No, "No Fly, No Buy" Is Not Something We Can Agree On

(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Democrats really don’t seem to get gun owners at all.

I mean, they seem to think that we love guns more than others, not understanding that we value gun rights because those rights protect all our other rights. They think we’re fine with seeing dead kids in school shootings when nothing could be further from the truth, we just don’t think gun control is the answer.


They get a lot wrong about us.

Over at the National Review, David Harsanyi takes aim at a couple of proposals being trotted out.

But Democrat Rahm Emanuel has an idea. The only way his party can pass gun-control legislation, he argued on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, is by focusing less on firearms and more on people. He reasons Democrats should compromise with Republicans by focusing on “criminals,” “mental health,” and the No-Fly List.

Now, as Harsanyi pointed out, a lot of people on the right would agree with the first two. Then again, he also points out that those are already covered by existing laws.

It’s the last that pisses me off to no end, and Harsanyi has an opinion on that as well.

Yet, Emanuel’s most egregious proposal is “No Fly, No Buy.” The idea here is to confiscate the guns of American citizens who’ve been arbitrarily placed on various secret government no-fly and watch lists without any probable cause, any assumption of innocence, or any due process.

One can vividly imagine how such lists could be abused by Democrats, who believe the National Rifle Association is a “terrorist organization” and most conservatives are “white supremacists.” Emanuel, for instance, said that the “Proud Boys are a domestic terrorist group” that would fall under the law. Whatever you think of members of the Proud Boys or Antifa, or whatever group you find most detestable, they are made up of individuals. Emanuel wants to divest adherents of their constitutional rights for thought crimes. That’s not how this works.

“No Fly, No Buy” is not a new idea. A few years ago, Democrats attempted to pass a similar bill. It was then that Connecticut senator Chris Murphy had despicably accused Republicans, who opposed summarily convicting Americans who were on opaque extrajudicial government lists compiled by a bunch of bureaucrats, of having “decided to sell weapons to ISIS.”

These aren’t your parents’ “liberals.”


No, they’re not.

The big problem with “No Fly, No Buy” is that there’s nothing approaching due process involved. If a name just like yours shows up on a terrorist watch list, you can be stripped of your Second Amendment rights without any opportunity to appeal. It’s possible they won’t even admit you’re on the list.

Problems with the No-Fly List have been well-documented. Sen. Ted Kennedy, for example, was on the list. While there’s a lot of bad things you could say about Kennedy–most of them true, to be sure–he wasn’t a candidate for hijacking a plane. He wasn’t alone, either. Infants have shown up on the list, making it awkward for parents to fly.

Additionally, it’s not really difficult to get someone’s name added to the list. As Harsanyi notes, some already label the NRA as a terrorist organization. What’s to stop vocal gun rights advocates’ names from being added under similar thinking? It’s not like any of us would get to defend our name in court.

If we can see these problems with something like flying, then why is it so hard for some people to see these issues when talking about buying a firearm?

The answer is that they can, they just don’t think it matters.

While you and I know that the Second Amendment is a right, far too many people like Rahm Emmanuel see it as a privilege that needs to be tightly controlled. They don’t actually care if you’re able to defend your family or not. They’ll tell you that’s what the police are for, despite the courts ruling time and time again that law enforcement has no duty to protect you or yours.


“No Fly, No Buy” is hardly ground where gun rights advocates are ever likely to find common cause with anti-gun zealots. On the contrary, it’ll spark as much of a fight as any other bit of gun control legislation you care to name.

As it should.


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