Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has proposed the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016, popularly known as the Collins Amendment. Who could possibly be against such a thing? I am, for one. Her proposal is similar to Diane Feinstein’s S.551 and several other meaningless measures floating around the septic tank of Congress. Her’s is the one in the news today having passed a procedural vote 52-46. Here’s the majority of the Amendment (click the picture for the whole thing):
Collins Amendment. Senate.gov.
The vote had to be of the unrecorded, oral variety as I can’t find reference to it. Congress frequently avoids such disclosure. Why would anyone want to readily know how his Senator voted on something anyway? There are reasons a rational man would oppose such a “common sense” law. Anyway, support for this version of gun control is being hailed as some sort of crack in the GOP/NRA wall against a safer America.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a co-sponsor of the Act so we can assume he was among the 52. His explanation of its provisions highlight the problems with the Amendment and various other government projects. Per the Times story:
Republicans find it much easier to explain enacting gun restrictions to constituents devoted to the Second Amendment if they can frame their position as an act against terrorism.
“The Constitution’s a sacred document, but it is not a suicide pact,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a gun owner. “This is not hard for me. Due process is important, but at the end of the day, we are at war.”
Graham clarified in a press release:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after voting in support of the Collins amendment to prevent terrorists from buying guns.
The amendment survived a procedural vote, 52-46, and remains eligible for a final vote.
“At the end of the day this really is about counter-terrorism, not gun control. We are a nation at war against radical Islam and under increasing threats both here at home and abroad.
“President Obama’s foreign policy has been a failure and helped give rise to the very threats we face. I have long argued we must do more to counter the threat abroad. However, it is also important we take steps here at home to protect ourselves as well. It’s why I supported the Collins Amendment.
“Simply put — I don’t want anyone who is too dangerous to fly on a plane to buy a gun.
“To be on these lists today means there is reasonable suspicion and credible evidence that the individual in question is involved with or in support of terrorist activities. There are about 109,000 people on these lists and 99% of them are foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens. There are only about 2,700 Americans who could be impacted by this measure.
“I believe in due process and I was insistent the amendment contain provisions to ensure those who should not be on these lists can clear their name. We put the burden of proof on the government to show the individual is a danger and should not be allowed to purchase a gun. If the government fails, the individual’s rights are upheld and the government will pay their legal tab.
“This debate will continue and I will continue to work to find common ground that both protects the rights of law-abiding citizens and prevents terror suspects from purchasing guns. The differences between the competing approaches are narrowing.
“I will continue to strive to be a senator that can bring us together and find common ground in times of great threat.
He’s right about continuing to strive to be a senator but all wrong beyond that.
The Act isn’t about counter-terrorism or about gun control. It’s just another law and another burden on the people.
Graham is correct that Hussein Obama’s policies have only made the threat of terrorism worse. To be fair though, Hussein Obama has only continued the disaster of a policy put in place by Bush 43. And Graham’s proposals on the subject, whenever he spouts off, are always of the kind which would make things EVEN WORSE.
At home he says there are 109,000 people on the watch lists. Of those only 1% or 2,700 are U.S. Citizens (closer to 2.5% by my math). If 106,300 foreign nationals are on the lists of suspected terrorists, why the hell are they not rounded up and deported immediately?
Neither Graham nor any other Senator really cares about Due Process. This proposal, like S.551, has a huge loophole to allow the Attorney General carte blanche authority over who goes on the list and allows the government to ultimately assert national security as an end-around to avoid due process in court. By Graham’s math that means 2,700 Americans right now could be out of luck; the list would surely grow if the Act passes into law. Don’t look for any of the foreigners to go home; in fact, more and more will just keep coming.
Graham’s position may be summed up as: “We’re at war (with an enemy we created and brought home). Therefore the Second Amendment and due process of law can go out the window.”
The saddest part of all this (as if it isn’t sad enough) is that the whole thing is pointless. Gun control does not work to stop gun violence. Period. None of the criminals and terrorists Collins and Graham feign interest in stopping would be subjected to any provisions of the Act. The University of Chicago “just discovered” that criminals don’t buy guns the legal way (surprise, surprise!). So much for soft gun control controlling crime. Even hardened European gun control does next to nothing to stop gun violence. When it comes to government gun control it’s all about the state controlling citizens and about perception (image over substance).
Then there’s the issue of bombs…
All this shows again and again you cannot trust the people who created the problem to know how to solve it. Don’t buy the gun-fly lie.
Senators propose more burdens on the People. NY Times.