A story recently surfaced dealing with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) so-called “terrorist watch list” and the rights of those on it. This post will demonstrated two things; how bias can be spun into two identical stories and that Frank Lautenberg is a complete asshole.
To demonstration the first point I direct you to this story and this story. The one from The Greenfield Reporter is titled More than 200 people on US terror watch list were able to legally buy firearms in 2010 while the Fox News article is titled FBI: 247 People on Terror Watch List Bought Guns in U.S. in 2010. It’s seldom that I can actually point to Fox News as being less biased but this is one of those rare cases.
The proper title The Greenfield Reporter should have used was More than 200 people not convicted of any crime by any court of law were able to legally buy firearms in 2010. This title would be far more factually correct as those on the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” haven’t actually been put through trial and found guilty of anything. There is a vast difference between having your name on the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” and being a terrorist. Although this escapes Lautenberg the difference is quite obvious in that a terrorist is somebody who has committed an act of terror while a person appearing on the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” have done nothing.
In this country the right to keep and bear arms stops the second you’ve met one or more criteria points. If you have been convicted of a felony, domestic abuse, have been diagnosed as mentally ill, etc. you can not legally possess a firearm in the United States. What all of these criteria points have in common is that you must have been convicted of them, not simply accused (although some politicians are trying to change this as well because they’re assholes).
Here is where I demonstrate that Lautenberg is a complete asshole:
It is not illegal for people listed on the government’s terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
Lautenberg is trying to take away a right guaranteed in the United States Constitution without so much as due process. I’m not surprised a “representative” from New Jersey is looking to enact a backdoor gun control measure by making it illegal to purchase a firearm just because the FBI thinks you have the same name as somebody they suspect might have ties to a terrorist maybe. The criteria for getting on the FBI’s watch list is secret so it wouldn’t be difficult to toss on anybody’s name.
I will also come out and say that it’s a good thing that 247 people on the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” were able to buy firearms. Those people have done nothing illegal. Their only “crime” is appearing on a list controlled by a government agency. If such criteria becomes acceptable for denying a person his or her rights then we’re all fucked because each of our names makes an appearance on dozens of government operated lists.