The Process Is no Longer Due

 

shutterstock_150586103No guns for terrorists, the left emotes. It is a bold stand, as proven by the non-existence of people who disagree. The sticking point, as always, is how does one determine who is a terrorist? Their answer appears to be, because they have a list of terrorists. Duh. If only English jurist Edward Coke had known that you could simply grant this right to the innocent, and deny it to the guilty, how much time and money could have been saved on the act of stripping men of their rights?

Of course Joe Manchin wants the innocent to have a fair trial before being deprived of their property and fundamental rights. But the guilty? Why would we shield them in this way? Gone are the days of notifying men of the charges against them and granting a fair hearing. In are the days of noble government officials who can be trusted to suss out the truth of one’s guilt while being unburdened by standards of evidence, and other trifling limitations.

How does the left know those they want to deny their second amendment rights are terrorists? Well, they are on the terror watch list. How did they get on the terror watch list? Well, by being terrorists. How do they know they are terrorists? Why, they are on the terror watch list. So on, ad infinitum.

The terror watch list is, by the FBI’s own explanation, a list of suspects. The purpose of the list is investigative. Law enforcement attempts to gather evidence, find possible accomplices and conspirators, and potentially stop attacks before they happen. FBI director Comey stated last year that he would prefer the list not be used to deny suspects the ability to purchase guns, as he would prefer not to tip off potential terrorists that his agency is on to them.

How old fashioned! Does Comey deny he and his agents’ infallibility? What is a natural right when weighed against the unproven suspicions of government agents? Men were killed for less during the Inquisition.

Grand Inquisitor Clinton said it best earlier in the week:

People can’t board planes with full shampoo bottles—but people being watched by the FBI for terrorism can buy a gun, no questions asked?

That ATF form 4473 asks applicants numerous questions before a person may buy a gun is irrelevant, and shame on you for bringing it up. You are to be further chastised for realizing that passengers may not bring guns on planes either, regardless of their terror watch list status.

While details are sketchy, the FBI’s terrorist screening database has an estimated 40,000 American citizens and lawful permanent residents on it. Are right wingers going to seriously suggest that the vast majority of these individuals never have, and will never commit a terrorist attack?

How many terrorist attacks have taken place since 9/11? Perhaps 30? Better that the 99.9925% who are innocent be stripped of their rights, so that the 0.0075% cannot abuse them.

That is the way of free peoples.

Update: The original version of this post erroneously implied that Edward Coke was alive at the time of Magna Carta.

There are 22 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Great article Frank.

    • #1
  2. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Frank Soto:How does the left know those they want to deny their second amendment rights are terrorists? Well, they are on the terror watch list. How did they get on the terror watch list? Well, by being terrorists. How do they know they are terrorists? Why, they are on the terror watch list. So on, ad infinitum.

    The saddest bit of this is that the NRA has, apparently, gone to the Dark Side on this:

    Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing.

    • #2
  3. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    They start with the idea that keeping and bearing arms is not a fundamental, natural right but rather a beneficence of government to bestow or withhold at will. Getting the cart before the horse doesn’t even begin to analogize their misunderstanding.

    • #3
  4. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Now the head of the UN human rights commission is weighing in on why we should be disarmed for our own good.

    • #4
  5. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Glenn Beck was talking about this today.  He reminded his audience of the time Senator Ted Kennedy was prohibited from boarding a flight because he was on the No Fly list.  According to Glenn – and yes, he sometimes gets his facts wrong – it took six months for Kennedy to be removed from the list.  So if you’re Ted Kennedy the insurance salesman from Ottumwa, Iowa, not the senator, how long does it take?  Is there even a process to get your name removed if you do not have high political connections?

    • #5
  6. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    If only English jurist Edward Coke (whose efforts led to due process rights being included in Magna Carta) had known that you could simply grant this right to the innocent, and deny it to the guilty, how much time and money could have been saved on the act of stripping men of their rights?

