Yet another attempted response coming in certain circles as a result of perceived threats from terrorism is the act of trying to remove 2nd Amendment rights from those on so-called terror watch lists…with the belief that if such individuals are considered a threat to the nation, they shouldn’t be able to carry a gun. Besides the usual fact in these cases that if someone wants to carry out such an attack (considering they are criminals), they will find another way of getting weapons…this drive glosses over the fact that not only do the watch lists not make us any safer, but are also the result of debatable standards for how people end up on the lists. In many cases, getting blacklisted could be because one simply makes a Facebook post, tweet, or other use of social media that someone doesn’t like. The standards are so vague that someone might end up on the list because they might have criticized or pointed out something for others to see (https://theintercept.com/document/2014/07/23/march-2013-watchlisting-guidance/). More than three fifths of those listed have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation” (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140805/11295828116/nearly-40-those-governments-terrorist-watchlist-have-no-affiliation-with-recognized-terrorism-groups.shtml) and involve many that are simply there as a result of their identity (https://www.aclu.org/blog/numbers-tell-story-our-governments-watchlisting-binge). Not to mention that once one finds themselves on the watch lists, which once again can be for trivial reasons, it can be exceptionally difficult to get off it. Once on, simple preponderance of evidence can keep one on the list. No obligation of bringing charges to those listed is required, an absolute violation of due process (http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/23/sorry-democrats-but-there-is-no-loophole-that-allows-terrorists-to-buy-guns/; http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/427474/meet-press-roundtable-tackles-national-crisis-social-media-flag-disparity-jim-geraghty).

What instead should be done is to hold the government accountable to the constitutional violation that is involved with the terror watch lists. Those listed should be shown to either have a terrorism connection or not, and whether legal charges should be brought or not. Those that are convicted of such a crime should only then lose their constitutional rights, not before…unless it can be demonstrated that they are an immediate threat. Such laws in many cases already exist. No need to add this overgrowth of government abuse.

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