Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, has taken the bait thrown out by the left in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack and is calling for the expansion of laws that would take away the rights of more law-abiding citizens to own a gun. This is not new territory for Trump who in his book, The America We Deserve (2000), previously declared his support for an “assault weapons” ban and a 72-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.
Trump’s new plan is to pass legislation that would ban anyone on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun. Sounds like a good idea, huh? After all, the terrorist watch list is what is used to compile all kinds of security screenings, like the No Fly List and the Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File. Stop those radical Islamic terrorists from getting guns? Keep American’s safe?
Make America Safe Again, right?
Wrong. Here’s the problem. Aside from known or suspected terrorists, do you know who else is on the terrorist watch list? American citizens with no criminal record. That’s right. You don’t have to commit a crime to get yourself placed on this list. You just have to be suspected of being a “not-so-nice” person, and BOOM – you’re a terrorist…at least according to the Government.
It’s so bad that even the Huffington Post published a story about how easy it is to get yourself on the Terrorist Watch List.
Critics say the system is bloated and imprecise, needlessly sweeping up thousands of people while simultaneously failing to catch legitimate threats, like Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
While some individuals are surely placed on these watch lists for valid reasons, the murky language of the guidelines suggests that innocent people can get caught up in this web, too, and be subjected to the same possible restrictions on travel and other forms of monitoring.
According to the HuffPo article there were 468,749 people nominated for the terrorist watchlist in 2013 alone. Only 1% of those nominations were rejected. That means that over 460,000 people were added to the list in 2013.
What kind of dastardly things do you have to do to get nominated for this list, you ask? Truly unspeakable things like:
– Post something on Facebook or Twitter.
– Have the same name as someone else on the list.
– Know somebody that gives off that…”terrorist-y” vibe.
– Be a part of a group that is associated with terrorism.
That last one is important. Do you remember back in 2014 when the FBI national threat assessment listed local militia groups and “sovereign citizen” nationalists as higher threats for domestic terror than radical Islam? I do. It means that the next groups that could be added to the list could be Tea Party organizations, or even Christian organizations. After all, there are those on the left that are blaming Christians for the Orlando shooting because of their “anti-LGBT” beliefs.
If you think the terrorist watch list is big now, what do you think will happen when the left finds out that it can deny gun rights to people who are on it? What happens when nameless, faceless bureaucrats, or anti-gun zealots start making thousands of thousands of nominations, all anonymously, of every right-wing person they have ever known? Think it couldn’t happen? Yeah, you’re right. The Government would never do something so outrageous, like target conservative groups for audits, or allow almost 500,000 immigrants to overstay their visas last year, or simply stop enforcing immigration laws…
Using the terrorist watch list to deny gun rights would not only be a violation of due process, but would also put innocent, law-abiding citizens at risk of prosecution. Nobody will tell you whether or not you are on the watch list. You could go to a gun show or your local gun store and attempt to legally purchase a gun, only to find out later that you are denied for being on the watch list. Since attempting to purchase a gun when you are not allowed is considered a crime, you could actually end up being prosecuted for nothing more than attempting to exercise your constitutional rights.
Using the terrorist watch list to deny gun rights to people would be the greatest expansion of gun control the left could ever achieve. It is simply mind-boggling that the GOP nominee for President is championing it.
Trump opens his mouth and the whole GOP blows up. Where were all these people when the GOP was curtailing our freedom through the Patriot Act process?
How did those laws work out in Orlando? Now we can look forward to even more GOP BS in order to stop the lone wolf.
But those new civil restrictions will be OK because Trump didn’t say it.
mezurak — This thread’s comments were driven by the article, so the focus on Trump is entirely appropriatell .I’m willing to bet you could generate a great discussion about it (guns, federal regulations, civil liberties and homeland security) if you put your thoughts in an article. To me, nothing could be more important right now than substantial conversation by Virginia conservatives so we can come to agreement on what is important to us.
Why not write the article?
Let’s start with asking how many civilians were hit by the Orlando cops. The swat guy said they shot the shooter inside the hallway from about ten feet away.
