Friday, April 29, 2011

Close the Terror Loophole

via Opinione from Yahoo News

The 247 people who were allowed to buy weapons did so after going through required background checks as required by federal law.

It is not illegal for people listed on the government's terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

The secret, fluid nature of the terror watch list has made closing what Lautenberg calls a "terror gap" in the nation's gun laws a challenge. About the same number of people suspected of ties to terrorism also successfully purchased guns in the U.S. in 2009. The FBI provided the new numbers to the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, and the figures were obtained by The Associated Press.

The government can only prevent people from buying guns for any of 11 reasons. Convicted felons and illegal immigrants, for example, cannot buy weapons. But the terrorist watch list is different. People become convicted felons only after a court process and an opportunity to defend themselves. The watch list is secret and generated at the government's discretion. It is not a list of people convicted of terrorism crimes.

The list of about 450,000 people includes suspected members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, terror financiers, terror recruiters and people who attended training camps. People's names are added to and removed from the watch list every day, and most people never know whether they're on it.
If I were a gun control advocate (ha-ha), I wouldn't even mention this silly stuff. Think about it, 247 people out of 450,000 bought guns, or did they mean AT LEAST 247 out of 450,000?  Either way, it's a small number.

And worse yet, not one mention of any of the 247 having committed a crime.

No, this one goes in the same category as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, or should I call them "assault clips?" I call that categoy, "of minor interest with limited potential to help the problem."

We have bigger fish to fry, and spending time and effort on these initiatives takes away from that.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Thanks Mike. That is as close to sounding like a rights advocate that I have heard. If only you mentioned something about due process...

  2. TS, There are a number of frequently argued cun-control points that I just wouldn't bother with. I don't know what some of them are thinking. My idea is we have some big fish to fry and we should stick with them and not get distracted with suppressors or magazines or watch lists.