Sunday, March 29, 2015
Fritz Walker: Change Rules So Suspected Terrorists Can't Buy Guns in U.S.
The Morning Call
The Terrorist Watchlist is not to be confused with the no-fly list. There have been some well-publicized issues with the no-fly list, which have been used to raise false concerns over this legislation. The Terrorist Watchlist tracks very dangerous persons, for whom denial of an attempt to purchase firearms or explosives should be a no-brainer.
Among the objective criteria for inclusion on the Terrorist Watchlist are active membership in an organization devoted to jihad, a record of transfers of money to a terrorist organization, and the incitement of acts of terrorism. Only a small percentage of persons on the list are U.S. citizens. Legitimate civil libertarian concerns should be allayed by the fact that there is an appeals process for those who claim they have been misidentified.
Concern over this gaping loophole in our safeguards against terrorism on American soil is no idle pipedream. The Government Accounting Office recently reported that between February 2004 and December 2014, individuals on the watch list attempted to purchase firearms or explosives on 2,233 occasions — and more than 90 percent of the time, they cleared a background check and received approval to buy.
Inspection of the NRA-ILA's objections shows them to mostly consist of unrealistic paranoia. The fact is almost any law could hypothetically be administered in a way that threatens civil liberties. That's no excuse for blocking important public safeguards.