Would You Like Freedom A or Freedom B?
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on Capitol Hill yesterday asking that the so called “terror gap” be closed. Under current law, the FBI is not allowed to block the sale of firearms to individuals currently listed on the terror watchlist. Seems simple enough, right? Well not to Senator Lindsey Graham who said the following:
“…it`s not appropriate to go down the road that we`re going because a constitutional right is involved, and before we subject innocent Americans who have had done nothing but have the wrong name at the wrong time, to having to go into court and pay the cost of going to court to get their gun rights back, I want to slow down and think about this.”
His basic principle is correct.
The terror watch list is estimated to included over 1 million people. Many of these people are likely no threat whatsoever to the public’s safety and should not have their rights suspended because they have been placed on a list. “Innocent until proven guilty,” right? Lindsey Graham and I agree on this. Probably is, Lindsay Graham doesn’t seem to agree with Lindsey Graham. Senator Graham isn’t always so protective of citizen’s rights. In regard to reading Miranda rights to citizens arrested for terrorism, the Senator had this to say:
“I am all into national security. I want them to stop reading these guys Miranda rights.”
In both instances we are talking about folks who have not been found guilty of anything. Being arrested for terrorism does not mean that you will be convicted of terrorism, just as being placed on a terror watch list does not mean you are an actual terrorist. Part of being an American citizen means that you get the same basic rights as every other American citizen. This is true whether it be the 2nd Amendment or a Supreme Court decision (Miranda v. Arizona). Unfortunately, Senator Graham feels its more of a multiple choice question. Gun rights. OK. Miranda rights. Eh, well maybe.
[h/t Huffington Post]