When Edward Snowden leaked that the NSA was indiscriminately spying on all Americans by monitoring their emails and phone calls, there was very little blow-back toward the Obama Administration. The media quickly chose their preferred narrative that implied Snowden was a traitor instead of honing in on the fact that the government was clearly violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
Constitutional protections regarding privacy are pretty easy to interpret:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It was shocking that so many Americans were apathetic to their Constitutional rights being toyed with. Members of Congress who argue against big government have been the same politicians who vociferously support the spying program in the name of “national security.”
Even though there’s evidence proving that the bulk collection of data is counterproductive and doesn’t help with intelligence of terrorist threats, fear-mongering about Islamic radicals has succeeded in making Americans comfortable with letting go of their freedoms.
But the same can’t be said of the Second Amendment, which has been wrongfully interpreted as a Constitutional protection that gives the 10,000 people on the Terrorist Watch List access to deadly weapons.
I think it’s safe to say that mass shootings pose a gigantic threat to national security. Just recently 49 people were slaughtered at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando by a man who legally purchased weapons that closely resemble the AR-15.
He had been investigated by the FBI on two separate occasions for sympathizing with radical Muslims, and his ex-wife claims that she wrote a police report after he beat her repeatedly. In other words, there was reason to believe that he was not in the right mental state to own guns. But we have people arguing that he should’ve had access to them anyway.
That’s the sick country we’re living in.
Why should someone like the Orlando shooter have the ability to legally purchase assault weapons? Aside from this deranged man, why would anyone protect and support the idea of someone on the TERRORIST WATCH LIST to obtain guns?
Some would argue that there needs to be due process before someone gets their guns taken away. I would argue that there should be probable cause and warrants before Americans get spied on by the government. Plus, the Second Amendment calls for a “well-regulated militia.” When did those suspected of terrorism become part of that militia?
The reality is that since there isn’t a powerful and lucrative lobbying group protecting the Fourth Amendment, no one cares about the Constitutional right to privacy. The Constitution has become a convenient tool and talking point for politicians that get paid by the NRA. The same goes for Americans who just love their guns, so suddenly they’re Constitutional scholars who care about what our founding fathers allegedly wanted.
Then there’s the paranoia about Muslims, which is a huge contradiction that’s made clear in arguments most right-wing gun advocates make. Politicians can’t even handle the idea of accepting Syrian refugees who flee their war-torn countries because they believe Muslims pose a national security risk. But somehow they miraculously don’t believe legally selling guns to people on the terrorist watch list is a bad idea?
Just last December, Florida Senator Marco Rubio voted down a measure that would prevent those on the terror list from buying guns, which makes it seem like he’s not all that concerned with a terrorist committing a mass act of violence, right? But just last year Rubio penned a USA Today opinion piece arguing that government spying is “essential to our security.”
So why the contradiction? Politicians like Rubio, and most politicians to be fair, are not principled souls fighting for the greater good. They’re corrupted by financial interests. It’s always a good idea to follow the money. According to OpenSecrets.org:
During the 2014 election cycle, gun rights advocates gave parties, candidates and outside spending groups nine times more than their opponents ($3.7 million versus $423,750) and spent nearly seven more times on lobbying ($27.3 million versus $4.2 million).
The NRA is funded by weapons manufactures, and those same manufacturers know that they stand to lose some business if we pass common sense gun legislation. As a result, the NRA contributes money to politicians to ensure that gun control never happens.
Back in January, The Week reported just how intertwined the NRA is with profitable weapons manufacturers:
The NRA gets tens of millions of dollars from gun manufacturers, through a variety of channels, not just checks but advertising in NRA publications and special promotions the manufacturers run. For instance, every time someone buys a Ruger, the company donates $2 to the NRA. Buy one from Taurus, and they’ll pay for a year’s membership in the NRA.
The latest tragedy in Orlando led to a nice payday for weapons manufacturers. CNBC reported that, “Shares of gunmakers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger rose 9.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, in premarket trading Monday following the massacre in Orlando, Florida.” People get so terrified that the government might take their guns away that they stockpile as much as they can afford. They’ve been led to believe that there will be an outright ban of guns, so they drink the NRA propaganda and spend their money on more weapons.
So the vicious cycle continues – Congress fails to pass federal background checks, and also refuses to ban suspected terrorists from legally purchasing guns. Simultaneously, Americans who lack any and all critical thinking skills just regurgitate the same crap they’ve heard from the manufacturers who want to sell them guns and turn a profit.
I guess this is just a comprehensive way of telling radical gun advocates “stop pretending like you care about the Constitution.” Stop using it as a tool for your gun obsession. Stop pretending like you care about all the countless lives that’ve been gunned down. If you’re arguing that a suspected terrorist should have a gun, you’re delusional and you’re a huge part of the problem.