Fiorina and Devore: ‘Let No-Fly List Suspects Purchase Guns’

May 7th, 2010 at 6:30 am | 26 Comments |

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The California Republican Senate Candidate debate took place Thursday at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Most responses were predictable, but one question drew mind boggling responses by two of the three candidates.

Question:  Should people on the no-fly watch list be allowed to purchase a gun?

Tom Campbell:  Ah, NO!

Chuck DeVore:  Yes, if they have not been convicted of a felony

Carly Fiorina:  Yes

Campbell:  Oh my goodness

Fiorina:  That is why Tom Campbell has a poor rating from the National Rifle Association

Campbell:  I can’t believe what I am hearing.  Wait until they’ re off the no-fly list then exercise your second amendment rights.

Fiorina:  The no-fly list is way too large.  You are seeing an issue where Tom Campbell is way too close to Barbara Boxer for my taste.

Did Ms. Fiorina and Mr. DeVore follow the news lately?  How could they make it easy for a terrorist to get weapons?  I guess by Mr. DeVore’s thinking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed can purchase a gun since he has yet to be convicted.  Maybe Ms. Fiorina should receive a current events lesson concerning her comments. It was because of the no-fly list that the Times Square Bomber was captured and the underwear bomber was able to travel into this country because they were NOT put on the list.  I suggest Mr. DeVore and Ms. Fiorina think over their policy because I for one do not want to make it easier for a terrorist, even if they are an American citizen, to buy a gun.

A footnote:  A former high-ranking CIA official commented to FrumForum tonight that, “It looks to me like the terrorists are consciously seeking American citizenship.  The terrorists would become citizens so they won’t be detected.  I am pretty worried about it.”  What is even more worrisome is that two of the three Republican candidates don’t have common sense.

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26 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    Both Sen Collins and Sen Graham in congress this week confirmed that they support the current position where the FBI is prevented from denying terrorists a right to buy a gun, any legal gun. The same with legal explosives.

    I find it mind boggling that these people are willing to trample the Constitution in wishing to deny citizens their Miranda rights but then turn round and wish to allow Terrorists to get guns in order to protect their second amendment rights. I guess rigid obedience to the gun lobby trump common sense and the safety of the public.

  • eriback

    I don’t think Fiorina knows what the no-fly list is if she thinks it’s too large. It’s only about 6,000 names. And I don’t think Joe Lieberman knows that the state department already has the power the rescind citizenship for those shown to have allegiance to a different government or to have lost theirs to the US. These people support the constitution, except when they don’t.

  • BruceT

    Is it more dangerous for a potential terrorist to fly or to purchase guns? Due to the high level of security in air travel, I would think that an terrorist in a busy city would kill more people on average than an unarmed terrorist in the air. It seems to be fairly difficult to blow up a plane with a makeshift explosive smuggled on your body, while it is quite easy to take out a couple dozen people with an assault rifle in a busy city.

    So if it is valid to prevent a person from flying, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be equally valid to prevent that same person from purchasing a gun.

  • sinz54

    BruceT: It seems to be fairly difficult to blow up a plane with a makeshift explosive smuggled on your body, while it is quite easy to take out a couple dozen people with an assault rifle in a busy city.
    Yes it is.
    And yes, we ought to tighten background checks to make sure that no one on the no-fly list can get a gun.

    But Shahzad had guns–though he didn’t use them. He seems to be a bright fellow, and he knew that guns are a poor method of terrorism in America.
    The purpose of terrorism isn’t to kill.
    It’s to create fear in the population.

    And shooting a bunch of people with an assault rifle doesn’t generate anywhere near as much fear as a car bomb or a plane hijacking.

    Because we’re accustomed to people getting shot.
    Because it happens all the time in America–thousands every year.
    Ever heard the phrase “going postal”? Where did that phrase come from?

    I don’t expect to see a bunch of shooting attacks by terrorists. That won’t get them any more notoriety, and won’t generate any more fear, than nuts who “go postal.”

