort of seems to make sense to me. I mean, I know we’re all about giving people the benefit of the doubt in this country, and I know our government has shown a tenacious hunger for overreach lately, but shouldn’t we treat people that we suspect of being terrorists with a little more caution?
Look, I’m all for due process, but at some point we also have to trade some liberty for security. I’m not in the FBI, and I’m not in the Department of Homeland Security, but something tells me Johnny Q. Public isn’t on the terrorist watch list. This story is just the latest piece of damning evidence that Washington — and namely the TEApublicans in Congress, is full of people who don’t use logic. No logical reason can be found to explain away giving suspected terrorists access to the kinds of guns you can buy in this country.
Sure, there’s a big difference between a “suspected” terrorist and a confirmed terrorist, but you don’t get put on the watch list for watching too many episodes of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” though you belong on some kind of list for watching that show. You end up on the terrorist watch list by doing things that terrorists do. Considering that one of the things that terrorists do when they carry out their terrorist acts is to kill people, I would think that allowing people who we suspect are terrorists to buy tools with which they can kill people would not be something a wise and prudent society does.
There are some issues that require a splitting of the most finite of hairs to find the differences between the parties. In this instance, you could identify the differences a mile and a half away in a bright yellow taxi cab. It’s hard to imagine Democrats defeating a bill in committee that would make guns harder for suspected terrorists to get. If ever there was a piece of legislation that made sense, it would be something that made it illegal for someone we suspect is already actively plotting against us to buy guns here in America to use against Americans, but apparently not according the NRA who killed similar legislation in 2011, on their standard rhetoric of “targeting law-abiding gun owners,” even though it’s hard to imagine how many “law-abiding” people are on the terrorist watch list, isn’t it?
This is what I’m talking about when I say that America just can’t seen to get out of its own way. I understand that some issues are tough; some issues require hours and hours of debate and cogitation. But laws that are aimed to keep people that we have strong suspicions about plotting to terrorize us away from guns aren’t the kinds of laws that should require any debate. It shows a lack of common sense, certainly, but more important a depraved lack of critical thinking, to protect the Second Amendment rights of suspected terrorists.
People on the terrorist watch list aren’t allowed to board planes. If you’re on the terrorist watch list, good luck getting a job. Yet, Republicans have no problem with someone on that same list walking into a gun store, plopping down a few hundred bucks and walking out with a hand cannon or two. What this means is that the next time a terrorist uses a gun they purchased here in America against Americans, the blood will not only be on the terrorists’ hands, but on the hands of every politician who caved to gun lobby pressure and killed a common sense piece of legislation that would have kept that firearm out the hands of the one who used it.