The hole they broke into the wall was surrounded by bullet marks, the audio of the shoot out sounded like the Battle of Hue Vietnam, but no one else was hit?
Wrong is wrong and most people who are pointing out Trump is wrong were not fine with the Patriot Act either.
The leaps of logical and more often illogical presentation here are appalling. Here is a statement from Katie Pavich at the Conservative online site Townhall, neither by the way remotely supporters of Donald Trump. I believe it will be a little more germane then a lengthy quote from that fair and balanced progressive rag the Huffington Post. A spokesperson for the National Rifle Association after concluding a meeting with GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump, who the group endorsed last month, about keeping terrorists from having access to firearms concluded:
“The NRA’s position on this issue has not changed. The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period. Anyone on a terror watch list who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing,”
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox released in a statement. “If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist. At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watch list to be removed. That has been the position of Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) and a majority of the U.S. Senate. Sadly, President Obama and his allies would prefer to play politics with this issue.”
So I might add do some never Trump revisionists. Either we are engaged in a war situation with real combatants or we are not, you can’t have it both ways to score points against Donald Trump because you detest him. To dismiss calls (no matter from whom) for exploring ways and means to deny internal enemy combatants the ability and access to acquire personal weapons (or ones of mass destruction for that matter, or would you be opposed to that as well) within the homeland to kill Americans is beyond the pale and to lash out in outrageous righteousness on such discussions as violating conservative values is obscene. I don’t believe the founding fathers had enemy combatants in mind in laying out the 2nd Amendment or the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due-process rights under the writ of habeas corpus. You clearly have lost your way over your Trump anger.
When you make the argument that we should deny law-abiding American citizens their Constitutional rights to due process and to keep and bear arms because some bad guys are using guns to kill people, then it is you that have lost your way.
If you can’t honestly look at your chosen candidate with a critical eye when he does or says something stupid, then you are the one that needs help. Are you so willing to give up your rights (and mine for that matter) to feel safe?
The NRA is just making statements trying to gild the lily so they can’t be attacked as wanting terrorists to own guns while they quietly work to either kill the bill or try to water it down to the point that it is harmless. Trump doesn’t think that far ahead. More importantly, this fits perfectly into his view on guns that he has held for decades.
Instead of criticizing me on sounding the alarm bells, why don’t you ask our friends at the VCDL what they think of using the terrorist watch list to deny 2nd amendment rights to Americans?
If you actually read the statement above from the NRA (which I agree with by the way) rather then simply rushing to spin the facts to support your latest Trump bashing exercise you should be able to see that no one is being denied due process of anything, no one is proposing to “deny law-abiding American citizens their Constitutional rights to due process and to keep and bear arms because some bad guys are using guns to kill people, then it is you that have lost your way.” If your on the list your are flagged at gun purchase anA
Did you or did you not just write the following?
“I don’t believe the founding fathers had enemy combatants in mind in laying out the 2nd Amendment or the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due-process rights under the writ of habeas corpus.”
That sounds to me like someone who is willing to sacrifice freedom for “security.”
So you think it is ok for some bureaucrat to place you on the terror watch list because they don’t like what you write on Facebook or blogs, which means you can’t by a gun. Then, in order to get off that list you have to hire a lawyer, pay thousands (or even tens of thousands) or dollars so you can go before a judge and ask, pretty-please, for your rights back?
I repeat. Go ask the VCDL what they think of this idea, then get back to me.
Pure baloney, the Constitution and the founding fathers never envisioned extending due process rights to enemy combatants or terrorist mass murdering religious insurrectionists. If you don’t trust the constitutional law enforcement and judicial arms of the Republic, the FBI and the federal courts to do their job, I can’t help you there, but you do need to get one thing crystal clear in your one track thinking, the enemy here is the Islamic terrorists, homegrown and foreign imported, NOT the NRA , Congressional Representatives who disagree with your positions or Donald Trump.
The 2nd Amendment was born out of the ingrained distrust the founding fathers had of government. The entire purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to allow the people to defend themselves against a government that becomes tyrannical in nature. So no, I don’t trust the law enforcement and judicial arms of the Republic to decide whether or not I should be allowed to carry a gun and defend myself.
