Sen. Chuck Schumer believes that a hole in federal gun laws allowed the the alleged Fort Hood shooter to purchase a gun. The top Democrat thinks that because the Joint Terrorism Task Force had probed Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan for possible terrorist ties he shouldn't have passed a background check.
Although Hasan wasn't on the terror watch list some gun rights activists think even suspects being monitored for terrorist ties should be allowed to retain their gun rights and privileges.
On Tuesday morning's FOX & Friends pundit Glenn Beck appeared to tell host Gretchen Carlson that he also backed such a stance: that there should be no new laws preventing people on the terrorist watch list to buy firearms, because that would somehow help the terrorists win, he implied.
"Here's one question about the gun situation. Apparently, even if you are on the terrorist watch list, you can still purchase a gun. Do you think that's okay?" asked Carlson
But Beck wasn't about to agree to any additional gun restrictions. "I am not going to give these people any more laws, any more power until they fix the problems that they have created themselves. How much more are we going to give them?" answered Beck.
Hasan was charged in the Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead. Sen. Schumer believes Hasan should have been prevented from purchasing a firearm after the authorities learned he had attempted to communicate with a radical cleric.
"In defense of the right to bear arms, the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups seem to have taken up the cause of those on the FBI's terror watch list," Sahil Kapur reported for Huffington Post in June.
There were 963 people from the watch list who were recorded trying to buy guns in the last five years, according to a new Government Accounting Office report. Well over 800 purchases were permitted under the current law. Only 10 percent of all those who tried to purchase guns were actually turned down.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg would like to stop these sales. The New Jersey Democrat has introduced legislation, the "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009," to prohibit gun sales to anyone on the FBI's watch list.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a gun rights organization, countered Lautenberg with the argument that the proposed change is just the beginning of a larger battle to abolish the Second Amendment altogether. In a statement released Monday, CCRKBA accused Lautenberg of trying to "expand his gun prohibition agenda under the cloak of national security." The group suggested that Lautenberg "probably would" strip Second Amendment rights from all Americans if he had the chance.
Gun rights advocates said showing up on a terrorist watch list should not be grounds for being denied a gun.
“We’re concerned about the quality and the integrity of the list,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “There have been numerous studies and reports questioning the integrity, and we believe law-abiding people who are on the list by error should not be arbitrarily denied their civil rights” under the Second Amendment.
Mr. Lautenberg introduced a similar gun-control measure in 2007, but it stalled after opposition from the N.R.A. The senator attributed the outcome to “knuckling under to the gun lobby.”
Beck's own Fox show covered the controversy in June, however, FOX News's senior judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano filled in for him because he had the day off.
"Is it just a coincidence that the people who are supporting this legislation, Senator Lautenberg and others, don't believe in the Second Amendment and would do anything they could to interfere with the fundamental right to keep and bear arms?" a stunned Napolitano asked NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
This video is from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast Nov. 17, 2009.
DOOCY: Alright, let's talk a little about this. Major Hasan down at Fort Hood. Yesterday, Schumer said, you know, the Join Terrorism Task Force had this guy on the radar and then he applied for a gun and the FBI passed his background check. That should not have happened with the gun laws the way they are there are too many loopholes. Here is the Senator from New York state.
SCHUMER: The Fort Hood shooter didn't just slip through the cracks. He walked right through a gaping hole in the federal system to keep guns out of the hands of potential terrorists.
DOOCY: Alright. Glenn...
BECK: You want me to respond to that? Let's see, what can I say about Chuck Schumer? How about we close this loophole? The PC loophole. The only loophole this guy walked through is the one that politicians like Chuck Schumer have created where we can't tell each other the truth. You know this nonsense up in Massachusetts where you can't say "Christmas" in school? Get the hell out of my face. You can't say that this man was a terrorist? The Army was investigating this guy for terrorist ties and people come out and say, "Well, I don't know." Was it Chris Matthews [that said,] "I don't know. Is it a crime to call al Qaeda?" Yeah. It should be if it's not.
CARLSON: But yeah, and of course not to that mention he was a Major in the U.S. Army.
BECK: So, we're going to close the loophole? You're telling me, Chuck, that nobody who is in the Army could have access to a gun?
CARLSON: I agree with you completely on this whole PC that's invaded our culture and invaded, apparently, our own U.S. military. But here's one question about the gun situation. Apparently, even if you are on the terrorist watch list, you can still purchase a gun. Do you think that's okay?
BECK: I am not going to give these people any more laws, any more power until they fix the problems that they have created themselves. How much more are we going to give them? We're going to hand over a sixth of the economy? When the CBO of Medicare has come out and said this health care plan will collapse the system of Medicare and Medicade. Collapse it.
DOOCY: You know, Glenn, this whole thing where the Join Terrorism Task Force didn't alert the people who were looking into the gun purchase reminds me -- remember during the Clinton years they had that wall separating the the divisions of the Department of Justice and --
BECK: And it lead to 9/11.
BECK: Let me tell you. This gun thing is a shark bump. Now, I'm not saying it was a coordinated -- but sharks, they bump into you to see what kind of predator you are. They bump into you to see if you are a danger. If you're not a danger they eat you. That's exactly what this is. I'm not saying it's a coordinated shark bump. This guy bumped into us, showing how vulnerable we are because we won't tell each other the truth. Our men and women who are here in America serving on bases and forts are in danger.
KILMEADE: Right. Can you imagine our soldier in Iraq are feeling bad for our soldiers in Fort Hood?