Monday, December 7, 2015

People on the "No-Fly List" Should Indeed be Allowed to Buy Guns!

President Obama stated in his weekly address on Saturday that "Right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun."

In this post I will explain why people on the so-called "No-Fly List" should be able to buy a gun (if you and I are legally able to do so)

I'm deeply disappointed that the President (for whom I voted) should know better but still played petty politics with this issue anyway.

Does Keith Really Want to Arm Terrorists?! 

Don't think for one minute that I want terrorists to have guns. I served my country for four years after 9/11 as an Arabic linguist at the National Security Agency. During that time, I served for three months in Iraq in 2004, during which time I came under enemy fire. I received the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal for my service there.

But I was willing to risk my life for my country precisely because I believe in the principles of Liberty and Justice the United States of America stands for. 

So is Keith a Pro-Gun Nut?

Me, in Iraq, Glock at my Side
was certified on the Glock 9mm and M-4 assault rifle, both of which I was required to have on my person while serving in Iraq. 

But there is no gun in my home. I don't want one in my home because I know that, statistically, the chances of me or my loved ones being harmed or killed by my own gun are vastly greater than the chances I would ever actually use the damn thing to defend myself. 

And I am perfectly fine with restrictions on what types of guns should be legal and vigorous background checks on people seeking to buy one.

But, if you were seduced by the argument that denying the right to buy a gun to people on the "No-Fly List" was a "No-Brainer," as it has been publicly called, let me explain why you should be ashamed that you tossed out core principles of our Nation so readily.

The "No-Fly List"

First off, people are not on the "No-Fly List." Names are on the list. If someone named John Smith has terrorist connections sufficient to warrant putting his name on the "No-Fly List," then everyone named John Smith has his name on that list.

And if you are named John Smith, in that scenario, you will find that every time you try to get a boarding pass issued to you, it is declined. To fly, you will need to contact federal authorities ahead of time and prove to them, through birth date, passport number, etc, that you are not the John Smith who prompted your name, John Smith, to get added to the list. You will need to do that separately for every flight you take, even if you have connecting flights.

But What About the Real "Bad Guys"?

Let me make my argument even more immediate. Let's suppose, for reasons authorities don't ever have to justify, that they put a man born and raised in Detroit, MI on the "No-Fly List." Some person with the authority to do so, decided this person was sufficiently suspicious that their name needed to go on that list.

This person has not ever been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. You don't think this person's placement on that list could be at least partially connected to the fact that he was born with "Al-" at the beginning of his last name?

You're against racial profiling but you think it's fine to deny Constitutional rights to people who have never been charged with a crime? Innocent until proven guilty, except for Arabs on the "No-Fly List"?

My whole point is that the names on the "No-Fly List" include vast numbers of innocent citizens whose only "crime" is having a name close enough to someone that somebody was suspicious of. 

But even the people who are the immediate target of suspicion on that list are innocent until proven guilty, aren't they? 

You want to strip that whole class of people of their Second Amendment Rights? If so, I won't be surprised if you follow that up by stripping them of their First Amendment Rights when they might want to complain.

Once you've decided that "certain people" shouldn't have the same rights as others, I am justifiably worried that I'm next on your list.

If we allow ourselves to infringe upon the Constitutional Rights of citizens simply because some "authority" has a vague but unprovable suspicion about them, then the terrorists have won.   

And if we allow people, concerning whom some "authority" has a vague but unprovable suspicion, to buy guns, is there the chance that such people will commit acts of terrorism?


But Liberty is worth dying for.