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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/6/15

It's messed up for Democrats to use the no-fly list to push for gun laws

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Reprinted from The Guardian

And Republicans pushing back by citing due process after years trying to squelch it is no less hypocritical

Paul Ryan: Keep Selling Guns To Terrorist Watch List
Paul Ryan: Keep Selling Guns To Terrorist Watch List
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In the wake of yet another mass shooting in the US, Republicans managed to vote down a bill that would bar people on the no-fly list from buying guns. It's hard to tell what is more sickening: that Republicans will refuse to vote for literally any gun control legislation despite the country's mass-murder epidemic, or that Democrats are trying to use the unconstitutional no-fly list, which makes a mockery of due process, to force the issue.

"People have due process rights in this country," Republican House speaker Paul Ryan said in explaining his party's opposition to the vote, apparently with a straight face. He went on to say there shouldn't be a rush to pass legislation at the risk of "infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens," which in almost all other situations is the party's modus operandi.

Funny, I don't remember hearing a word of protest from party leaders when tens of thousands of people were added to the list and barred from flying during the Bush years -- and in fact, they were loudly cheering as the Bush administration tore down all sorts of due process rights in the aftermath of 9/11.

The Republicans supposed newfound devotion to due process is nothing more than a naked political ploy to avoid passing any gun control, no matter how inconsequential. This is the party that invented the no-fly list -- it was a concoction of the Bush administration, just like a series of policies that did more damage to the principle of due process than anything since FDR's Japanese internment camps during the second world war.

For years, Republicans have continually demanded (with much success) that the Obama administration not give constitutional due process rights to alleged terrorists, including the reading of Miranda rights, access to lawyers and trials in civilian courts. It's the party that has proudly endorsed indefinite detention of Guanta'namo detainees, drone strikes on Americans overseas and outright torture on countless detainees who were not, and have not, been convicted of a crime.

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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)
 

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