Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Terror suspects are buying guns — and it's perfectly legal!!!

Ok, they left the exclamation points out. However,that's the USA Today headline, and you may have noticed some lefty blogs noting their disapproval as well.

"How dare the NRA stand in the way of prohibiting people on terrorist watch lists from obtaining guns!"

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre has said no one should be denied the right to buy a gun unless there is a "good reason," and simply being on the terrorist watch list is not a good reason. (The scoundrel!)

Oh, please. I'll admit it feels odd to find myself on the same side of an issue as LaPierre, but for the most part I am.(I disagree with him about the Senate proposal to keep records of background checks for 10 years, which the NRA predictably enough opposes. At present the law requires that background-check info be discarded within 24 hours.)
I think a lot of people on the left are reacting based on simple learned response against the NRA here, rather than thinking this through. You can be on a terrorist watch list simply because of your associations, such as a room-mate whom you may have been assigned in college. A lot of the same people on the left who get (understandably) upset about the rights abuses of detainees at Guantanamo or even here in the US proper, nevertheless fail to see that this is also a civil liberties issue. People who are simply on these watch lists haven't actually been accused of anything, let alone tried, let alone convicted.