Yesterday the New York Times published an article titled “The N.R.A.’s Complicity in Terrorism.” In its article the New York Times used a quote from an Al Qaeda spokesmen stating, “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms, so what are you waiting for?”

America is also awash in ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fireworks, which have been used by other domestic terrorists. Timothy McVeigh and the Tsarnaev brothers used these materials to kill and injure more than 1,000 people. Does that mean that the Fireworks Alliance and the American Farm Bureau Federation are complicit in terrorism? Of course not, but using the NYT’s logic they would be because their efforts allowed these twisted individuals to procure and misuse bomb-making materials.

On June 15, Senate Democrats began a filibuster to force a vote on new gun control legislation. The following morning a compromise was reached that would allow for a vote to be held on whether to ban people on the government’s terrorist watch list from obtaining firearms. While anyone would agree that we need to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals, we shouldn’t gut the United States Constitution to achieve that goal. The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a Due Process Clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice, and thus it acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property.

You might be wondering: What does due process have to do with buying a gun in the United States? To better understand that relationship, we need to talk about the so called “Terror Watchlist.”

The Terror Watchlist is a database maintained by the FBI that was “born out of the events of 9/11 and created in 2003.” According to the FBI, it is a single database of identifying information about those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity. For an individual to be placed in that database, an FBI agent only needs to have “reasonable suspicion” that he or she is involved in terrorist activities. However, the FBI standard is well short of the probable cause the police need to arrest a person. This suspicion could stem from something as simple as a satirical Facebook post that was misinterpreted by government agents.

If these seemingly arbitrary criteria weren’t bad enough, once you are on the list, it is almost impossible to get off. According to the FBI, the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) “does not accept redress inquiries directly from the public. Instead, members of the public should contact the relevant screening agency with their questions or concerns about screening.” That’s still not the worst part: An individual on the Terror Watchlist cannot even find out why they were placed on it because the entire database is classified. This constitutionally inadequate process would arbitrarily deprive law abiding citizens of their rights.

We obviously need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but using an unconstitutional system to do so is not the correct method. Before we consider our options, there needs to be a system in place that doesn’t require law abiding Americans to prove their innocence through a legally murky and difficult process. Maybe the FBI should consider moving their Terror Watchlist out of the shadows and into the federal court system before we can start discussing ways to prevent terrorists from getting firearms?

The NRA is not complicit in terrorism because they are standing up for our constitutional right to due process. There is no simple solution to this complex problem, and the New York Times is not helping solve it with their inflammatory rhetoric. Lawmakers have a duty to respond to their constituents, and that means protecting their rights.

We shouldn’t legislate based on reactionary fear. Instead, we need laws based on facts, reason, and available data.

In the video below Chris Cox,Executive Director of NRA-ILA ,sets the record straight on the NRA’s positions on watch lists and due process. He also sends a strong message to all those who seek to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms: “Make no mistake—the NRA will fight without apology to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves.”

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  • mjwooten

    The Constitution also protects the New York Times in their freedom of speech and allows them to be unequivocally WRONG, lie, distort facts and carry the water for a failed ideology if they so choose. It even allows them to be stupid. A fact they demonstrate on a daily basis.

    • Rocket Doc

      ONE OF THE FIRST INSTITUTIONS THAT NEED TO BE “TAKEN DOWN”, IS THE COMMUNIST MEDIA, WE GREW UP KNOWING THEM AS “THE PRAGUE”, AND THEY USE THE SAME TACTICS, AND METHODS THAT COMMUNIST RUSSIA USED, AND USES TO “TRY” TO PUT FALSE NARRATIVES, AND IDEAS INTO THE MINDS OF THE WEAK. I DON’T READ ANY PRINT MEDIA ANY MORE. I RELY ON CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO, AND CONSERVATIVE INTERNET INFORMATION FOR SOME GUIDANCE, AND COMMON SENSE INTERPRETATION OF THE LAME STREAM MEDIA. IF WE HAVE TO END UP FIGHTING, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE, IS DESTROY ANY LIBERAL “JOURNALIST”, ie. (PROPAGANDIST), SO AS TO MAKE SURE THEY NO LONGER HAVE A MEANS TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTIVES TO THE SHEEPLE THEY COMMAND. ONE OF THE FIRST RULES OF COMBAT… TAKE OUT THEIR MEANS PF COMMUNICATION TO THEIR FOLLOWERS. DESTROY THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE,AND YOU CONTROL THE NARRATIVE, AND THE MEANS OF THEIR CONTROLLING THE FLOW AND EBB OF THE MOVEMENT. IF WE WERE TO TAKE THEM DOWN NOW, THE DEMON-CRATS WOULD BE HELPLESS, AND WE COULD CRUSH THEM WITH ONE SWIFT CRUSHING BLOW.

