So-called ‘Safe Spaces’ and access to public lavatories have been high on the Left’s agenda in recent years, to the neglect of more traditional and some might say, pressing, issues such as Islamic terrorism. I found it somewhat symbolic then when a Muslim terrorist turned a public bathroom into a very unsafe space this past week whilst in the process of carving out a small segment of America in which Sharia Law would become the law of the land, if even for only a few hours.
To my surprise, the news was dominated in the preceding aftermath not by any internecine warfare within the increasingly uneasy Rainbow Coalition that forms the Democratic Party, or on the fact that Obama and Hillary were so reluctant and mild in saying this had anything to do with ISIS despite Omar Mateen himself saying as much and ISIS posting that an attack was imminent on Florida mere days before. Trump brought up his temporary Muslim immigration ban again, and perhaps it is a sign of how that idea is becoming more mainstream that it failed to pick up as much attention as it did even a few months ago.
But mostly, public debate was confined to outrage over the weapon that the killer used in committing this act of terrorism. The usual suspects were in on it, clamouring for another Assault Weapons Ban, even though that had no effect on gun crime whatsoever. As is standard practice for Obama after these killings he immediately demands more gun control as the solution, and the media laps it up.
What was unusual though was that this time Fox News seemed to sympathize, with Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Sustern both supporting any new gun control legislation aimed at preventing high-powered assault rifles, even though both of them and nearly everyone else talking about this actually seemed to have gotten the specific assault rifle he used wrong; he used a Sig Sauer MCX and not an AR-15. Trump got in on the act too, saying that he would talk with the NRA about banning people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons.
There are many Ted Cruz supporters, myself included, feeling somewhat vindicated right now, having known about Trump’s past support for gun control legislation. To be fair to Trump though, he is also making the point that the club was a gun free zone, and that fact meant far more died than would otherwise have been the case.
Politically, he may well feel that he has the pro-gun supporters locked up (which coincidentally is what Hillary Clinton would like to happen to them in a more literal sense). He probably figures he can reach out to moderates a little now with what he and many others might view as ‘common sense’ laws.
I would still oppose any moves by the Federal Government to strip people of their Constitutional Rights if they happen to find themselves on some government list, because with the best intentions in the world you can bet that very quickly who gets put on that list will become increasingly a matter of politics rather than intelligence.
At any rate, how are people put on the list right now?
Federal guidelines simply require ‘reasonable suspicion’ of involvement in terrorism. How can such reasonable suspicion be formed. One way is by tracking Facebook posts. Another way of judging reasonable suspicion in determining whether you will find yourself on the list that Trump proposes would determine whether you can purchase firearms is if another individual tells the Intelligence services they think you might be a terrorist. Another way is if you might know somebody who is a terrorist ‘terroristy’. And another way is simply having the same name as somebody else who is likely unlucky enough to come under the microscope of the Intelligence Services, as happened when a four year old boy was refused entry onto a plane.
It’s no wonder then that more than half a million people are on the terrorist watch-list (not including, you know, actual terrorists like the Tsarnaev brothers). With less than one percent of people reviewed for inclusion on this list being found innocent, it is likely that they are simply trying to cover their backs; nobody wants to be that person who made the decision that a soon-to-be terrorist was actually innocent.
And that’s half a million people on this list before the terrorist watch list becomes a back door route for Liberals to erode the Second Amendment.