Do you think I am a terrorist? Well the government believes that I am a person who should not be able to buy a gun. I am on their list and no one will tell me why. This happened to me a few years ago and then my name came off. To this day, I have not been told why I went on, or why I was taken off. I have been told that the best odds are that there is someone else with the same name as mine who preceded me on the government’s list and that I have been scooped up in the same-name search. I was given some forms to send to the FBI in an attempt to clear my name. I have chosen not to provide the FBI with a long run of details about myself. Debbie and I are law-abiding Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License holders, after passing the NRA’s excellent hand gun safety course. I have been a lifetime member of the NRA for years. We also already own enough firearms to start a gun shop. I got my first Winchester when I was 16 years old. It is in top-notch shape and sits next to my desk.
I advise every American to join the NRA TODAY and immediately have their entire family take the NRA’s handgun safety course, before, where your state allows it, obtaining your concealed weapons permit. Then click to my long list of weapons posts and begin to arm every member of your family who can shoot a gun. Debbie and I have given each of our grandkids a Henry .22, which I have outlined in detail at richardcyoung.com. We are strong believers in The Swiss Way, and believe that America, given the mandate of the Constitution, should not have a standing army, but rather a national militia under the control of individual state governors (certainly not the central government in Washington). Every American at 18 years old would begin a training program, as is the case today in Switzerland.
Mr. Bates quotes himself from 2015:
How does a person prove they are not a terrorist? It’s virtually impossible. A no-flyer doesn’t receive the evidence against them or a hearing before being placed on the list. They are not allowed to confront their accuser. Even getting the government to acknowledge that a person is on the list may require lengthy and expensive litigation. A person on the no-fly list may not even know they are on the list until they’re refused service at the airport. A person on the broader terror watch list has no means of finding out. The system is devoid of anything resembling due process, a flaw The New York Times condemned as being intolerable in a free and democratic society and over which the American Civil Liberties Union is currently suing the Obama administration. The no-fly listing procedure has already been declared unconstitutional by at least one federal judge.
Including too many people on the list is inevitable. Nobody wants to explain, after a terrorist attack, why the attacker wasn’t in the database. And that overly inclusive quality has manifested itself in absurd ways already. Just a few examples of no-fly denials: the late Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, dozens of people named Robert Johnson, members of the U.S. military and federal air marshals.
The potential for false positives and mistaken identities is not just accepted as collateral damage by these no-gun list proposals, it is the entire point. Anyone who has actually been convicted or is currently charged with terrorism-related crimes is already prohibited from purchasing a firearm under federal law. The people adversely affected by this proposal will inevitably be people against whom the government lacks sufficient evidence to charge.
The fact that a person hasn’t been adjudicated as dangerous doesn’t preclude them from committing violence, of course. But just how much discretion should the president have in abolishing constitutional rights without charge or trial?
More from Bates here: