Wednesday before we even found out the scope of the massacre at a Parkland Florida High School, Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fl) was ripping his colleagues for the lack of gun legislation. Nelson was technically correct… but he was being totally dishonest at the same time.
Nelson spoke about the Senate’s inability to pass legislation preventing people on the terror watch list from owning guns but left out pertinent facts:
Oh, and do you remember a couple of years ago there was a proposal on the floor that if you’re on the terrorist watch list, you can’t buy a gun. That’s pretty common sense. We won’t let them get on an airplane because we don’t want them taking down a commercial airliner. But they don’t have a restriction of buying a gun.
Yes, it’s true a Democratic Party legislation to ban anyone on the watch list to own a gun was rejected by the Senate, but not because of the idea behind the legislation but because not everyone on the list deserves to be on the list. But when a version of the same bill was presented by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx) that added a provision for people to receive due process, that would give the government 72 hours to prove that the person deserved to be on the list was rejected by the Democrats and only received 53 of the necessary 60 votes By the way, the NRA was a supporter of the Cornyn bill but Senator Nelson voted no!
“We all agree that terrorists should not be able to purchase a weapon; that is not up for debate,” Cornyn said before the vote. “The question before us is whether we’re going to do so in a way that’s constitutional.”
The various federal watch lists are a lousy way of screening people because so many innocents are placed on the lists. On the other hand, so many monsters such as the Nikolas Cruz the animal who killed 17 on Wednesday aren’t on the list.
In July 2014, liberal site Huffington Post explained the 7 ways people could incorrectly be put on the terrorist watch list. That list was based on a report by investigative site, The Intercept which published and reviewed the government’s watch list documents, the March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance ” which is a 166-page document issued by the National Counterterrorism Center. The report spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watch-lists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted [I suppose they are trying to prevent zombies, vampires, and Democratic Party voters in Chicago from obtaining guns].
To be honest I don’t believe dead people should be able to purchase guns. However, I would imagine that there are probably other forces beyond the terror watch list preventing those sales…