After the Orlando shooting which left 49 members of the LGBT community, conservatives rushed to paint it as an act of terrorism. Despite the fact the deranged gunman pledged allegiance to three different terrorist groups which hate each other, they insisted that easy access to assault rifles wasn’t the problem, Islam was.
One of the unfortunate things about our information age is that anyone with an internet connection can self-radicalize without ever leaving the country to train with terrorist groups. Omar Mateen never travelled to ISIS camps or visited with extremist clerics in person, he simply had to get online and find other people who shared his twisted religious views and anger.
Ever since 9/11, Republicans and some Democrats have pushed for laws that allow warrantless wiretapping and other forms of surveillance that invade an individual’s right to privacy. Edward Snowden confirmed what we already suspected, that the NSA was collecting data on both foreigners and American citizens who might be a threat to domestic security.
Nearly every conservative in Congress has backed some form of infringement on personal rights. Whether it has been domestic surveillance, reproductive rights, or other violations of the Constitution, they have been perfectly OK with it – so long as it plays along with their fearmongering about terrorism.
Yet, when any bill comes about limiting the access of possible terrorists to guns, the 2nd Amendment suddenly becomes a right that cannot be infringed upon any way. Seriously? Congress can keep suspected terrorists detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay without a trial, but keeping someone on a no-fly list from purchasing firearms can’t pass through Congress?
These are lawmakers who support forcing people to use bathrooms based on their assigned gender at birth, allowing employers to deny medical coverage to their workers based on religious views, and the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee wants to ban people from entering this country based on their religion. All of these proposals fly in the face of our country’s tradition of individual rights, but stopping potential terrorists from buying guns is a problem?
Across our country, federal and state politicians are also pushing laws to allow the teaching of creationism in schools, and ban anything other than abstinence-only sex education. They want to allow guns in bars, unlicensed concealed carry or even backing anti-government domestic terrorists like the Bundy militia. Yet, simply tightening a few gun laws is a violation of the Bill of Rights? How utterly hypocritical is that?
If lawmakers were serious about stopping mass shootings and terrorism, they would enact laws that address our nation’s problem with gun violence – without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens. If we have a no-fly list, why can’t we have a no-buy list and end the gun show loophole that allows for private sales without any background check? For the NRA fanatics who claim that the loophole doesn’t exist, I purchased my coyote rifle at a gun show without a check, despite my willingness to undergo one – because I am not a felon and there is nothing in background to exclude me from legally or reasonably owning firearms.
Every other part of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is up for interpretation or exceptions, but only the 2nd Amendment cannot be touched? Give me a fucking break. I don’t support banning all guns, but can we at least agree people who are under investigation by the FBI or even convicted felons shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a firearm capable of killing dozens of people, including police officers and school children?