Friday, April 27, 2007

Lautenberg Is at It Again

I see from the New York Times that anti-gun New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg is at it again. He wants to ban anyone from buying a gun if he or she has prepared for, aided, or otherwise abetted terrorism.

I don’t like the idea of terrorists buying guns, or fertilizer, or even plane tickets. But it’s awful hard to tell who’s a terrorist and who isn’t. They don’t wear special terrorist uniforms. They come in more varieties than young middle-Eastern males. They don’t even proclaim their intentions when they buy a gun, fertilizer, or plane ticket.

Further, there’s the problem with civil rights that Lautenberg so willfully ignores. Is a person a terrorist simply because they have an interest in guns? Could one stretch "preparing for terrorism" to include participation in action shooting sports? Could one abet terrorism if they join the NRA or GOA? Lautenberg probably wishes he could get away with just such definitions.

This reminds me of a post I did some time ago, but can’t find now (at least not without a bunch more looking and I’m feeling lazy now. I remember mentioning a proposal that would add those who are on TSA’s terrorist watch list to the NICS check. If you’re on the list, no gun for you. (The TSA and other agencies use their list to deny boarding on airplanes or to flag people for extra checks.)

Teddy Kennedy found out he was on the list because some Irish terrorist had the same name. Many leftist condemned the list as oppressive and unfair. They rightly pointed out that people are listed for no apparent reason, or they have a similar or identical name to a real terrorist, or they don’t know they’re on the list, and there’s no good way to challenge their inclusion. We believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty with all due process. There is no real due process in how the list is compiled or administered.

If Lautenberg gets his way and “terrorists” are added to some sort of government watch list, will the leftists complain about an oppressive government? Or will they champion Lautenberg’s law simply because it involves guns? I think I know the answer.

That’s the left’s problem right now. They’re blind when it comes to guns. They don’t see gun ownership as a civil right. Instead, they support rights to privacy, rights to choose and oppose what they see as government oppression. But when it comes to guns, they’ll support oppression every time. They need to wake up.

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