The No Fly List and Gun Control: Sounds reasonable, until it isn’t

I do plan on writing blog entries on more things than privacy and liberty soon. I’ll pick another topic for an entry soon, promise…

So, I’m a bit late to the party on this; I’m sorry…but I’d still call it relevant.
Disclaimer: keep the comments civil; no name calling of anyone.

After the San Bernardino massacre, President Obama made a statement regarding the need to extend gun control to the people on the No Fly List, one underscored by Hillary Clinton – and most people on the left, and even a decent number of the moderate-right said, “seems legit” – including myself.

Then, I thought a bit more about it: what does it take to get on and off the no-fly list? Is their oversight? Due process? Transparency? Accountability?

No, nope, nu-uh, and none.

Here is the legalese version, straight from Uncle Sam:…/march-2013-watchlisting-guidance/

And here is the fairly-bias-free article that summarizes a lot of it:

Basically, if any of the three-letter-agencies think you’re a terrorist, related to a terrorist, have the same name of a terrorist, have someone make a clerical error, or fly to Saudi Arabia on a regular basis, you can end up on the No Fly List. You won’t get a letter about it, and you’ll only find out because you’ll have to show documentation to prove you’re not the T. Kennedy they’re looking for, and produce it quickly, in order to avoid missing your flight…and getting OFF the No Fly List involves filing a lawsuit to validate your innocence, rather than a trial to prove your guilt.

Senator Ted Kennedy, Iraq-war-veteran Daniel Brown ended up on it, professor Walter Murphy (critical of the Bush administration during his term), and many children under the age of five have landed on this list.

So, the folks in Washington wish to give the No Fly List power against buying guns…when the criteria for getting on that list involves a 166-page document that was leaked (rather than formally publicized), and has no practical means of due process or accountability to get either on it or off it.

So, at least for me personally, I can’t get behind the notion of giving the No Fly List even more power. Let’s address THAT issue, then discuss whether it should be used to restrict the sales of firearms.

To those who would say, “but firearms should be banned for everyone!”, let’s roll with that for a second. My ultimate concern isn’t whether people should or shouldn’t fly on planes or buy guns. What is an even more grave danger in my mind is this: It seems equally likely that ‘No Fly List people can’t buy guns’ will extend to ‘nobody can buy guns’, as it is for ‘No Fly List people can’t buy guns’ to turn into ‘No Fly List people can’t vote’…

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