    Minor point:  the Magna Carta was drafted and signed by King John in 1215. Edward Coke lived from 1552 – 1634.  He was not responsible for having due process rights included in Magna Carta. Perhaps you were thinking of his responsibility for the Petition of Right, which, along with Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights of 1689, was one of the basic documents establishing the rights of Englishmen.

    • #6
  7. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Completely right.

    I also like turning the question around: If these people are known terrorists, why is the government letting them roam free? It’s not reassuring that the government is letting known terrorists go about their plotting rather than putting them in jail.

    In fact, it makes me want to go buy a gun to defend myself from these terrorists among us, since the government is not addressing the problem…

    • #7
  8. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    There’s already precedent for this. Having a restraining order put against you can strip you of your right to have a gun.  The current law on this is unclear the last I checked. I think now there is is some form of due process involved.

    People like to say the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact. Meaning that we don’t have to just sit back and throw our hands up.  I don’t think it’s a responsible position to just say “if you haven’t been convicted of a crime, we have to pretend you are an angel even if we know you aren’t.” But I don’t want to give the government the right to just take away your rights with no showing of any cause. I suspect a compromise can be reached that will satisfy most people. I don’t know much about the process by which you get on a watch list, but perhaps they could involve a judge for the ones they think shouldn’t have guns.

    • #8
  9. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Pugshot:

    If only English jurist Edward Coke (whose efforts led to due process rights being included in Magna Carta) had known that you could simply grant this right to the innocent, and deny it to the guilty, how much time and money could have been saved on the act of stripping men of their rights?

    Minor point: the Magna Carta was drafted and signed by King John in 1215. Edward Coke lived from 1552 – 1634. He was not responsible for having due process rights included in Magna Carta. Perhaps you were thinking of his responsibility for the Petition of Right, which, along with Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights of 1689, was one of the basic documents establishing the rights of Englishmen.

    That’s what I get for writing angry.  Thanks.  Getting an editor to fix it.

    • #9
  10. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Bob W:There’s already precedent for this. Having a restraining order put against you can strip you of your right to have a gun. The current law on this is unclear the last I checked. I think now there is is some form of due process involved.

    I’m not familiar with every state statute, but federal law only prohibits those who have been convicted.

    People like to say the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact. Meaning that we don’t have to just sit back and throw our hands up. I don’t think it’s a responsible position to just say “if you haven’t been convicted of a crime, we have to pretend you are an angel even if we know you aren’t.”

    Who knows?  How do they know?  Can they prove it?  To what standard of evidence?

    But I don’t want to five the government the right to just take away your rights with no showing of any cause. I suspect a compromise can be reached that will satisfy most people.

    I don’t.

    • #10
  11. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    There are plenty of other disqualifiers for having guns already in many state laws. It’s not just being convicted of a felony. Being an habitual drunkard, being a drug addict, having been acquitted by reason of insanity, being adjudicated legally incompetent, being dishonorably discharged. So there’s no requirement in the Constitution  that you can only lose gun rights after a felony conviction. It doesn’t even address that. I think the reasonable requirement is that some form of due process is followed.

    • #11
  12. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    I googled it and here’s one state’s disqualifications for a CC permit.

    Scroll down to the twenty reasons that can disqualify you.  Number 13 is interesting with respect to this discussion. So I think it’s a tempest in a teapot to think that the watch list thing is the end of the world.

    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_ResidentConcealed.shtm#Persons_Not_Qualified

    • #12
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Bob W:I don’t know much about the process by which you get on a watch list,

    Right.  None of us know what the criteria are, because it’s a secret.  Whether or not you are even on the list, that’s a secret, too.

    • #13
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hillary Clinton is an FBI suspect. I presume she should not be eligible to buy a gun.

    • #14
  15. Brian Wolf Coolidge
    Brian Wolf
    @BrianWolf

    Watch lists can be a fine tool for investigation and a point of coordination for enforcement agencies but cannot be a way to deprive people of rights.  If a real suspect starts to buy guns then that should be a reason, perhaps, to increase surveillance and acquire warrants.