    They will continue to try the more difficult types of attacks–precisely because they are rare so far. Once they become commonplace, the public becomes accustomed to them and they stop being a source of fear.

  • sinz54

    Look at it this way:

    A truck can be a lethal weapon. You can rev up a Ford F-150 truck and drive at high speed into a city crowd. You will certainly mow down a lot of people–perhaps kill dozens as you drive. But would that be a good method of terrorism? Of course not.

    Because we’re accustomed to people getting killed in vehicular accidents. 30,000 a year. If a jihadist mowed down a bunch of people with a truck, it would not terrorize people.

  • BruceT

    Okay then, how about taking children hostage at a school? A long siege followed by dozens of children murdered would certainly constitute a severe terrorist attack. We saw this with the Beslan hostage crisis which created a far worse scar on Russia than any of the Chechen bombings.

    The point is that if a person is deemed to be such a threat that their liberty is restricted in one way (air travel), why would we continue to give them access to other avenues for terrorism (guns, high-grade fertilizer, etc.)?

  • rbottoms

    What is even more worrisome is that two of the three Republican candidates don’t have common sense.

    In other news, scientists declare water is wet.

  • LFC

    I think Sinz is mostly correct. It’s a combination of being instantaneous, random, and unfamiliar that freaks people out. The WTC plane attacks met all three. The quick follow-up on the second tower, the Pentagon, and whatever the fourth target would be amplified the whole thing. The Oklahoma City bombing met all three criteria and was made worse by the fact that in the process he blew up a daycare facility. Randomly killing children is a huge amplifier.

    The one place I disagree with Sinz is when you have a series of random attacks over a long period of time. I’m thinking of the DC snipers. Of course, this is tougher to pull off since you’re more likely to get caught over time, but a relatively low number of deaths by gunshot did succeed in spreading fear rather effectively.

  • Mark Rosenthal

    Really, this stuff is the height (or the depth) of stupidity. The 2nd amendment is more important than innocent lives but the miranda stuff, well we can go crap on that. What a bunch of horseshit. These people are not smart enough to realize that the reading of the Miranda rights is more to protect the prosecution than it is to protect the defense.

    The GOP deserves better than this. And so does the USA.

  • jreb

    Although I do favor gun ownership rights under the second amendment to the US Constitution, I do believe that it is not unreasonable to prohibit gun ownership for those whose names appear on the no-fly list. If you are on the no-fly you can appeal and have your name removed from the list, although I believe if you are a terrorist you would not legally try to purchase a fire arm legally.

  • PracticalGirl

    Sinz, you are absolutely correct both in your explanation of the goals of terrorism and that those on the No Fly List shouldn’t have easy access to purchasing guns.

    Eriback: You assert that the No FLy list is small (6,000 names or less). Several years ago, I did some work with a journalist for a show I produced who had been passed a copy of the No Fly list by a whistleblower in the TSA. This was a fairly big deal in that, at that time, some members of Congress who asked to see it were denied access. The list was HUGE- over 540 pages in printed form, over 44,000 names. Some were duplicates, some were different spellings but there were a lot of people. Have things changes since then? Point me to supporting data, if you can.

    I find it fascinating

  • PracticalGirl

    Whoops! Enter button hand spasm…

    I find it fascinating that the conversation has turned to the Second Amendment, apparently because a US citizen is accused of terror. Does anybody else think that we’re asking the wrong question? That we should be asking something like:

    How often does a person on the No Fly list actually get on a plane? I realize that Shazhad appears to be added very late, but I wonder why the questions aren’t more pointed at the actual effectiveness of this list.

  • Reality Chick

    “sinz54″ has got it 100% right. I do not need to create more words for the blogosphere, I couldn’t improve on those 2 responses!

  • rbottoms

    Are Republicans just plain stupid, or are they so afraid of the NRA that the words “no one on the No-Fly list should be allowed to buy a gun” can’t pass their lips?

  • Red meat square-off – Los Angeles Times | REPUBLICAN.GNOM.ES

    [...] ding ding ding ding! We have a winner: the genius who came up that question. It’s not only a litmus test for reasonableness vs. ideology, it sends two sacred cows galloping toward an unavoidable [...]

