By Paul Helmke
It’s getting tougher for suspected terrorists to get on a plane, but their Second Amendment “gun rights” continue to trump our concerns for public safety.
The government is now making the so-called “No-Fly List” more comprehensive, adding an additional three thousand names to the list in response to the attempted Christmas airplane bombing.
It’s great they’re working hard to keep terrorists off planes. But these same people that the government has determined to be too dangerous to get on airplanes are not barred from buying firearms in the United States. Called the “Terror Gap”, the lists of those prohibited from purchasing guns from federally licensed dealers do not include known or suspected terrorists- an obvious loophole in federal law.
This is even more ludicrous when you realize that the only lethal terror attacks on United States soil last year were shootings. As The New York Times summed it up so well this January: “Exactly 14 of the approximately 14,000 murders in the United States last year resulted from allegedly jihadist attacks: 13 people shot at Fort Hood in Texas in November and one at a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., in June.”
The government knew both shooters had some connections to foreign terrorists, yet both easily bought guns in the country with the intent to kill Americans. Let’s try to stop shootings like these before they happen: close the Terror Gap, stop terrorists and suspected terrorists from legally buying guns, and help make this country a safer place.
The bills in Congress dealing with this issue are all pretty reasonable. S.1317, sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg, and H.R.2159, sponsored by Representative Peter King, both give the U.S. Attorney General the ability to block specific individuals on the Terrorist Watchlist from securing firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, while H.R.2401, sponsored by Representative Carolyn McCarthy, prevents anyone on the No-Fly List from purchasing guns from a federally licensed gun dealer.
There’s more we should do to keep dangerous guns out of the hands of dangerous people, but this one should be a no-brainer. I urge readers to call their Senators and Congressmen, and ask them to co-sponsor those bills.