The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told BuzzFeed the group has no formal position on President Obama’s desire to deny constitutional rights to the people listed on the no-fly list.
The no-fly list is a list created by the federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center of people who cannot board an airplane coming in to or flying within the United States. The people on the list have not been adjudicated of any crime.
The ACLU is suing the government over the no-fly list, claiming the government is violating the due process rights of people on the list. But if that same list is used to prohibit people from exercising the constitutionally guaranteed right to own a firearm…not so much.
“We don’t have a position on the legislation in question, but … have many criticisms of the overall watchlisting system as it currently operates,” ACLU’s media strategist Josh Bell told BuzzFeed News.
“There is no constitutional bar to reasonable regulation of guns, and the no-fly list could serve as one tool for it, but only with major reform,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the ACLU National Security Project.
Shall.Not.Be.Infringed is the bar.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) picked up on the ACLU’s hypocrisy and tweeted:
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 7, 2015
Putting someone on no-fly list without due process and infringing on someone’s right to keep & bear arms without due process are both wrong. — Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 7, 2015
The Intercept reports that the no-fly list has expanded exponentially under President Barack Obama. “Since taking office, Obama has boosted the number of people on the no fly list more than ten-fold, to an all-time high of 47,000—surpassing the number of people barred from flying under George W. Bush.”
And if the no-fly list is anywhere near as accurate as the terror watch list, an awful lot of people would be deprived of their rights to purchase a firearm.
The Intercept has obtained classified documents that outline who exactly is on the terror watch list, and about 40% have no recognized terror-group affiliation.
Who knows what these folks did to get on the list and I’m not saying there isn’t a reason to “watch” them, but you can’t deprive citizens of their rights without due process. And if they shouldn’t own a gun and they can’t fly, they need to be deported or charged with a crime.
We can’t fight terrorism by building bigger and bigger lists…and that’s it.