The Problem with Lists

I had plenty of fodder to destroy on this blog, all related to the unfortunate shooting in Orlando.  Renewed calls for gun control are a favorite topic for me to disassemble.  This particular time, plenty of folks made complete fools of themselves attempting to push an anti-gun agenda:  from the reporter who complained of PTSD after firing an AR-15, to the inane sit-in, I could post once a day for months over just this content.

Instead, I’m going to briefly address the issue with the “No-Fly” List, and the “Terror Watch List.”

There was a piece of legislation that would block folks on these lists from passing background checks for purchasing firearms.  It sounds kinda like a good idea, on the surface.  Certainly, it is being billed as “preventing terrorists from buying guns,” which sounds like the type of thing that only a terrorist would not support.

I am not a terrorist and I don’t support it.

My issue is not with preventing terrorists from owning guns, but rather from skipping due process.  An individiual can be placed on these lists without fair trial, and in some cases, without their knowledge.  I could already be on it, and so could you.

A free society does not take away rights without a fair trial.  Furthermore, a person is innocent until proven guilt.  Associated with that statement is that a person does not need to prove that he or she is innocent; the accuser must prove their guilt.  These lists are the exact opposite of this process.

I’ve heard folks discuss adding a mechanism for contesting the terror watch list so that a person can be removed from this list.  This is guilt until proven innocence.  The police cannot arrest you and take you to jail until you can prove your innocence; they can only take you to court and then prove your guilt.

Some will say that, “well, nobody is going to jail, we are only talking about guns or boarding airplanes.”  It does not matter. I do not need to ask the government permission to travel or own a piece of metal, plastic, or wood, at least not in a free society.

Don’t fall for the trap.  If this legislation smells fishy, it is because it is.  As tempting as it would be to trust the FBI and Homeland Security to weed out the terrorists, and prevent them from buying firearms, think about what is possible with this type of  legislation.  Here is a short list of group memberships that qualify as terrorists,  according to Facebook:

Muslims, Jews, gun owners, atheists, Christians, Creationists, Chick Fil-A, homosexuals, people who wrote spoilers for the Star Wars movie, men, Yankee fans, Republicans, Democrats, cancer, residents of Chicago…

Once this system is in place, it WILL be abused.

Now, back to the crybabies sitting on the floor, all of your elected representatives, fighting to turn your rights over to this arbitary list.

Scared yet?


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