Due process?

We don’t need no stinkin’ due process or so the saying goes. Sebastian has a post up about the current media meme about a bill before Congress that would remove the ability of people on the “terrorist watch list” to buy guns. I’m not a big fan of secret government lists to begin with; however remover a person’s ability to purchase guns because that person happens to be on the list is a horrifying thought.

Now, I know that some of my readers (most of which come here from Pissed Off Housewife) don’t necessarily support my strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, which is fine. I want to try and explain something to those people, to Suzy Soccermom and her friends.

No one who is on the terrorist watch list knows that they are. It’s classified, and that is a good thing from a terrorism prevention standpoint. The problem is that you could be put on the terrorist watch list because your name is similar to that of a known terrorist – or for any number of reasons. Imagine for a moment that instead of denying someone their 2nd Amendment rights because they were on a terrorist watch list, the government was trying to deny them their 4th Amendment rights. That would mean that their home would be subject to search and seizure without a warrant at the whim of the government. It’s a scary thought, that of the government revoking your rights by legislative fiat.

Back to the issue of guns and terrorism, I really, really, really do not want terrorists to get guns. At the same time, being a “suspect” of something does not mean that you are guilty of that thing. The thought of revoking a person’s rights, any of their rights, without due process of law is a scary concept to me. A terrorist is going to get those guns, whether or not it’s legal for them do so isn’t going to stop them.

I can’t be any more clear – revoking a person’s rights without due process of law is one of the most terrifying things that a government can do to its citizens. This bill isn’t about “terrorists”, it’s about “suspects” who haven’t committed a crime on a secret government list being denied the rights available to any other citizen.

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