Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Second Amendment

Standing Guard: The Terror Watch List

Saturday, August 4, 2007

STANDING GUARD

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA Executive Vice President

"Thousands Wrongly Listed on Terror Watch List"--Newsday

"U.S. to Block Gun Buyers Tied To Terror"--New York Times

hose two headlines tell the story of deep media duplicity.

When it comes to well-placed fears over widespread errors, civil liberties abuses and injustices involving tens of thousands of innocent Americans whose names have been indelibly added to huge federal "terror watchlists," the mainstream media is on the job, on point. Their concern is well-founded.

Yet that concern evaporates when the Washington-based media enthusiastically reports those very same lists will be used to bar suspected "terrorists" from buying guns under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. In their coverage of S. 1237, there is never a hint about deeply flawed, inaccurate lists, about the impossibility of ever getting off those lists or about the abuses by federal bureaucrats who manage the lists.

But in truth, Lautenberg's bill is not centered on "no fly lists," or "terror watch lists." It's far worse than that. Lautenberg's S. 1237 isn't about just "barring gun sales to terrorists." It is about giving a future attorney general of the United States--think, a Hillary Clinton administration--power to declare anyone to be a "prohibited person" on a par with a convicted felon or fugitive from justice, all done in total secrecy. The criteria for this edict--making continued gun ownership a federal felony--will be based upon some faceless bureaucrat deciding a person is "appropriately suspected" of some link to terror.

Easily, the worst part of this secret "star chamber" proposal to take away an individual's Second Amendment rights through a top secret declaration is the language that makes it impossible for anyone to mount a defense.

". . . [A]ny information which the Attorney General relied on for this determination may be withheld from the applicant if the attorney general determines that disclosure of the information would likely compromise national security."

You won't see that actual language from the legislation quoted in the gun-ban national media. They don't want the American people to know what this legislation really does.

And what it does is violate the Constitution of the United States--not just the Second Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, in part, "No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .."

Yet this is exactly what Lautenberg and his gun-ban axis would do.

Again, let me repeat what this legislation actually does.

Lautenberg's S. 1237 gives the U.S. attorney general total discretionary power to make firearm possession or ammunition possession a felony for any individual American by a simple, secret stroke of the pen, with no due process whatsoever.

No due process. Deprived of liberty. Certainly. Deprived of property. Certainly.

Then there is the Sixth Amendment:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."

The inalienable right "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him . . ."

Again, let me repeat the actual language of Lautenberg's S. 1237:

". . . any information which the Attorney General relied on for this determination may be withheld from the applicant if the Attorney General determines that disclosure of the information would likely compromise national security." (Emphasis added.) That language is an affront to the Constitution, and it should be an affront to the media as well.

That's not how the Constitution works. If someone is a legitimate threat to America, they shouldn't be on the street in the first place. They should be facing charges in our criminal justice system.

I suspect that many reporters and editors in far corners of this nation have become victim to either lazy reporting originating in Washington, or bias at those same gun-ban media outlets. What has appeared in newspapers and broadcasts is boilerplate that

has not gone beyond the false claims issued in the Lautenberg press release. I believe that if many local reporters and editorial boards actually knew what this legislation does, they would be horrified. If the Right to Keep and Bear Arms or the Fifth and Sixth Amendments can be suspended with a bureaucrat's edict, then so can the First Amendment.

Copy this column. Give it to your local editors, and ask them to pull down the actual wording of Lautenberg's tyrannical legislation from the Internet. Then ask them to read the Bill of Rights. If they are honest, they will understand the terrible dangers this presents to all our liberties.

At the same time, write, e-mail and call your U.S. senators and representatives. Tell them to vote against this legislation in any form, as a stand-alone bill or as an amendment to other legislation. Or innocent people are going to be caught up in a nightmare from which there is no escape--our constitutional lifeline will have been forever severed.

TRENDING NOW
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.