    But our rights must be something the government must work to take away not privileges that we have to work to keep.

    • #15
  16. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    I suspect that the left hasn’t really thought this through to the conclusion that the list of people who will be deprived of both due process and substantive Constitutional rights will consist almost entirely of Muslims.  If Trump made such a proposal, the lefts’ collective head would explode.

    Or maybe the left already has plans for this.  Perhaps their next argument will be that anyone who tries to buy a gun is, thereby, a possible terrorist and should go on the watchlist.

    • #16
  17. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    Bob W: Scroll down to the twenty reasons that can disqualify you. Number 13 is interesting with respect to this discussion. So I think it’s a tempest in a teapot to think that the watch list thing is the end of the world.

    Late to this (on the road yesterday). Bob, you neglect to point anyone to the section “If Your Application is Denied.” The applicant can challenge the decision. The procedure is spelled out in detail, as it is in item 13. THIS is due process.

    What the Dems propose is nothing of the sort. They’ve made no effort to provide a means to challenge one’s inclusion on a “list,” nor how one ends up on such a list. Just “if you’re on a list, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.”

    This is in no way a “tempest in a teapot.”

    • #17
  18. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    The Trump nomination has been very enlightening. What I have learned it that a large section of the Republican coalition are attitudinal conservatives (Jacksonians) rather than ideological conservatives (classical liberals). Trump is the first time that the Jacksonians have taken the top of the party.

    It is very interesting how even on the very Jacksonian issue of guns, the  approach is very different between the two groups. To Jacksonians the issue is who should be barred from owning guns, for classical liberals it is how do you bar the ownership of guns.

    When we find a candidate that appeals strongly to both these groups (Reagan) the Republicans are very strong. If the candidate appeals only weakly to one of these groups we lose.

    • #18
  19. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Frank Soto:Grand Inquisitor Clinton said it best earlier in the week:

    People can’t board planes with full shampoo bottles—but people being watched by the FBI for terrorism can buy a gun, no questions asked?

    So, I wonder in which Amendment she imagines the right to board a plane.

    • #19
  20. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Frank,

    Right on target. When Facebook is challenged that it doesn’t take pages down that directly recruit for ISIS that even explain how to murder properly, Facebook and the EU respond with some broad freedom destroying action against hate speech. When an Islamic fanatic targets gays for murder, Obama-Clinton & Co. respond with using the “no fly” list to destroy 2nd amendment rights without due process. When a lone lunatic kills an MP in Britain the left desperately tries to use the tragedy to convince Britain to destroy its future by tying itself to the dead anti-democratic carcass of the EU.

    Basic freedom must be defended every day against these sophisticated peddlers of tyranny.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
  21. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    danok1:

    Bob W: Scroll down to the twenty reasons that can disqualify you. Number 13 is interesting with respect to this discussion. So I think it’s a tempest in a teapot to think that the watch list thing is the end of the world.

    Late to this (on the road yesterday). Bob, you neglect to point anyone to the section “If Your Application is Denied.” The applicant can challenge the decision. The procedure is spelled out in detail, as it is in item 13. THIS is due process.

    What the Dems propose is nothing of the sort. They’ve made no effort to provide a means to challenge one’s inclusion on a “list,” nor how one ends up on such a list. Just “if you’re on a list, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.”

    This is in no way a “tempest in a teapot.”

    My point is that if that’s what the Dems want, they won’t get it.  What they will get is some procedure that includes appeal or due process for the person put on the list, such as exists in the state law I linked to. But the Republican position should not be simply that people on the watch list can’t lose their gun rights, period.

    • #21
  22. SgtDad Inactive
    SgtDad
    @SgtDad

    Well, truly & righteously said. BTW, in WA an ex parte restraining order deprives one of the right to bear arms.

    • #22
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.