Here’s an issue that President Obama has been begging Congress to fix, along with pretty much all sane law enforcement: Known terrorists can buy guns legally here in the United States of “freedom”. Yes, we can’t have nice things like refusing to sell handguns or assault weapons to suspected terrorists, because the NRA is too worried about the profits of the gun manufacturers they represent.
Christopher Ingraham writing in the Washington Post reported, “Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.”
There you go, the NRA arming terrorists. In a rational political discussion about the alleged risks posed by refugees, we would be pretty focused on keeping assault weapons out of the hands of any terrorists who we are told will come in with the refugees. But notice, Republicans don’t address this, even as Chris Christie tells us that he would deny even a 3-year-old orphaned refugee. Demonstrating his failure to understand how we vet incoming refugees:
Because he lacks confidence in Administration's vetting ability, @ChrisChristie says no Syrian refugees now, not even "3 year old orphans"
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) November 16, 2015
Yes, we can’t be too careful. Unless of course, it comes to guns. When it comes to guns, we should give them to EVERYONE, no questions asked. To ask a question is to infringe on second amendment rights, which are sacred, unlike your first amendment rights, according to Republicans.
“But people on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watchlist — typically placed there when there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are a known or suspected terrorist — can freely purchase handguns or assault-style rifles,” the Post explained.
A majority of gun owners agree on these basic background checks. The Post pointed out that even Republican Peter King (R-NY) worked with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to bring forth the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015”, which would have kept us from legally selling guns to terrorists.
But the NRA was not pleased with this notion of not selling guns to terrorists, after all, a terrorists’ money is as good as anyone’s. Or, as the NRA put it, the bill was taking aim at law-abiding citizens and terrorists will buy guns anyway (just not from gun manufacturers if in fact it were illegal, so yeah, it’s all about the profit). Per the Washington Post again:
“But these bills have rarely made it out of committee, in part due to vehement opposition from the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress. The NRA objected to earlier versions of the bill, saying they were “aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners,” that “prohibiting the possession of firearms doesn’t stop criminals from illegally acquiring them,” and that the bills were “sponsored by gun control extremists.”
The NRA will do and say anything to keep even the most reasonable gun law from being enacted. They have in fact accused President Obama of planning to confiscate law-abiding citizens’ guns. In the wake of another mass murder, when the American public is really fed up with the gun laws, the NRA doubles down on the crazy, like this: “What Obama is really proposing, despite some platitudes to the contrary, is the end of private firearm ownership for self-defense…”
In fact, President Obama has been more than reasonable, calling for closing a loophole to keep the most dangerous guns off of the streets and keeping military weapons off of the streets. Huh. That’s almost like coming for private guns but not. Not at all. Sadly, Obama can’t make laws from the Executive Branch, he can only get behind policy or change things for federal contractors or change the implementation of a law (e.g., immigration). Congress makes actual laws.
Congress is run by Republicans right now, and they aren’t alone in their NRA servitude.
So when Congressional Republicans and Southern Democrats (if there are any left) are talking tough on terror, someone ought to ask them just when they’re going to address the terror they’ve allowed the NRA to inflict on this country.
Making sure terrorists can get guns legally is kind of an incentive to make sure they come here. Why not? We have everything they need and they don’t even have to hide. Thanks, NRA.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.