I agree with you on one thing. The enemy is Islamic terrorism. The answer, however, is not to give leftists and anti-gun zealots an easy way to take away the 2nd and 5th Amendment rights of millions of Americans, or do you think this system won’t be abused if it is enacted into law?
Very well said.
I believe you have shifted the topic yet once again, the question I believe was should 2nd Amendment rights extend to identified and known Islamic terrorists, Yes or No? I’m taking from the tone of your article you believe the answer is yes but perhaps I misunderstand. If that is the not the case and your position is no a simple no comment response will suffice.
I have not shifted the topic. The entire point of this post was to point out the problems of using an arbitrary list based on suspicions to deny 2nd amendment rights. The secondary point was to point out that Trump is supporting this position. The question was never whether or not we should extend gun rights to known terrorists. Did you actually read the whole post?
Do you believe that all the people on the terrorist watch list are “known Islamic terrorists,” or known terrorists of any kind? The watch list has more than 1 million people on it. Do you think we have 1 million Islamic terrorists running around the country?
By denying rights, especially Constitutional rights, to people by using an arbitrary list that is compiled in secret, using secretive means to determine who is on it, based on suspicions of possible future criminal activity, you are creating a class of people that are presumed guilty and denying them rights without due process. You are then placing the burden on private citizens to prove their innocence in order to restore their rights. That is the exact opposite of the way things are supposed to work.
The proper way to restrict the gun rights of an identified and known Islamic terrorist is to lock him up.
What about denying the rights of a suspect? If suspicions are misplaced, then we will be denying an individual’s of rights without due process. And that becomes a recipe for the federal government to abuse law-abiding citizens.
So the question, in the broadest possible terms, is:
What liberties and rights are we willing to surrender so the federal government can give us increased security?
No – it’s about denying 2A rights to people on the terror watch list – which contains a MILLION people! Maybe even you with your relatively common name. There are tiny infants on that list because they have the same name as a terrorist! There are NOT a million (1 in 300 people) on the terror watch list!
John Adams, 46 years old when Constitution was signed. 26 of those years were wartime.
Thomas Jefferson, 54 years old when Constitution was signed, 26 of those were during wartime.
I could go on… But just go with the short answer. Most of the framers had lived half of their lives with war going on in their home country, both wars employing guerilla tactics. They had more experience at this than any living Anerican does today!
What history book were you reading that said the founding fathers weren’t envisiong war when they designed the Constitution?
I have no idea what you are talking about and how any of it is germaine to the comments above. How old Adams and Jefferson were when…. , please do me a favor forget I exist, I’m more then happy to do the same for you.
By the numbers then?
1. You wrote “the Constitution and the founding fathers never envisioned during war…”
2. That statement is false.
Yes, right that’s perfectly clear now.
It will be mildly amusing, despite also being horrifying, when Trump et al put Lawrence and friends on the “no-buy” list.
Very well said.
Trump should be careful with this one. It’s one thing to temporarily bar immigration from countries with a history of Radical Islamic terrorists. It’s quite another to threaten 2nd Amendment gun rights of U.S. citizens without due process by arbitrarily putting people on a “watch list” and then barring them from gun ownership.
Having a rather common last name all members of my family have at one time or another been on the ‘do not fly’ list. It has been an issue over and over at airports. After further checking the airline personnel realize it’s not us but someone with the same name at another location. Trump is advocating that my family be banned from gun ownership even though none of us have ever committed a crime. It’s a terrible, awful, no good, very bad idea.
Come and get ’em Donald.
At first blush, it is very hard to argue that people on the terrorism watchlist should still be allowed to purchase guns. The left is hammering this as an absurd idea, and the media will support them, and they will probably win the argument. Most people will say it is ridiculous to allow terrorism watchlist subjects to buy guns.
