Will the government soon quarter troops in your home?
The Third Amendment prohibits that, sure — but if prominent and powerful Democrats are so anxious to toss out the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, who’s to say they wouldn’t jettison the Third?
Last year, every Democratic U.S. Senator voted to repeal the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and replace it with new, broad powers for incumbents in Congress to regulate their own campaign spending and their opponents’, and thereby regulate essential political speech.
Luckily, those 54 senators still lacked the two-thirds margin needed to send their constitutional amendment to the House and then possibly out to the states.
Now, in the face of “gun violence” in San Bernardino, California — what has finally, ever so reluctantly, been acknowledged to be terrorism — President Barack Obama, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton, and congressional Democrats, advance the idea that we should immediately scrap the Second Amendment.
“For those who are concerned about terrorism,” said Mr. Obama, as if he’s not so concerned, “some may be aware of the fact that we have a no-fly list where people can’t get on planes. But those same people, who we don’t allow to fly, could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm, and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. That’s a law that needs to be changed.”
How would such a statute work? By first scrapping the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees that “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
These Democrats demand that Americans on the so-called “No-Fly List” — a subset of the 700,000 folks found on the Terrorist Watch List — be denied their Second Amendment right to a firearm, despite the fact that the bureaucratically created list is recognized to be a mess and, moreover, offers not a scintilla of due process: no charge, jury, trial.
Would this new regulation have prevented the San Bernardino murderers from getting guns? No — they had recently flown to Saudi Arabia, half-way around the world.
The globe-trotting Boston Marathon bombers didn’t make the no-fly list, either.
But the list did label an 18-month-old girl a terrorist, snatching her rights like taking candy from a . . . toddler.
For many years, embarrassingly, the late Nelson Mandela was on the no-fly list, along with South Africa’s foreign minister, and also Stephen F. Hayes, the Weekly Standard columnist — not to mention my innocent nephew.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week, GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was asked if it wasn’t merely “common sense” to block those on terror watch lists from getting guns. “I actually think it’s ideology, not common sense,” Fiorina replied, “that causes the left-wing every time in a knee jerk reaction to say the answer here is more laws, when we’re not enforcing the laws we have.” Instead, she urged, explaining that “less than one percent” of those obtaining guns illegally are ever prosecuted, “Let’s start by enforcing the laws we already have.”
Fiorina added that she, too, had a friend mistakenly placed on the no-fly list.
“On this particular issue, we do have a Constitution,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) bluntly reminded folks on CBS This Morning. “People have due process rights in this country. . . . Let’s make sure that we act accordingly, let’s make sure we act according to citizens’ rights (and) the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), long on record for confiscating the guns of law-abiding citizens, told reporters she would introduce legislation to empower the U.S. Attorney General to simply decree that a citizen was barred from obtaining a gun on any “reasonable belief” that said person might engage in an act of terrorism.
Crystal balls would be sold separately, of course, as I’m certain her legislation will clearly note.
And to put an exclamation point on the headless thinking of Senate Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared that, “The worst thing we can do is do nothing.”
On the campaign trial, Hillary Clinton asked, “Just what will it take for Congress to overcome the intimidation of the gun lobby and do something as sensible as making sure people on the terrorist watch list can’t buy weapons?”
What will it take? An illegal abrogation of the most fundamental and cherished rights in human history.
Paul Jacob, December 6, 2015
This column first appeared on Townhall.com.