Donald Trump shocked the word once again when he made the liberal suggestion that he would consider revoking the right to bear arms from all individuals on the government’s No Fly List. While Trump’s concerns are understandable, the No Fly List is massive and includes many mistakes.
During a recent episode of “Face the Nation,” Trump told CBS host John Dickerson that he would definitely consider taking gun rights away from individuals on the No Fly List. This comment comes as a surprise considering the GOP frontrunner has expressed a traditionally conservative opinion in regards to weapons ownership throughout his campaign thus far.
His words don’t really surprise me, however, as many Republicans would argue that it is not guns that injure people, but irresponsible and/or villainous people will guns who injure people.
“Well, I’d certainly take a look at it. I would,” said Trump to Dickerson. “I’m very strong into the whole thing with the Second Amendment – but if you can’t fly, and if you’ve got some really bad – I would certainly look at that very hard,” were his exact words.
Not surprisingly, most of the other Republican candidates oppose this plan for several reasons, including the fact that there are more than 900,000 Americans on the No Fly List. Even the authorities responsible for maintaining the list admit there are lots of false positives. Consider also how many people have managed to evade the list. For example, neither of the two gunmen involved in the recent tragedy in San Bernardino, California appeared on the list.
And the No Fly List is a problem all its own. The government has been sued repeatedly on the grounds that the list bypasses the “due process” clause of the Fifth Amendment. Last year, a federal judge in Portland, Oregon ruled that the No Fly List process was unconstitutional after 13 people found themselves on the list with no notification, no reason, and no way of taking their names off.
“For years, in the name of national security, the government has argued for blanket secrecy and judicial deference to its profoundly unfair No Fly List procedures, and those arguments have now been resoundingly rejected by the court,” said Hina Shamsi, an ACLU attorney who argued the case.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that the right to bear arms appears in the Constitution; the right to get on an airplane does not. Infringing on this sacrosanct right – even in the midst of the threat of terror – is something many Republicans will be uncomfortable with. And you can bet Trump’s rivals will be quick to blast him for the suggestion.