LA Times: Liberty Trumps Gun Control

In the days following the attack by Islamic fundamentalists in San Bernadino, opinion in the legacy print media has been focused on promoting gun control, The idea being, I suppose, that more laws forcing the disarmament of law-abiding citizens would make them feel better, even if it doesn’t actually prevent anyone from (say) taking inspiration from a murderous foreign ideology. At most, the only innocent people who would be seriously hurt by such laws would be either poor white folks in flyover country, or poor black folks in the cities (i.e., no one who the coastal media and political elites actually know or care about) . . .

It’s therefore a pleasant surprise when I find something in the assault media that actually counter that trend. Yesterday, the left-leaning Los Angeles Times editorial board blasted President Obama’s proposal  (cribbed from the recently-voted-down Senate proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)) to bar people on the secretly-compiled, double secret government “no-fly” list and the equally mysterious terrorist “watch list” from purchasing firearms, which would violate several parts of the Bill of Rights. The article title says it all: “Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes.” Let’s take a gander.

[T]he United States doesn’t generally punish or penalize people unless and until they have been charged and convicted of a crime. In this case, the government would be infringing on a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — and yes, like it or not, the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

OMG! The right to buy a gun is a constitutional right? Please pass the smelling salts to your left-wing fellow-travellers, L.A. Times. But wait, there’s more:

How certain is it that the people on the two lists are dangerous? Well, we don’t really know, because the no-fly-list and the broader watch list are government secrets. People are not notified when they are put on, nor why, and they usually don’t discover they have been branded suspected terrorists until they try to travel somewhere….

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the government over the no-fly list, the two lists include thousands of names that have been added in error, as well as the names of family members of suspected terrorists. The no-fly list has also been used to deny boarding passes to people who only share a name with a suspected terrorist. Former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was famously questioned at airports in 2004 because a terror suspect had used the alias “T. Kennedy.” It took the senator’s office three weeks to get his name cleared.

Okay, just think about that for a minute. If it took Senator Edward Moore “a couple of phone calls plus a “Checkers” speech and I’m out of that whole Chappaquiddick mess” Kennedy, a forty-plus year member of the U.S. Senate at the time, and patriarch of one of the wealthiest, storied, and overrated political dynasties in recent American political history a full three weeks to clear his name from a terror watch list, what are the rest of us peons without such connections going to be able to do if we’re in a similar situation?

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (r) and friend. Via politico.com.

The L.A. Times of course throws in a paragraph in which it rants a bit about how it doesn’t like the fact that people can buy eeeevil black modern sporting rifles. Even here, though, it pushes through its ideology, at least a little bit:

But that [buying firearms] is a recognized right, and we find it dangerous ground to let the government restrict the exercise of a right based on mere suspicion….

Ending gun violence is critically important, but so is protecting basic civil liberties. Although we agree to the ends here, we object to the means.

It turns out that the LA Times isn’t the only part of the left-wing traditional media that is running for cover after Obama’s speech. Cathy Gellis of The Daily Beast also blasts the idea as a terrible one:

Normally we do not let the government strip people of their rights without demonstrating why they deserve to be deprived of them. Here, though, we would be removing that safety check. With this proposal we would be authorizing the government to act capriciously and unaccountably for any reason, including—and this point cannot be emphasized enough—bad reasons or no reasons at all, and against anyone, including—and this point cannot be emphasized enough, either—people just like you. There would also be no reason why, if the government could take away this right this way today, it couldn’t take away other rights you depend on having tomorrow the same way.

Even the Beeb took notice.

I’ve always believed that we’ll know we’re winning when people who hate guns are nevertheless acknowledge that the liberties protected in the Bill of Rights are a package deal, and if you come for the speech, conscience, and religion bits, you also get the bits that protect the rights of the accused, that make life harder for the police and security services…and, of course, the bit that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. At all times. For any purpose. You might accuse me of being an optimist (a charge to which I’ll plead guilty,) but seeing this editorial made me remember that perhaps the glass is starting to inch over the half-full mark.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Wow. Who’d a thunk it. It really is about civil rights. Guns are just a pawn in the attempt to eliminate our civil rights. If it wasn’t guns it would be another focus point.

    1. avatar Pg2 says:

      Not sure if youre being sarcastic, but the attack on Americans individual rights has been in play for decades, accelerating exponentially after 9/11.

      1. avatar glenux says:

        s the attack on Americans individual rights has been in play for decades?

        The attack on individual rights has been in play from the very beginning of our country.

        That’s why Framers of the constitution and the people of the state ratification conventions
        were especially concerned about
        suppression of free speech and the press,
        standing armies,
        trials without juries,
        house searches and body searches without warrants.

        Now we have come full circle with the introduction of the so-called Patriot Act.
        Searches, surveillance, and general warrants without due process.

        We fought a war of Independence to achieve those rights and we
        will probably have to fight a war to take back those rights
        .

  2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Breaking news tomorrow will probably be a retraction. At this time the Constitution can use as many allies as can be mustered.

    1. avatar Breaking says:

      BOLO _AWOL – 2 Male Afgan Air Force personell / Moody A.F.B – Ga. / 08 / Dec. / 2015

      WCTV News.

        1. avatar JSF001 says:

          Very well might be nothing. This same thing happened like a year ago as well. Turned out that they had wanted to do some sight seeing and did not want to work.

  3. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    In other news-pigs fly and hell freezes over. Not much of a
    “victory”…they still hate you and your guns.

