Why the No-Fly-List Gun Ban Is a Terrible Idea

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Why the No-Fly-List Gun Ban Is a Terrible Idea

December 11, 2015

“There are several steps that Congress should take right away. To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”

– President Barack Obama

On Sunday, President Barack Obama demanded that Congress move legislation that would represent one more leap down the road to serfdom. In his advocacy of restricting Constitutional rights without any due process, Obama has joined a growing choir of establishment media and politicians (of both parties) that have called for this “common sense” approach to solving the vastly over-stated issue of mass shootings.

Who, they argue, could oppose preventing terrorists from buying guns?

The question they don’t ask is, what do they mean by terrorist?

In 2009, the Obama Administration released a highly controversial memo alerting government officials to the growing danger of “rightwing terrorism”. The report lumped together white supremacists, disgruntled veterans and antigovernment groups, warning of alarming growth in these movements connected to the economic crisis and America’s first black president.

While the Department of Homeland Security had to apologize for the report, this was not an isolated incident. That same year, a branch of the Missouri state government released its own memo. Titled ”The Modern Militia Movement”, this report dives deeper into additional causes for potential terrorist threats, pointing to issues such as rising “anger towards the Federal Reserve System (FRS) and all forms of tax collection.” The memo also offers advice for government officials looking to identify these people, including fondness for the Gadsden Flag and supporting Ron Paul.  

While it is certainly reasonable for Americans to not want members of ISIS to be able to buy guns in the United States, to presume that government would ever limit any new found power to genuine terrorists is extraordinarily naïve. Not only have we watched the NSA abuse the Patriot Act to collect data on the public as a whole, we have routinely seen the government engage in dangerous mission creep to the point where the Patriot Act is evoked more in the War on Drugs than it is the War on Terror. Even if we ignore the insidious nature of the Patriot Act itself, does anyone believe that its most passionate supporters in government ever imagined this is where would be now?

If the Obama Administration succeeds in its desire to make the No-Fly List into an asterisk on the Second Amendment, there is no reason to believe it will not be abused. A terrorist watch list could quickly include any American who considers the US government dangerous and something to be controlled.

This is what governments do. This is what history teaches us.

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