Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Sense is Not Common

Democrats in the Senate and House filibustered and sat-in to support the "common sense" limitation of barring terror watch-list persons from buying guns. It was extraordinary political theater for a town somnambulent under twin soporifics of summer heat and holiday recess. But is the restriction really the claimed "common sense"? US Person wants to know.

AP reported last year that the terror watch list is growing rapidly with more than 1.5 million names added in the last five years. Even Senator Ted Kennedy found himself stopped at airports because the name T. Kennedy was on the list. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis has been detained over thirty-five times. About 99% of the names submitted for inclusion are listed, even though the legal standard applied is "reasonable suspicion" the person is a known or suspected terrorist. There is no requirement for concrete facts nor irrefutable evidence a person is a suspected terrorist.  Once your name is added it is difficult to remove it. A federal court required Homeland Security to provide better means of legal redress in 2014 and at least inform the affected person they were on the list. The agency still refuses to tell people why they have been listed or offer a means of redress. The list is clearly biased towards Muslim names according to experts who have seen it. Several suits have been filed by persons and organizations against the federal government for the unreasonable curtailment of civil liberties.

So now what is clearly an abuse of civil rights may have even more consequences if the congressional Democrats get their way. A person with an otherwise clean criminal record could be denied the right to own a gun. A right enshrined in the Second Amendment as the industry trade association, NRA, constantly tells us. Real common sense like banning military grade weapons from the civilian market gives way to political expediency once again.  So now you know.