The Usual Suspects have been clamoring to prevent persons on the No Fly list to the list from buying guns. Seems like “common sense,” we’re told.
But does it make sense to deprive someone of a Constitutionally-protected right without due process?
The late Senator Ted Kennedy once found his name on the No Fly list and it took him, a sitting U.S. Senator, three weeks to correct the error and get his name removed. How names get onto the No Fly list is a mystery. How to get a name removed from the list is a deeper mystery. The No Fly list has often had errors and mix ups are common: “I’m not that Peter Smith!”
Now, you might think that No Fly, No Buy would just add the No Fly list to the NCIC (National Criminal Instant Check) system. NCIC is what is queried when someone tries to buy a gun. If your name is in the NCIC system then you are a Prohibited Possessor and not permitted to own or possess a gun much less buy more guns.
But this is not what the No-Fly, No-Buy bill would have done. Apparently, under No-Fly, No-Buy, there would be two types of denied gun purchases: the usual those who cannot buy or own a gun and those who cannot buy a gun but can still own them. And, as in the case of actual Prohibited Possessors being denied a firearm purchase, there would have been no penalty for trying to buy one.
It was right and proper to defeat this ridiculous bit of legislation, if only over concerns for due process. Speaking of which…
The legislation over which the left staged a sit-in** contains this: “No district court of the United States or court of appeals of the United States shall have jurisdiction to consider the lawfulness or constitutionality of this section…” A more obvious indicator of their disdain for the Constitution I cannot imagine.
Not only can you not face your accuser, if you sue to find out what got you onto the list in the first place, there’s this: “(d)(4) No discovery shall be permitted, unless the court shall determine extraordinary circumstances requires discovery in the interests of justice.” And how often would a federal court determine that “extraordinary circumstances” exist? I’m guessing the chances fall somewhere between Hell Freezes Over and Never. So if they (the Attorney General, actually, and whatever bureaucracy he establishes) made their determination based on erroneous information, you have no way to correct it.
The law is so blatantly unconstitutional, they tried to prevent anyone from even challenging its constitutionality. IMO, anyone supporting this legislation ought to be run out of office — recalled or voted out at the earliest opportunity.
No-Fly, No-Buy is horrid legislation. But it is passed off as “common sense” by people (Democrats, news media) who know not what i does or just don’t give a shit about due process and the Constitution. And so we continue our plodding toward a total police state.
On a related subject, I have trouble accepting the whole concept of a no-fly list. If these people are dangerous, really dangerous, oughtn’t they be incarcerated? And, if incarceration is too tough on mere “suspected terrorists” then why not allow them to fly but subject them to the entire body-scan – cavity search protocol before letting them board? Are we saying that TSA cannot ferret out dangerous devices and explosives? (Actually, they demonstrably are not able to, based on tests conducted at various airports throughout the country. But that’s another whole topic.)
Divide the cabin into first class, coach and suspected terrorists. Outfit the latter section with those Hannibal Lecter restraint devices and let “suspected terrorists” ride confined to their destination. “Now pre-boarding suspected terrorists…”
Or simply bind them to their seats in coach. Leg and hand irons perhaps? Too “insulting” or discriminatory? But denying a Constitutionally protected right is okay… Go figure.
Seriously, are they admitting that even if we know who these “suspected terrorists” are, there’s no defense against them, short of forbidding them to fly? Like they cannot drive, take the train or hitch-hike to the next Orlando or San Bernardino.
Is there any demonstrable benefit to a no-fly list?
No-Fly, No-Buy is the “common sense” of idiots.
All those “as long as it takes” sitters-in certainly gave up quickly enough. I was looking forward to seeing Porta-Pottis on the House floor.
Setting aside how much sense this measure makes, let’s consider the No Fly list itself.