Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg is concerned. Terrorists might be buying guns. They must be stopped, all one million of them!
It seems that being placed on the government’s supposed terrorist list doesn’t prevent you from buying guns. It worries Sen. Lautenberg. And it would worry me … if being on a watch list with a million supposed terrorists actually meant anything.
The government’s consolidated watch list, used to identify people suspected of links to terrorists, has grown to more than one million names since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It also has drawn widespread criticism over the prevalence of mistaken identities and unclear links to terrorism.
A report in May from the Justice Department inspector general found that the list kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation carried the names of 24,000 people included on the basis of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information.
Gun rights advocates said showing up on a terrorist watch list should not be grounds for being denied a gun.
“We’re concerned about the quality and the integrity of the list,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “There have been numerous studies and reports questioning the integrity, and we believe law-abiding people who are on the list by error should not be arbitrarily denied their civil rights” under the Second Amendment.
The government can’t take away people’s constitutional rights by simply putting their name on a list. It certainly can’t do so when there’s no evidence the list is accurate. Sen. Lautenberg should start by insisting that the government clean up its watch list and stop categorizing innocent people as terrorists.
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