Obama Proposes Stripping Rights to Combat Terrorism

Last Sunday, in a speech he clearly had no interest in giving, Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office in an attempt to address the fears of many Americans following attacks in Paris (132 dead, almost 400 wounded) and San Bernardino (14 dead, 21 wounded) by Islamist jihadists. He failed to assuage those fears, primarily because he once again proved that he is clueless as to the real threat and the real enemy.

While acknowledging (finally!) that mass shootings at Fort Hood, and in San Bernardino and Chattanooga, were indeed driven by a virulent Islamist ideology, he once again lectured us against criticism of Muslims, proclaiming these actions represented a “perverted” interpretation of Islam (even though Omar Ahmad, co-founder of the supposedly “moderate” Council on American-Islamic Relations, once declared “Islam isn’t in America to equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion.”).

Then, to no one’s surprise, Obama used these recent tragedies to renew his push for more gun control. Under the guise of combatting terrorism, Obama declared, “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? …We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino. I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures.”

There are three glaring problems with Obama’s proposed “solutions”; one practical, one political, and the other constitutional.

The practical problem is that neither Syed Farook nor Tashfeen Malik (the San Bernardino terrorists) was on the no-fly list. In fact, NONE of the terrorists involved in Islamist terror attacks on U.S. soil have been on the no-fly list, so his “solution” would not have prevented these terrorists from purchasing guns. Furthermore, it is epic stupidity to think someone bright enough to plan a terrorist attack in which they killed or wounded dozens and then escaped capture for hours, would purchase these firearms legally using their real names.

There is also the fact that the government terrorist watch lists, which include the no-fly list, are riddled with errors. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason as to how someone ends up on the no-fly list. There are more than a 280,000 Americans with no recognized ties to terrorism on the watch list, including some who are on the list for no other reason that making controversial statements on social media unrelated to terrorism, or refusing to be government informants, or simply due to clerical errors. Indeed, none other than deceased Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was denied flying privileges five times because someone with a similar name was on the no-fly list (in this case, however, at least TSA had the distinction of stopping a man responsible for the death of an innocent woman).

In his condescension for us, the ignorant masses, Obama both falsely claims the weapons used were assault weapons, and then sets alight the straw man that there are those that reject “any” gun safety measures (can he name even one person who advocates this?). According to Obama’s own Department of Defense, “assault” weapons are weapons that are selective fire, meaning that they can switch between semi-automatic (one bullet fired per trigger pull) and full automatic (multiple rounds per trigger pull). Fully automatic weapons for private citizens have been banned since 1934.

The constitutional issues with his “solution” are even more problematic.

Obama’s denial of gun purchases by law-abiding citizens would be a violation of our 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendment rights. American citizens have a 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the Supreme Court has ruled in recent years that this is indeed an individual right, so arbitrarily placing someone on the no-fly list and denying access to firearms would constitute a presumption of guilt by government, which our Constitution forbids. It would also violate the 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause, and 5th Amendment protections against being deprived of God-given liberties without due process.

The placement of American citizens on these watch lists was so arbitrary and capricious that last year a federal court ruled that the federal government’s system for addressing objections by citizens placed on the no-fly list was unconstitutional, as the government would not tell those on the list why they were on it or how to get off the list.

While Obama is eager to use the no-fly list to deny 2nd Amendment rights to American citizens absent due process, one wonders whether he would be willing to immediately fire the 72 Homeland Security employees who are currently on the no-fly list. This revelation came as the result of a congressional investigation in August which also found that the TSA missed a staggering 95% of attempts by undercover staffers to smuggle guns and bombs into airports and on planes. This should be especially frightening considering that ISIS agents recently brought down a Russian jetliner using a soda can filled with explosives and a simple detonator. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) warned that the TSA, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, had repeatedly failed to detect these dangers, and stated that he has “very low confidence” in the TSA to carry out its mission effectively. Yet Obama wants these same Keystone Kops to determine whether we get to exercise our constitutional rights.

Our illustrious federal paladins missed the fact that the San Bernardino terrorists had been wedded to their radical Islamist ideology for “some time”, and clearly had been planning such an attack, even going to a local firing range just days before the attack to practice shooting.

Maybe Obama’s minions missed these jihadis because they were more focused on punishing Obama’s political adversaries. After all, it was Obama’s own IRS which targeted conservatives for additional scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt organizations, as well as targeting them for harassment and audits. It was Obama’s Department of Homeland Security in 2009, just months after he took office, which published an internal report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”, which warned that potential domestic terrorists included veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, those who oppose gun control, so-called racists (and as we all know, all opposition to Obama is solely because he is black), those who believe in limited government, those who oppose illegal immigration and those who revere the Constitution.

But surely Obama would never use that no-fly list as a back-door method to disarm his political opponents and deny them their rights, would he? Why don’t we ask Stephen F. Hayes, a writer for the conservative Weekly Standard and a Fox News contributor, who found himself on the no-fly list and could not get removed until a fellow journalist embarrassed Obama by interrogating him about it during a press conference.

Patrick Henry, speaking at the Virginia Ratifying Convention of the Constitution, warned us to “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.” Thomas Jefferson concurred, declaring that “In questions of power, let us hear no more of trust in men, but rather bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution”.

No president has ever proven more untrustworthy than Barack Obama, and we’d be fools to trust his promises of security in exchange for us giving up our constitutional rights. So thanks but no thanks, Obama…I think I’ll cling to my guns and religion.

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