      • Snug

        I wonder ,seriously , if the writer of the above diatribe is not in the employ of the group(s) he professes to want destroyed . This sounds too much like an attempt to discredit opposition to merit any serious consideration .

      • SSgt. J D. Herrington

        The Quran states all non believers are to be killed. To me, that means if I don’t convert to Islam, I’m an infedel. I think that’s about as clear as it can be said. This country was founded by Christians of all faiths. I’ll not allow me or my family to be threatened into conversion to Islam and will defend that to the death.

  • insbuysrv

    Guns make it a whole lot easier to kill. There’s no legitimate sporting use for high capacity magazine equipped assault weapons but the NRA opposed the weapons ban. They also oppose closing the gun show loophole. Why shouldn’t we disallow people on the no fly and terrorist list to buy weapons? I agree If someone feels they’re on the list by mistake there should be a means to appeal. The fact remains the NRA opposes reasonable firearms regulation.

    • Charles Valenzuela

      The second amendment isn’t about “sporting” anything. It is about defense, Sport.

    • Rocket Doc

      THERE IS NO REASONABLE REGULATION. ONLY IGNORANT IDEAS AS YOURS IS!!

    • Dick

      My second amendment protects your first amendment right to write nonsensical opinions. Once the second amendment is gone, the others are soon to follow.

    • Morbitium

      Please explain the gun show loophole? I go to 3-5 gun shows a year, and I still have to show my permit to buy a handgun every time.

    • Snug

      People who insist that a device , not a human being commit murder are much more dangerous than any gun . They insist that a murderer will not commit murder if he does not have a magazine fed semi-automatic rifle ; total delusional nonsense ! I suppose next you will want to ban fuel oil and fertilizer because Tim McVeigh used it in a bomb . People who , like you , insist on guns and not people commit murder are at least enablers to mass killings .

    • Steve C

      There is a legitimate sporting use for high capacity magazine use – competitive three gun matches. If you are that uninformed about ths subject, what other areas of the subject firearms are you uninformed of?

      Have you ever bought a gun at a gun show or online? They don’t just hand over the goods, you get the same NICS check, the same waiting period depending on what the laws are where the transaction occurs, and the gun remains in the dealer’s posession until it is transferred to another FFL dealer and then it goes to the buyer. A lot of ignorance and disinformation is out there regarding legal sales of guns, and the people who are anti-gun have no qualms about spreading lies in order to acheive their goal of making everyone defenseless in the face of violent criminals and events like this latest terorrist shooting spree.

      The NRA is all about safe gun laws, preserving freedom, and making sure the 2nd Amendment is upheld in order that all of our rights as free Americans remain protected and guaranteed for generations to come. The liberal anti 2nd Amendment movement has been attempting to force surrender of those rights for a hundred years, and the fight against dismantling our constitution has never been more prevalent than it is today. These people have embarked on a campaign to demonize the NRA and it’s members as if defeating the NRA will bring their ill conceived plans to fruition. Most do not know the origin of the NRA or the purpose of it’s creation. Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The Union Army general Ambrose Burnside became president of the NRA in that same year when he was the former governor of and then Senator of the state of Rhode Island. It was not about hunting, it was and remains about defense and gun handling saftey.

      In 1975 the NRA created the Institute for Legislative Action, because of the pressure being exerted by the forces in the political arena to control the gun ownership rights of all Americans. Since then there has been wave after wave of prohibitionist legislation being presented to Congress in the name of gun control, usually in response to some criminal or terrorist act. The opposition is always quick to create a furor about the resistance of the NRA to proposed gun laws and policies, but not a word about what the consequences are if we surrender this right, not one word because they don’t want people to think about the true cost of becoming a nation disarmed. So, insbysrv, have you really given any thought to what a disarmed America would be like? A land where the ruling powerful can dictate every detail of your life, down to what happens to your belongings after you’ve breathed your last? A disarmed America would not last long as a peaceful place to live, because lawbreakers have no problems with getting guns illiegally and we have all seen the results of what they do with their guns.

      No legislation created by mankind will ever regulate human behavior or effect control over it. Only morals, ethics, and individual integrity and a sense of responsibility for one’s actions and their results will ever exert any measure of, “control”, over the human factor.

    • Dirk Diggler

      It isn’t called The Bill of Needs.

  • Dirk Diggler

    Amen! The Asset Forfeiture laws are also unconstitutional. I miss the days when this was a functioning Republic and a free country.