However, the author is correct. The fundamental problem is that we cannot trust the government, particularly when the left has control of all government agencies. Look at how they corrupted the IRS. Most people were shocked that they could be so brazen. There is no doubt Democrats will abuse this power with something as fuzzy as a terrorism threat database. That database has been a mess for many years, though it is not as bad as it used to be. If we expand the consequences of being on that list to exclude restrictions on gun ownership, it will just be too tempting for Democrats to abuse that power also.
I generally trust a person like James Comey, who is not entirely under the thumb of Barack Obama because of his appointment. He will do the right thing in most cases. And that is why the FBI Director is appointed by Congress for terms that do not align with presidential elections. We need independent apolitical law enforcement. The problem in this case is that the terrorism watchlist is not under the sole control of the FBI. There are many fingers in that pie. So if there has to be a compromise that involves restricting watchlist subjects from gun ownership, then there has to also be an independent watchdog that has control of the watchlist. There are many agencies already involved, with a wiring diagram that is almost incomprehensible already. Independent oversight would be a very complicated thing to implement, though it might be the only way to prevent abuse.
Sorry, but I can’t help but giggle. You Conservatives who’ve decided to support Trump are going to swallow a lot worse stuff than this as he shifts to the left. There’s lots more “deals” coming, and now he’s your guy and you’re going to defend him. And he’s said he doesn’t need you, so it’s not like you’re going to have a seat at the table if he’s elected. So you’re giving your support just because the alternative is “far worse.”
And isn’t that exactly the kind of compromise many Congressional Republicans made over the last 7 years? They said they couldn’t do the bold thing and oppose Obama, because he was so strong and popular that he’d always win, so the alternative to not fighting him was far worse.
.Sooner or later, you turn and fight for real conservative values, with a real conservative candidate, or you fade into political oblivion, compromised beyond recognition as a conservative.
You are right sir. If we don’t stand for something, we’re doomed. It may be time for our party to fade away if we can’t stand for conservative principles. What’s the point otherwise?
The gun control show is smoke and mirrors. Trying to distract you from the Guccifer 2.0 hacks. remember that the DNC said no donor info was hacked?? What do you think??
Not every issue needs to be turned into a Trump versus conservatives “values” argument. Which is the true conservative value; the conservative who thinks the 2nd Amendment must be interpreted as an absolute right for all Americans without any exceptions? Or is it the conservative who thinks that national security is one of the foremost constitutional responsibilities of government which compels us to defeat the Islamic terrorist threat with every means possible. The truth is that both positions are conservative and both uphold our conservative values, yet there has to be some reasonable deconfliction between competing conservative goals in the real world.
Trump’s instincts are actually conservative in this case. He wants serious action to protect Americans; restricting terrorist access to guns isn’t such a terrible idea. Compare Trump’s position to Obama/Hillary’s position, to see the stark difference. Democrats are not concerned at all about weakening the 2nd Amendment wherever they can get away with it, and neither are they serious enough about protecting Americans from the ISIS threat. No conflict at all for them. They are happy to gut the 2nd Amendment altogether, and still do nothing meaningful about the ISIS threat.
This isn’t a fight between Trump and conservative values.
Not every issue needs to be turned into an Trump versus conservatives “values” argument. Which is the true conservative; the conservative who thinks the 2nd Amendment must be interpreted as an absolute right for all Americans without any exceptions? Or is it the conservative who thinks that national security is one of the foremost constitutional responsibilities of government which compels us to defeat the Islamic terrorist threat with every means possible. The truth is that both positions are conservative, yet there has to be some reasonable deconfliction between these competing goals in the real world.
Trump’s instincts are actually conservative in this case. He wants serious action to protect Americans. Restricting terrorist access to guns isn’t such a terrible idea. Compare Trump’s position to Obama/Hillary’s position, to see the stark difference. Democrats are not concerned at all about weakening the 2nd Amendment wherever they can get away with it, and they aren’t serious enough about protecting Americans from the ISIS threat. No conflict at all for them. Just gut the 2nd Amendment, while not taking any meaningful impact on the terrorist threat.
This isn’t a fight between Trump and conservative values.
