Thursday, May 14, 2009

The wet dream gun control legislation for suspicious minds

Darryl Perry is running for President ... in 2016.

Darryl ran a write-in Libertarian campaign for Senator in Alabama last year, and he pretty much feels that without a lot of money he needs a real long running start on the Oval Office.

If you visit his site, you'll notice that Darryl--while I really like him--is a more radical libertarian than I am.

Be that as it may, Darryl has found something really interesting in the new legislation proposed by Rep Peter King (D-NY):

Recently the Department of Homeland “Security” issued two startling “reports” concerning “Right wing extremism”. The first report to be leaked mentioned supposed “threats” posed by military veterans and those who support Constitutionally limited government. The second “report” to leak was titled "Domestic Extremism Lexicon" and supposedly rescinded. However, a bill (HR 2159) was introduced by Representative Peter King (NY-3) titled “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009”. While this bill “sounds” good, once you realize that YOU could potentially be one of the “terrorist”, you soon realize it's not near as good as it seems.

The bill would allow “The Attorney General [to] deny the transfer of a firearm...if the Attorney General determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support thereof, and the Attorney General has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism.”

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, objected, “[HR 2159] would deny citizens their civil liberties based on no due process, A 'known terrorist?' Look, if the guy has committed an act of terrorism, we shouldn't have to worry about him being able to buy a gun; he should be in jail!”

The bill never explicitly defines “terrorism”; it only says “The term ‘terrorism’ means ‘international terrorism’ as defined in section 2331(1), and ‘domestic terrorism’ as defined in section 2331(5)”. This references the US Code, which gives an equally ambiguous definition, which could include ANY definition given – created, rather – by the Federal Government. Based on the leaked documents from the DHS, this includes almost anyone that opposes expanding federal government, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, abortion, illegal-immigration or any other number of government agencies or policies.


Great. Representative King would like to change the rules for seizure of firearms from being accused of a crime, or even probable cause, down to appropriately suspected.

Amazing isn't it? You can slap the word terrorist on virtually any piece of unconstitutional legislation and get the usual suspects out to support the confiscation of firearms from their political opponents.

8 comments:

Delaware Watch said...

"The bill never explicitly defines “terrorism”; it only says “The term ‘terrorism’ means ‘international terrorism’ as defined in section 2331(1), and ‘domestic terrorism’ as defined in section 2331(5)”. This references the US Code, which gives an equally ambiguous definition, which could include ANY definition given – created, rather – by the Federal Government. "

These are bald assertions. Until the language of 2331(1) and 2331(5)are provided I am not willing to take his word for it that these are ambiguously defined. As such I wonder if the legislator's bill should be rejected so blithely out of hand.

Townie 76 said...

Steve, King is a Republican from New York. I believe he represents a district on Long Island.

I think we overuse the term terrorists and have allowed law enforcement to define almost anything as being terrorism. Per the comment about not buying it until shown proof; here is what 18 USC 2331 says:

18 USC Sec. 2331

TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES


CHAPTER 113B - TERRORISM


-HEAD-


Sec. 2331. Definitions


-STATUTE-


As used in this chapter -


(1) the term "international terrorism" means activities that -
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended -
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;

(5) the term "domestic terrorism" means activities that -
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended -
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Anonymous said...

And NOW DW?

Delaware Watch said...

I see no overweening ambiguity in either of those definitions. What then is the fuss about over King's definition?

Delaware Watch said...

"King's definition?"

"King's legislation" I should have written.

Bowly said...

By that definition, the Declaration of Independence was an act of domestic terrorism.

"activities that...appear to be intended...to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion"

The "appear" is what makes it vague, Dana. Something doesn't even have to actually be a problem, it just has to appear to be one.

Bowly said...

I can't believe I just noticed the "appropriately suspected" part. This means that Dana came to this thread and defended the government's claim that it could abridge the rights of terror suspects.

You see, Dana, if the government can take away your 2nd amendment rights just because you're a terror suspect, there's no rational reason why it won't take away your 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th if it feels the need.

People call libertarians crazy when we make claims like that, but since it's already happened, it's crazy but true.

Delaware Watch said...

"The "appear" is what makes it vague, Dana. Something doesn't even have to actually be a problem, it just has to appear to be one."

"Activities that appear to be intended...." is a necessary construction because it indicates that that there must be some sort of empirical manifestation of an intention. Without "appear," intention alone (which adjudged in others is subjective) would be too vague and could result in the kinds of restrictions on liberties that you fear. "Appear" has the force of behavior and as such, I still don't see what the beef is about.