Over the last few weeks there has been an increased demand from gun control activists that we should be using the terrorist watchlist to restrict the ability for people to purchase firearms. I’ve already gone over why this is an incredibly troubling concept not only from a constitutional rights point of view but also a practical one, but despite the blatant 5th Amendment issues involved in restricting the Constitutional rights of Americans without any due process whatsoever President Obama called for using that list as a reason to deny people access to firearms in a live interview with CBS News.
As a reminder, the “terrorist watchlist” is a secret list where potential and suspected terrorists are identified. Government reports in the past have indicated that around 30% of the entries in that list may be inaccurate. There have been multiple cases in the past of innocent people finding themselves on the list and having their lives ruined, and thanks to the secrecy involved it is nearly impossible to get your name removed.
The logic in use here is backwards from the American ideal. Instead of “innocent until proven guilty,” those who find themselves on the list (sometimes resulting from outright lies, according to some reports) are forced to prove that they aren’t terrorists before their rights are restored.