  4. avatar the ruester says:

    It was that speech by POTUS the other night. Liberals know that look, that tension and doubt in the throat of a prevaricator. This time the flop sweat was quite severe. “Holy crap,” he thought as Obama ham-handedly blamed the NRA for terrorism, “we really are truly and completely full of shit, aren’t we?” The panic is that they will finally lose the rest of the anti-Bush libertarians, before they can replace them with immigrants and safe spacers.

  5. avatar DerryM says:

    I wouldn’t celebrate this one until a week has gone by without a retraction. An old gent I used to visit with a a rifle range once said of the LA Times . “They ought to print it in RED ink on PINK paper…”. I have thought for years that was an astute observation and will stand by it with regard to this piece appearing in that Commie Rag. One moment of repentance does not a sinner redeem.

  6. avatar scooter says:

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend! I have heard several past suggestions that the best approach may not be listing reasons WHY I need a gun just as someone robbed of free speech wouldn’t explain WHY they need free speech… we don’t need to give REASONS. It’s just our right. Signed, sealed, delivered… and kinda-sorta mostly upheld to various degrees more-or-less around the nation with pockets of restriction scattered about in places.

  7. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Even a broken clock can be right twice a day. That being said, it’s nice to see the words “civil liberties” and “constitution” uttered. Maybe someone has started the process of anal cranial extraction.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    So what the LA Slime is saying is that they hate us and our guns, and the G should take away our rights, BUT it should find a more pleasant way to do so that doesn’t imperil the rights of the LA Slime.

    1. avatar JohnnyDerp says:

      Ralph nailed it. LA Times is worried about the goose/gander relationship and looking for a better way to confiscate guns and not have their 1st amendment rights imperiled

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        The system works.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      That’s a Bingo!

    3. avatar Sean in MT says:

      Indeed. From the story: “Although we agree to the ends here, we object to the means.” So, the LA Times are still admitting that they’d like to take away people’s natural, civil and constitutionally-protected rights, but just not by using the no-fly list. In other words, they’re still all for tyranny and against freedom, but they just need a less obvious way to bring this about.

  9. avatar Another Robert says:

    Future retraction or no, I am shocked again (see the active-shooter vid thread). It’ll be hard to unring the bell. That is the closest I’ve seen any lefty come to an intellectually honest and consistent opinion in–well, forever.

  10. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    “the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

    Uh, last I checked it was a constitutional right according to the bill of rights and supported by the federalist papers and the author of the second amendment. While it is nice that the author of the article has a basic understanding of due process, they really need to drop the Supreme court made gun rights an individual right BS. It was always recognized as an individual right until the modern progressive era of the past 2-3 decades. They act like it is a modern interpretation. Oh, I forgot. It’s all about the narrative. That magical “collective right”.

  11. avatar tmm says:

    The ends do NOT justify the means. This is ground I hope we can all stand on.

  12. avatar mrvco says:

    Both are illegal lists… there is no due process to be put on them or to be taken off of them. Not unlike Barry’s “Kill List”, secret due process is no due process at all, especially after you’re dead.

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    Subterfuge, both media quotes are essentially a paraphrase of each other, that means they’re only slightly more diligent in sharing their talking points. If there’s a conspiracy, in liberal blue (D) news, there’s a plan, likely with an orbital period of a comet. Don’t give those F’ers an inch.
    If America goes tits up, it’s on them, and those like them, and their families, and prgeny. If we have to save America, it’s FROM them, not FOR them. They are not us, and if I’m not us to you, then you ain’t nothing.

  14. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “the left-leaning Los Angeles Times”
    That’s like describing the Pope as “sort of Catholic.”

    1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      I think many would describe the current pope as kinda Catholic.

      1. avatar Matthew says:

        Somewhat Catholic.

        1. avatar Newshawk says:

          A slight, barely perceptible Catholic.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    The Beeb? For a second I thought you meant Justin Beiber — now wouldn’t that have been something.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Thought the same thing. I was actually afraid to click on the link so soon after eating. Didn’t want to wear my breakfast.

  16. avatar Smith says:

    I’ve seen at least one article in the Washington post that admits ‘no fly’ gun ban is a bad idea. I wonder how many of the people who read it will realize this, and realize that their rights are at risk too.

  17. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “Ending gun violence is critically important, but so is protecting basic civil liberties. Although we agree to the ends here, we object to the means.”

    The LA Times still wants gun conrtol, but they would just prefer to get there without that whole “infringe” thing happening to the rights they choose to exercise.

  18. avatar Mad Max says:

    Add this to the list with the article about the terrorists arsenal not being an arsenal in the ultra-left The Nation the other day.

    There may be some cracks in the assault media’s defenses coming from within….very sloooowly.

  19. avatar LJM says:

    The speech should have surprised no one. Barry has continued to suspend due process with regard to Guantanemo, why would he alter his stance here. He just views those that support the 2nd amendment as ‘enemy combatants’.

  20. avatar Anon says:

    I’ll say we’ve won when the LA Times says the No-Fly list violates citizens’ 9th Amendment rights to fly on airplanes.

  21. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “No Fly List” = Aberration of 2n Amendment rights.

    Then the “No Fly List” should = Aberration of 1st Amendment rights as well as the right to vote. They’re all God given rights and all of equal value.

  22. avatar BDub says:

    So the L.A Times has distinguished itself from the New York Times by insisting we not destroy the 5th Amendment while destroying the 2nd Amendment…..got it. We really are having to split hairs to see the good in these people, aren’t we?

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