Why bring the Democrats into this? This is about a man who aspires to represent conservatives, yet takes positions apparently without regard to issues conservatives feel are important. The desire for liberty, distrust of big government, and desire to avoid arbitrary change to the Constitution are widely accepted as conservative norms. With them in mind, one could easily predict the objections to Trump’s position that appear in this thread. So when he proposes a policy that could increase federal authority to restrict rights without due process, Trump should expect conservatives to object.
But he took that position. And when his advisors catch him up on the impact of what he said, he will either deny having said it (as he did with the issue of arming the Japanese with nukes) or he will issue another reinterpretation that is an attempt to walk his words back inside boundaries.
And when we realize after months of Trump’s media sound bytes that loose, unthinking talk is the Trump standard, we have to wonder when a President Trump could say something truly damaging, that can’t be walked back.
I completely agree that conservatives should be talking about important issues like that of liberty vs. security. If we could stop talking about whether all Mexicans are rapists or other Trump topics, perhaps we could have those conversations.
You ask why bring Democrats into this? I find it very hard to take you seriously when you have already admitted in another thread that you think it is better to elect Hillary than to elect Trump. That is a very rare position indeed, for a conservative.
I’m saying that Trump’s instincts are not too far off in this case. If you keep arguing that we must allow terrorists to have the right to buy guns, you don’t have a winning hand in the long run. Just because Donald Trump thinks we should NOT let terrorists buy guns, doesn’t mean you have to take the other side of the issue. Leave your Trump Derangement Syndrome aside and think about what actually should be done in this case.
What Trump SHOULD have done is announce a position on gun control that is consistent with the way conservatives see the issue of Constitutional rights and limited government. Instead, yet again, he appears to have shot his mouth off before he thought things through.
And again, his most loyal respond to discussion with equivocation, derision, and distraction.
Heh. I have to admit, Frank, you’re as adept on the internet as you are on TV at blurring the lines between right and wrong. Nice touch with placing “values” in quotes, as if they’re something all thinking people know are relative and situational.
The fact is neither you or I know exactly what Trump will do with regard to the 2nd Amendment, and the reason for that is Trump has lead a personal and political life unbound by any values other than his self-advancement. For some, this pragmatic and demagogic approach to governing a Constitutional Republic poses a feature, not a bug, in that it offers the hope of “solving” numerous problems that presently seem intractable.
To Conservatives, it represents — especially in these times — a challenge to their values, a few of which are what Michael cites — ” desire for liberty, distrust of big government, and desire to avoid arbitrary change to the Constitution.” Trump’s life is one long narrative of discarding political positions (and wives) when they were no longer useful to him; why expect him to change?
Watching Trump carefully isn’t “Trump Derangement Syndrome;” it’s something any thinking Conservative must do.
I guess you missed the point. This isn’t an argument about right and wrong. It is just as conservative to be concerned about national security as it is to be concerned about the 2nd amendment. There is no blurring between right and wrong because both are right.
No, Frank, I didn’t miss the point; I recognized it for the dodge it was.
The real point is that for someone like Trump, a man who holds to no particular principles other than self-advancement, any compromise between national security and the 2nd Amendment will be settled using pragmatic and demogogic reasoning, not Constitutional reasoning.
Trump Derangement Syndrome at its finest. Even when he advocates a sound principle like protecting American citizens, he must be wrong, even before you know anything about any such compromise.
Skeptics are not the ones who are deranged about Trump.
It appears The Donald is following the NRA’s lead on this. I’m not a fan of our Big Government coming up with “lists,” but I do think anyone being investigated by the FBI should be looked at closer when it comes to the purchase of firearms. Granted, if our leaders truly wanted to save lives, they would ban “gun free zones.” I’ll wait to see the specifics before I start crying like a little baby.
The problem is, Trump also wants a ban on people from the ‘do not fly’ list from buying guns. The NRA does NOT agree with that, but The Donald will ‘negotiate’ with the NRA on this point. Good luck with that.
I will wait for the results from his meeting with the NRA. I do wish he would meet with the VCDL instead. Until gun free zones are banned, we will never be truly safe from an idiot with a weapon.
