Donald Trump has flipped on gun control and is now parroting a liberal policy point that jeopardizes all of our rights. Trump has indicated that he will meet with the NRA about supporting restrictions that would ban anyone on a terrorism watch list from buying firearms.
Here’s the problem — people on watch lists haven’t been charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Perhaps people are not aware, but if we get rid of the Fifth Amendment you may well kiss the Second Amendment goodbye, too.
I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
In a previous piece I argued that stripping rights away from Americans because the government merely suspects you of something is a good way to empower the government to strip all our rights away.
Without due process there is nothing protecting citizens from the arbitrary exercise of power, from state persecution, and from unjust deprivation of their life and liberty. Society either exists under the Rule of Law or the rule of men; the latter being when power is yielded at the whims of those who hold it, with no restraint on their actions. The Rule of Law is what separates a just society from one of authoritarian rule. Justice cannot exist under the rule of men.
These lists are arbitrary and flawed. The late Senator Ted Kennedy even found himself on such a list once. Furthermore, this proposal Trump is pushing is exactly what anti-gun President Obama wants to do, as I pointed out:
How would Obama accomplish this? The arbitrary, secret, terror watch list. This so-called security measure has been in effect since 2003. The problem is the criteria for being placed on the list is very subjective and flawed. Even posting something on social media that others deem “reasonably suspicious” could land you on the list. In it’s 12 year existence, MANY errors have been made. Last year it was determined over 1.5 million names have been added to the list.
Conservatives that support this have lost their minds. This is giving the federal government power to strip your rights without charge or trial. What happens when some nut shoots up an abortion clinic? What happens when right-wing views are seen as dangerous? Don’t forget the federal government has investigated such affiliations before.
We must not give the government the ability to nullify the Second Amendment by suspending the Fifth. In this country, you cannot have your rights taken from you because your name is on a secret list. Trump’s failure to understand this once again underscores his dangerous disregard for the Rule of Law.