In an effort to distract away from President Obama’s failing strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and desire to bring more Syrian refugees to U.S. soil, especially after the massacre in Paris, the White House is pulling out the ammunition against its favorite enemy and straw man: the NRA.
Last week during questioning from reporters, White House press secretary Josh Earnest urged Congress to “do something” about the capability for terrorists to easily purchase firearms in the United States.
“Right now, there’s not a law on the books that prevents an individual who is already in the United States and that we already know is suspected of having links to terrorism — that allows them to go and purchase a weapon,” Earnest said. “Members of Congress are prepared to allow those individuals who are already in the United States, and are suspected of having links to terrorism, from going and purchasing a firearm. I think that’s a pretty clear indication that Republicans in Congress are more interested in playing politics, and more scared of the NRA, than they are concerned about doing the right thing for our national security.”
First off, France is one big gun-free zone, and the Kalashnikov rifles, grenades and suicide belts ISIS terrorists used two weeks ago to kill 130 people are banned. Second, the so-called “terrorist watch list” Earnest refers to is a clunky, bureaucratic list of hundreds of thousands of people who have no links to terrorism at all.
“That list, which contained 47,000 names at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, has grown to nearly 700,000 people on President Obama’s watch. The fact that they are names, not identities, has led to misidentifications and confusion, ensnaring many innocent people. But surely those names are there for good reason, right?” the Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board reports.
“Not really. According to the technology website TechDirt.com, 40 percent of those on the FBI’s watch list — 280,000 people — are considered to have no affiliation with recognized terrorist groups. All it takes is for the government to declare is has ‘reasonable suspicion’ that someone could be a terrorist,” the paper continues. “There is no hard evidence required, and the standard is notoriously vague and elastic.”
Currently, legislative proposals in Congress to prevent “terrorists” from purchasing firearms in the United States would require anyone who is simply named on the list to be banned from purchasing a firearm and would do nothing to clean up the list to focus on people truly associated with terrorist organizations. It shouldn’t be surprising that gun control zealot Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is leading the way, Bill of Rights and due process be damned.
The NRA is interested in protecting the civil rights of Americans, not protecting the ability of terrorists to get guns.
Have suspected terrorists been able to purchase firearms in the United States? The answer is yes, around 2,000 times. Does this fact warrant stripping the Second Amendment rights from citizens who aren’t terrorists because they’re on a government list? The answer is no. Regardless, considering terrorists get firearms in and from all parts of the world regardless of gun control restrictions or laws, it’s an irrelevant argument.
And finally, let me remind the public about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal between 2009 and 2010, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, under direction from officials at the highest levels of the Obama Justice Department, approved and sanctioned the sale of more than 2500 AK-47s, .50-caliber rifles and a number of handguns to violent Mexican narco-terrorists. The secret program, which was eventually exposed by ATF whistleblower John Dodson, ended in December 2010 when Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in Arizona. Firearms from Fast and Furious were left at the scene.
Cartels south of the border actually have a lot in common with ISIS. In fact, ISIS could learn a thing or two from their gruesome tactics. The biggest differences between the two are motive and religion.
Since 2006, more than 60,000 civilians have been killed in Mexico’s drug wars. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican citizens have been slaughtered as a result of Operation Fast and Furious and Obama’s DOJ purposely supplying Mexican cartel members with the weapons they need for murder.
Beheadings, dismemberment, soaking rivals, journalists and pesky civilian opponents alive in acid baths, live burials, mass graves, torture, body dumping, the execution of police chiefs, mayors and other public officials, public hangings, mass slaughter with firearms and explosives and more are all regular occurrences in Mexico. We just don’t talk about it much.
For the White House to argue it’s the NRA that wants to protect the ability for terrorists to purchase firearms is laughable, but it’s especially hypocritical when we revisit the facts of Fast and Furious and the narco-terrorists who are now more heavily armed thanks to the Obama administration.
Pavlich is editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.