No Fly Lists and Guns

President Barack Obama said in his Oval Office speech Sunday evening that it’s insane to let people on the DHS No Fly List have access to guns. Obama also said that it’s wrong to operate on the basis of suspicion and hate.

While folks on the No Fly list aren’t necessarily objects of hatred, they are targets of suspicion. But that’s all they are. They’ve done nothing, and they’ve not been convicted for anything—other than of being objects of suspicion. Stephen Hayes was on the No Fly list; he’s a target of suspicion solely because he’s an Evil Conservative and an Evil Journalist. DHS employees are on the No Fly list. They’re targets of suspicion because…? Then-Senator Ted Kennedy (D, MA) was on the No Fly list. Say, what?

What none of these suspicious persons have been through, though, is Due Process. Not being able to fly into the US does not block them from entering the US; it just inconveniences them: they have to travel via other means. Not being able to have access to firearms is more than an inconvenience, regardless of one’s view of gun control. That denial is a blanket denial of one’s access to one’s Constitutional rights, and that requires a due process proceeding first.

What’s insane is denial of due process, of violating the law, whenever that becomes inconvenient. What’s insane is operating on suspicion rather than the law. What’s insane is decrying operating on suspicion while operating on the suspicion of a government List.

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