GOP lawmakers caved to Democrats’ filibuster efforts in the middle of the night last night and have promised to have a vote on the so-called “No-fly/No-buy” bill which purports to keep individuals from purchasing fire arms if they appear on a secret list compiled by federal officials.
Republican leadership clearly felt intimidated by rhetoric like this from Sen. Chris Murphy (R-CT):
“I can’t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later, we’ve done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.”
Apparently, Sen. Murphy believes Adam Lanza was on a terrorist watch list. Or maybe… just maybe… Democrats are using and exploiting the terror attacks in Orlando to push infringements on the 2nd amendment that they’ve been pushing for years, just like they did right after the murders at Sandy Hook.
Of course, Democrats didn’t have to deflect criticism of their filibuster from the mainstream media as Republicans did during their most recent filibusters. We didn’t see Wolf Blitzer of Lester Holmes accusing Democrats of grinding the Senate to a halt and having a temper tantrum in the same way they slimed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in the past.
In fact, Paul was undermined by his own party when he attempted a filibuster of gun control measures in favor of the constitution in 2013 because of pressure from the media.
It’s generally a horrible idea to make sweeping laws that infringe on constitutional rights at all, let alone in the emotional aftermath of a terrible event like the Orlando terror attacks. It’s always unpopular to take a stand against such legislation because you run the risk of being accused of “doing nothing” to try to prevent a mass murder. You’ll be accused of being on the side of the terrorists and in the back pocket of the NRA.
And let’s face it, Republicans in Washington hate it when Democrats and the mainstream media (forgive the redundancy) say mean things about them.
But, thankfully, we have leaders like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who will actually stand up for the US Constitution at times like this.
In fact, he made the perfect argument against this kind of pervasive infringement on due process rights last year when questioning a Dept. of Homeland Security official about the “No-fly list.”
GOWDY: “What process is afforded a U.S. citizen, not someone who has overstayed a visa, not someone who crossed the border without permission, but an American citizen; what process is currently afforded an American citizen before they go on that list,” asked Gowdy.
BURRIESCI: “I’m sorry, um, there’s not a process afforded the citizen prior to getting on the list; there is a process should someone feel they are unduly placed on the list.”
GOWDY: “Yes, there is. When I say process, I’m actually using half of the term due process, which is a phrase we find in the Constitution–that we cannot deprive people of certain things without due process. So I understand Mr. Gude’s* idea, which is wait until your right has taken from you, and then you petition the government to get it back; I understand that’s his idea. My question is can you name another constitutional right that we have that is chilled, until you find out it’s chilled–and then you have to petition the government to get it back. Is that true with the First Amendment?
Thank you, Rep. Gowdy. It’s one year later and the argument remains the same. Who will have the courage to make it?