On Wednesday June 15, Senate Democrats began a filibuster on the Senate floor demanding a vote on a new gun control law that would create what has been dubbed the “No Buy List.” This legislation would do two things: expand background checks, and prevent anyone on the “No Fly List” from buying a gun.
Ostensibly, this sounds like a nice idea. But upon rational, level-headed consideration, one can see that this proposal is extremely dangerous. At the current moment, emotions are running high, and rational thought is at a low. Knee-jerk reactions are lusted after by those so emotionally affected by the recent terrorist attack.
However, making law based on fear and waves of passionate emotion is extremely dangerous, and I cannot emphasize that enough. When emotions run high, the need to address a problem becomes an excuse to do anything to satiate the lust. But in the end, making public policy based off of emotions only leads to more pain in the long run every single time.
It is especially important that there never be a “No Buy List” as it is now being dubbed. The idea of such a secret list, like the No Fly List, should terrify anyone with a shred of concern for their rights (or with sense). What will inevitably happen with such a list amounts to nothing less than bureaucratic oversight of a Constitutional right, a complete 180 degree turn from the Constitution’s design.
The rights of the citizenry are not up for debate with the masses; but they are especially not to be doled out or revoked by the whim of a bureaucrat. Let’s take a look at the issues that this presents.
First, this is a Second Amendment violation, no doubt about it. Preventing a law-abiding person from buying a gun in almost any situation is a dangerous precedent. It leaves the discretion of rights up to the State, and fundamentally flips the separation of powers so critical to the republican system of government.
Second, and arguably even more important, is that this violates the Fifth Amendment, the right to due process of law. Under this proposal, anyone on the No Fly List would not be able to buy a gun; ostensibly a good thing. However, when you understand how the No Fly List works, then the problem becomes known.
The No Fly List is a secret database of people who are not allowed to board an airplane. Nobody knows if they are on this list at any given time. The only way to find out is if you try to board a plane and get denied because your name is on the list.
You can be a perfectly law-abiding person, and be on this list, and you would not even know it. Think this is out of the realm of possibilities? Think again.
In 2004, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts was not allowed to board a plane because he was on the No Fly List. Now, of course he was no terrorist, but his name was on the list nonetheless. He was stopped five separate times at East Coast airports.
Another example is journalist Stephen F. Hayes, who was also placed on the No Fly List. According to NPR, he was placed on a terror watch list by the federal government. Hayes believes it was because he traveled to Turkey while the U.S. government was monitoring for ISIS recruiting. He has never gotten an official response as to why he was on the list.
Now let’s transfer these same people to this proposed No Buy List. People who have not been even accused of a crime, let alone convicted, will now be classified with convicted felons in the procurement of a fundamental right. How the hell does that make sense?
Answer: it doesn’t. It violates due process, and completely flips both our criminal justice system and Bill of Rights upside down. But the Democrats don’t care. They don’t care about due process rights, and I argue they never have (unless it was Bush that was violating them).
This proposed No Buy List is extremely dangerous. The fundamental right to bear arms will be placed in the hands of federal bureaucrats who have no knowledge of the entire situation with any given person. Only based on partial bits of information will someone be placed on this list, and never with any indictment, arrest, or conviction.
The right to bear arms will become a mere privilege afforded by the federal government at its leisure. Bureaucrats will be able to target individuals they do not like, and will be able to deny fundamental rights to them (think how the IRS targets conservative groups).
My fellow Americans, this is another Constitutional crisis that is growing before our very eyes.