Skip to comments.An Ideological Test for Gun Ownership: ...
Posted on 08/08/2012 11:56:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says Sunday's deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, a Milwaukee suburb, shows "our elected officials" need to "do something." Slightly more specifically, the group says we should "Demand Congress Stop Arming Dangerous People."
I did not realize there was a federal program that supplies mass murderers with weapons. Obviously, this is a poor use of our tax dollars. Congress should not only eliminate this program but it should also prevent dangerous people from buying guns on their own.
But how do we know who is dangerous? The Brady Campaign mentions "convicted felons," "convicted domestic abusers," "terrorists" and "people found to be dangerously mentally ill." It omits a crucial category: people with dangerous ideas.
Wade M. Page, the Army veteran identified as the gunman who was shot to death by police after killing six people and injuring three at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, had documented ties to white supremacist groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks extremists, he was "a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band" called End Apathy.
"The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent," Mark Potok, a senior fellow of the SPLC, told The New York Times. "It talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies."
According to the SITE Monitoring Service, Page was a familiar presence on websites run by Stormfront, Hammerskin Nation and other white supremacist groups, where he "frequently included white supremacist symbolism" in his posts. In a 2010 interview with End Apathy's record company, Page said he aimed to cure "a sick society" and bemoaned "how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy."
In other words, Page's scary views were well-known long before he bought the 9mm handgun he used in this week's attack. Yet he was still able to pass a federal background check.
Federal law currently bans gun ownership by felons, illegal drug users, people convicted of misdemeanors involving domestic violence and people "committed to a mental institution" or "adjudicated as a mental defective." Amazingly, there is no ideological test for gun ownership, even though someone like Page, "who fed and was fueled by hate" (as the Times put it), is far more dangerous than the average pot smoker or mental patient.
Private organizations such as the SPLC and government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security already monitor the online activities of violent extremists. How hard would it be to collect that information in a database that could be used to check whether a would-be gun buyer harbors views that make him prone to murder?
Once the database is created, it can be regularly updated with the names of people who express views like Page's -- who talk about tyranny, hypocrisy, or a "sick society," for instance, or who quote inflammatory proclamations like this one, frequently seen on the T-shirts and signs of right-wing lunatics: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." I don't mean to imply that violent extremism is limited to the right; when you consider the ideas expressed by Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the Unabomber, it is clear that left-wing critiques of capitalism also lead to murderous violence.
I am not saying people do not have a right to express these alarming views -- just that if they do, they should not be surprised if they are turned away when they try to buy a gun. The Brady Campaign correctly says "it is time we acknowledged" that the Second Amendment "guarantees the right to keep and bear arms." But the Supreme Court has said that right is subject to reasonable regulations aimed at protecting public safety. What could be more reasonable than stopping dangerous people from buying dangerous weapons?
Fast and Furious. Google it, genius.
Just who is it that will decide if your views are “alarming” and “dangerous”?
Probably would have prevented a lot of deaths in the late 1700’s had the British been able to deny firearms to everyone they considered dangerous.
There have been a few governments that have successfully implemented this program - they have all wound up murdering millions.
Mark my words: If he wins in November, Obama may never have to run for election again....but that does not mean it is his final four years in office!!! Bad news for the 2nd Amendment.
The author’s “logic” is seriously flawed. In my view, the First and Second Amendments are joined at the hip - one cannot stand without the other. The author’s position requires the 1st amendment be negated. An ideological test is not a logical or Constitutional step.
Who will watch the watchers?
Never, EVER, admit to anyone who doesn’t have you under a sworn statement rule that you own or use a gun or guns. NEVER! Don’t tell your doctor, your insurance man, your priest, pastor or even your neighbors unless you know them like a brother.
Don’t ever let the police in your house if they do not have a legal, correctly described warrant, and tell your children not to speak about what you have - EVER!
SPLC is not a credible source, and neither is Townhall apparently.
Hey, Jacob Sullum, you and Mark Punkass can go screw. Run that through your "test".
Exactly. Who will be the gatekeeper of The Name List.
Who gets to pick who is a "DANGEROUS PERSON"? Who writes the definition of "DANGEROUS"? "Convicted domestic abusers" has been extended to "persons accused of abuse" and "persons named in a restraining order", two categories where your rights are suspended with only "she said" as cause. I can see BigSis Janet defining any person who owns a gun as obviously more "dangerous" then a person with no gun, therefore...
This proposal is a slippery slope to a total ban, Nice try for an end run on A2 though.
From Alice in Wonderland:
You may only own a gun if you don’t believe in owning guns....
Note: As published by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI in the past 2-years, key identifiers/characteristics of "dangerous" people include, at a minimum:
Peculiar that DHS & FBI fail to identify moslems, suicide bombers, airline hijackers, and those who openly call for the destruction of this Nation as possible terrorists. For these apparently "not dangerous" people,the process for getting clearance to purchase guns will be no problem.
Common sense that not to, and since I have common sense I sure wouldn’t
Common sense says not to, and since I have common sense I sure wouldn’t
Gee, sounds like gangster rap. Oh wait, only white people are dangerous, how could I forget that.
You are correct. If you have an ideoligical test for the Second Amendment then you must have the same test for the First Amendment.
If someone were to ask me what part of the government I thought was most dangerous, I’d have to say DHS, bar none. This agency is George Bush’s fault, for which I will never forgive him. Obama has turned it into his pre-election rant about “as well funded, as well-armed.....as the military”....
They now have millions of rounds of 9mm and God knows what else, black uniforms and macho riot gear, black SUVs, black helicopters, dozens of drones capable of carrying weapons...it will not stop unless someone other than Obama makes it stop.