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Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The ‘No-Fly List’ Ban on Owning a Gun | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The ‘No-Fly List’ Ban on Owning a Gun

What is not to like about keeping suspected terrorists from being able to buy guns in the United States? It makes sense, doesn’t it, that if you have managed to be put on the government’s no-fly list then you also shouldn’t have access to firearms and, in a perfect world, it would.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and that point is being driven home by the recent resurgence of calls for gun control being tied to the government’s no fly list. This is the left’s idea of a common sense solution to gun control in America.

Well, it would be if the ‘no-fly list’ worked the way it was supposed to, if it wasn’t unconstitutional to begin with and if a competent organization – which excludes our government – was in charge of it.

TSA ListHere we go, again

The perennial favorite of the gun-grabbing left has been reborn. Senators, Representatives and even the President are making another big push for people who are on the no-fly list to be restricted from owning or buying firearms. Humorously enough, one Republican candidate for president agrees.

The no-fly list was established in the aftermath of the September 11th attack on New York to restrict suspected terrorists from traveling in or out of the country. During the Bush administration, it was attacked by the left and billed as a political tool to punish the President’s opponents. The inclusion of Senator Ted Kennedy and anti-war protestors created an uproar in the early 2000s about the legal and ethical ramifications of putting someone on the list even when they were not guilty of – or even charged with –a crime.

But, with President Obama in office, the left not only made no move to get rid of the no-fly list, they have expanded the number of people on it. Currently, there are approximately 47,000 people on the list. These include 72 employees of the Department of Homeland Security.

Bad ideas become bad laws

The rule of law in this country is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. If authorities believe that a person has criminal intent, they lock that person up until the proof of those allegations can be settled in court. The no fly list turns that rule on its head.

The mechanics of being added to the list itself have never been adequately explained and the inclusion of fairly common names has caused problems with people’s travel being restricted just because of that similarity. Like so many programs started in the aftermath of 9/11, the no fly list was a half-baked idea that sounded good on paper but is stupid in practice.

Tying gun purchases to this piece of government garbage is not only irresponsible, it is unethical and unconstitutional, as well.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
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1 thought on “Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The ‘No-Fly List’ Ban on Owning a Gun

  1. Not sure which law school awarded you your law degree Matt, but you might want to ask for your money back. Whomever “the left” is, it doesn’t decide who goes on the no fly list. The left didn’t decide to expand the no fly list.

    Yes, it was stupid to put people like the late Ted Kennedy on the list. But efforts have been made over recent years to use sound intelligence as the basis for inclusion on the list. And no, not the same kind of ‘ sound intelligence’ that led to the WMD debacle and the invasion of Iraq.

    The problem with conflating the no fly list with firearms restrictions is that the Constitution never guaranteed the right to fly, whereas it does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. If there is sound intelligence about a person such that they shouldn’t be allowed on an aircraft, perhaps they should also be the subject of firearms restrictions as well. But that is a philosophical question, simply because they are, legally, two entirely different issues and simply bear no comparison on the eyes of the law. One is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, whereas the other is merely a creature of statute and can be changed by a political process.

    What would make really interesting reading would be some comparison between the laws that applied to issues like gun ownership, etc, during WW11 and the current situation. How did authorities deal with constitutional right such as have as the right to bear arms, corpus and freedom of speech during that war? Are there any lessons for the war on terror today?

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