Ex Multis Telis Telum

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It took the mass murder of twenty 1st graders and a handful of their teachers, aides, and administrators in an elementary school in Connecticut to prompt New York State to react and pass the NY SAFE Act. Having not “grabbed” anyone’s guns, it’s now known mostly for rural and suburban lawn signs demanding its repeal. After its passage, 2nd Amendment absolutists wailed, but the same Supreme Court that declared that individuals have a right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment has also consistently held that the right is not unlimited or unrestricted. Recently, the NY SAFE Act’s Constitutionality was affirmed when the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the 2nd Circuit

Specifically, the 2nd Circuit upheld New York’s ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. It also upheld Justice Skretny’s District Court decision striking down the part of the law prohibiting people from loading more than 7 rounds into at 10-round magazine. 

After Orlando, there were many arguments over the semantics of “radical Islamic terror” because the murderer was a Muslim who supposedly pledged “allegiance” to the Islamic State. It got so stupid that when the FBI released redacted transcripts of his 911 calls from the murderer during the shooting, people howled because the omitted words dealt with his calls for jihad and other nonsense. The FBI explained that they were being sensitive to the victims’ families on the one hand, and reluctant to publicize the shooter’s own ridiculous propaganda, on the other. Nevertheless, it became the morning’s mini-scandal and the FBI relented, and the shooter’s words are now available to all, as he wished and intended. 

Others argued that this was a religious problem and not a gun control problem, but how could that be true? After 9/11, we didn’t just put in place the Patriot Act, we completely overhauled our air travel security system, requiring armored cockpit doors, hiring air marshals, creating the TSA and tightening security for air travel. There have only been about 14 hijackings of aircraft since 2001, and none of them were on American carriers or over American airspace. It was a jihadist issue and also an aircraft security issue. 

Likewise, our easy retail access to arsenals have not merely enabled twisted jihadists to commit mass murder. Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, San Ysidro – none of them involved anything resembling the magic words, “radical Islamic terror”. It’s not just an issue involving the shooters’ intentions – it also involves their ability to carry out their mass murder. 

Radical Islamic terrorism – or whatever you want to call it – is a very serious problem, but not the only one. It’s not just a issue of intent, but also of logistics. It is perverse how easy we make it for lunatics of any faith or ethnicity to commit quick, efficient mass murder. Members of Congress have attempted to introduce the following in recent weeks: 

  • Californian Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed an amendment whereby the attorney general could refuse a gun sale to anyone if there is a “reasonable belief” that the prospective purchaser was likely to be a terrorist. This would not just apply to people on the no-fly list, but to anyone on a terrorist watch list maintained by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. 
  • Texan Republican Senator John Cornyn proposed a requirement that law enforcement is alerted if anyone on a terror watch list attempted to buy firearms from a licensed dealer. If the purchaser had been investigated for terrorism in the preceding five years, the sale could be blocked for at least 3 days. 
  • Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, proposed legislation – again – that would close the “gun show loophole” by requiring every gun purchaser to undergo a background check, and to expand the background check database.

I don’t know what the “armored cockpit doors” solution is to our gun problem, but doing nothing at all isn’t working. Neither psychopaths nor terrorists have a 2nd Amendment right to own a firearm.

To suggest otherwise is tantamount to defiantly committing national suicide. 

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