In the wake of the worst terror attack in America since 9-11, President Barack Obama addressed the American people in a rare prime-time address. The intent of the speech was to easy the fear of those who believe that the Administration has no real strategy to end ISIL/ISIS, their affiliates, and those they inspire. Was he successfuL?
A secondary fear is that Obama is seriously out of touch with the terror threat America is facing. The Republicans use the fact that the President refuses to identify the threat as “radical Islamic terrorism.” We saw this in reality when, up until last night, he refused to identify the San Bernardino attack as an act of terror.
The Cause of Terror
Obama seems unwilling to accept the reasons why ISIL/ISIS exists, and why Islamic terrorists hate the West. After the Paris Attacks, he wanted to place blame on climate change. In San Bernardino, he wants to blame gun control. His strategy has been to exploit terror to push unrelated political goals.
We did not hear anger or authentic outrage that we were attacked. We received a dry and flat review of what the Administration has been doing, and a promise of more of the same. He described the radical ideology with Islam as a cancer, but he seems hesitant to cut the tumor out.
Shifting Blame to Congress
He did, however, attempt to again shift blame. This time on Congress, and America’s Second Amendment rights. He said that because we cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, Congress should make it harder for them to kill by restricting those on a no-fly list from buying guns.
First, Obama wants people to assume from his statements that stricter gun control would have dissuaded the San Bernardino attackers. These terrorists were not on the no-fly list, and would have still be able to legally buy firearms. He also exploits the lack of gun knowledge of those who do not know the difference between “assault weapons” and semiautomatic firearms, something that would have made no impact.
The Automatic Weapon Lie
Next, not only is it a fact terror suspects already cannot legally buy an automatic weapon (a firearm that can fire more than one round per trigger pull), they are heavily regulated and no average person can own one. This includes fully automatic, “burst fire” (e.g., firearms with a 3-round burst feature), and those “readily convertible” to fully automatic. They have all been restricted since 1934, but he wants you to believe people can just go buy one.
Obama is using the automatic weapons in his discussion of “assault weapons” in order to conflate the two in people’s minds. The “assault weapons” are military looking semiautomatic firearms, but still only fire one bullet per trigger pull. And the difference between an “assault rifle” and other semiautomatics come down to maybe a pistol grip, flash suppressor, or other combat specific modifications that do not change how lethal the weapon is.
Taking Rights of Citizens
Lastly, no matter what side of the gun argument you fall, you should fear the statement about not allowing a terrorist suspect to buy firearms. In 2014, a Federal judge ruled, “The U.S. government’s no-fly list banning people accused of links to terrorism from commercial flights violates their constitutional rights because it gives them no meaningful way to contest that decision.” Therefore, banning those on the no-fly from owning firearms additionally violates a person’s rights, and denies them due process.
Several weeks ago, those on the Left were in an uproar about comments made by Donald Trump wanting to create a database of of Muslims in the United States. The no-fly list is a database along those lines. The argument for allowing terrorist suspects to purchase firearms is they have never been charged with a crime, and in the United States of America we do not restrict the rights of people without due process. Every person deserves their day on court.
In fact, there has been several lawsuits against the government’s no-fly list. The ACLU filed several because ” innocent travelers who pose no security risk whatsoever are discovering that their government considers them terrorists.” The late Senator Ted Kennedy and the singer Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) are just two notable individuals who found themselves on the watch list. Our government usurping rights, without formal charges and due process, should scare us more than the terrorists.