California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) is renewing efforts to prohibit people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist from purchasing handguns and military-style rifles. Congressional Republicans have consistently opposed legislation designed to prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns. However, with GOP lawmakers still recoiling in fear from the Paris attacks, some Republican members of congress might reconsider their position that arming suspected terrorists is an acceptable policy.
Under current federal law, affiliation with a known terrorist organization doesn’t bar an individual from purchasing or possessing firearms or explosives. While restricting rights based on suspicion of terrorist activity is a delicate matter, Feinstein made her point rather bluntly, by stating:
I think this is a no-brainer. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.
Members on the Terrorist Watchlist are banned from boarding commercial flights, but between 2004 and 2014 individuals on the list made at least 2,043 legal gun purchases in the United States.
Democrats and a few Republicans, including New York Rep. Peter King and former president George W. Bush tried to pass legislation closing off suspected terrorists’ legal access to guns, but they were blocked by NRA-friendly congressional Republicans at every turn.
Predictably, the NRA has voiced their opposition to Feinstein’s proposal. NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker stated:
It is appalling that anti-gun politicians are exploiting the Paris terrorist attacks to push their gun-control agenda and distract from President Obama’s failed foreign policy.
In the wake of 129 people getting murdered by terrorists, the idea of making it more difficult for suspected terrorists to arm themselves probably won’t seem “appalling” to most Americans.
What may come across as appalling is the NRA’s dogmatic insistence that guns continue to be made readily available to almost anyone who wants to have one. The NRA and their Republican stooges in congress are so indoctrinated into the gun cult, that they won’t even approve of legislation designed to keep guns out of the the hands of suspected terrorists.