If you people have not gotten the clue yet, anything The Donald says or tweets will be warped to put him in the worst light possible. That’s whether we are talking the Lame Stream Media or the pathetic GOP leadership. All you have to do is look at the media outlets that are going crazy over this. You can let the sand get in your britches between now and November if you like, you’re just gonna be in a lot of discomfort while these elites play you like a fiddle.
Since all of us are presumably smart enough to get to twitter to check the original source, what you are saying is don’t believe the words that Trump himself types.
He has been in the news all day. Makes one wonder why, don’t it?
No it really doesn’t… Trump was a publicity hound long before he was a presidential candidate.
It is free. Sort of trumped the $100 million plus ole Jeb had on hand for his failed campaign. I suppose you would rather waste the money, right?
If that is the NRA’s position, then they are damn fools too. Need I remind you that FBI training is far more likely to label TEA party groups and preppers as terrorists than they are ROP followers.
And for your information, Trump was for “assault weapons” bans and other gun control his entire adult life before he decided to run for president as a Republican. Don’t believe me? Check out his tweets in support of Obama’s pro-gun control speech after Newtown or his published support of “assault weapons” ban from 2000.
At least he has never voted for a ban like Kasick. I’ll wait to see how the meeting goes.
He’s never been in a position to vote. He’s never voted for OR against a ban. That’s the problem when you nominate someone with no voting record.
I suppose that will be the mystery we will have to deal with until he becomes president. He is talking a good game about getting rid of “gun free zones” and a national reciprocity policy which is sorely needed as we face that peace loving muslim terrorist nutjob threat. We know exactly what a Mrs. Cankles will do if elected, that’s if President Prissypants and his DHS henchmen don’t beat her to it. At this point, I’ll stick with the person that has the right policy position.
This is some scary stuff!
Actually it is the other way around. The NRA is following “The Donald’s” lead.
On Tuesday the NRA was tweeting that bans for people on watch lists are “ineffective, unconstitutional, or both.” The statement you linked to was in response to Donald Trump’s tweet this morning that he was going to meet with the NRA to “discuss” this.
I suppose I could have worded that better. After the meeting with the NRA leadership, I believe he will follow their lead. To do otherwise, would be suicidal for his campaign. It is funny how one little tweet from The Donald can put him in the forefront of the day’s news cycle. Do you think he does it by purpose?
You mean, does he say stupid things that makes his disapproval rating soar to 70%, put him down 12 points in the polls to Clinton, and cause Republicans to question his commitment to protecting our rights? Sometimes I think does.
The Donald has been anointed by God to save America. Whatever he does is the will of God.
Just showing the other side of the bias. You people feel he is not worthy, some think he is anointed by God. With the multitude of people that support him, most of whom fall somewhere in between, I believe The Donald will win in a landslide. I will be enjoying the ride through November, regardless.
You might want to delve a little deeper in any polls that show Shrillary leading. Of course, you are free to have the Lame Stream Media lead you by the nose as much as you want. Hopefully, you won’t be too shocked when The Donald is ordained.
Trump is a non-conservative, loud-mouthed idiot who doesn’t understand the Constitution AT ALL.
He is considerably less of a menace than Hillary is. That is all I care about. The fact is had Marco Rubio not caved in on “immigration reform,” and had there not been 16 candidates vying for the nomination, he would be on top of the ticket right now.
Oh I understand that, but I can still highlight what an ignorant ass he is. Better than Hillary? Sure. Syphilis is better than Hillary.
I wouldn’t be surprised if half the people that frequent this blog are already on the list.
Dear fellow Virginians, most of us know the NRA serves a great national purpose. Consider though, the premier Virginian Gun advocacy group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League.:
This group for our Commonwealth is the NRA on steroids. If y’all do not wish to support them financially for a minimal annual membership fee, please consider signing up for their free alerts. The alerts will keep you informed of every gun bill, state legislators, and how they vote. VCDL will also report on many valid issues pertaining to your 2nd amendment rights, and stories you will never see on the MSM, including the frauds at Fox News.
Have to admit that this video by the NRA is good…