  • CentristNYer

    sinz54 // May 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

    “I don’t expect to see a bunch of shooting attacks by terrorists. ”

    Um, didn’t many prominent Republicans complain last year that the Fort Hood gunman — who opened fire and killed twelve people — should be deemed a “terrorist”?

  • CentristNYer

    rbottoms // May 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    “Are Republicans just plain stupid, or are they so afraid of the NRA that the words “no one on the No-Fly list should be allowed to buy a gun” can’t pass their lips?”

    Who says it’s not both?

  • m00se

    Sorry guys – the only way you can be a citizen and denied the righ to purchase a gun (from a federal standpoint) is via due process. You can get thrown onto the no fly list thru bureaucratic bungling or by having a name that is similar to someone else on the list. Remember, the whole second amendment thing?

    Why don’t we just deny people on the no fly list the right to buy/rent a car/truck? That’s NOT a constitutional right…

  • Dianne

    This is a no-brainer: Upsetting as it is – the thought of a suspected terrorist having access to a weapon – the U.S. is still a nation of laws and being on a ‘no-fly’ watch list is not a determining factor in gun ownership. It’s not the same as being convicted of a felony or being mentally ill, or any of the legal restrictions on owning a gun.

  • Ruminant

    Dianne // May 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    “This is a no-brainer: Upsetting as it is – the thought of a suspected terrorist having access to a weapon – the U.S. is still a nation of laws and being on a ‘no-fly’ watch list is not a determining factor in gun ownership. It’s not the same as being convicted of a felony or being mentally ill, or any of the legal restrictions on owning a gun.”

    It’s only a no-brainer if you assume that they aren’t talking about passing a law to bar people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns. However, you could also assume that the “should people on the no-fly watch list be allowed to purchase a gun?” question implied passing a law to that effect. I would make that same assumption for other similar questions that might be asked during a Senatorial debate, such as “should gay people be allowed to marry?” and “should police officers enforce immigration violations?”.

    I read the quoted excerpt from the debate as Campbell saying, “yes, a law should bar people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns”, and DeVore an Fiorina as saying “no, that should not be a law”. But I didn’t watch the debate, so I admit that I don’t know the exact context of the question.

  • Ultraworld

    They wouldn’t buy a gun legally either way. It leaves a paper trail. There not using guns to commit these crimes. I would say keep it on a person by person basis. It wont do anything, but that’s the way I would do it

  • Jarhead1982

    Last I checked, the legal system in the US is supposed to be based on innocent until proven guilty.

    The no-fly list, a list:

    Created in Secret
    Randomly changing requirements to be added to list
    The actual number is kept secret
    TSA does not keep track of who is NOT a terrorist
    TSA claims tens of thousands on list, but since accurate records kept, no number stated is valid
    Names are not connected to a physical description, birth date or unique identifier
    Includes selectee’s (those with similar names)
    Authority on who add’s to list is a politician, not a real security expert
    Once on list, supposed legal recourse exists, yet no evidence it has been applied for due process to be removed from the list
    Ted Kennedy on list, well that does fit
    8 yr old boy on list and forever will be listed as a terrorist (one of too many examples)

    Yeah we see ALL the evidence and facts that no mistakes are ever, ever made by da guberment.

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 regulated gun commerce, restricting mail order sales, and allowing shipments only to licensed firearm dealers. The Act also prohibited felons, those under indictment, fugitives, illegal aliens, drug users, those dishonorably discharged from the military, and those in mental institutions from owning guns. These are categories that pro gun advocates have no problem agreeing with, as long as there is consistency across the board.

    Unless any of you have proof that those on the no fly list are legally listed in any of the nine categories listed in the Gun Control Act, then any who do not fit that list should in fact by law be allowed to purchase a firearm. Failure on the part of the government or their employees to do their job accurately and properly is no reason to ban anyone else’s rights

    That is the problem of the no fly list, irrevocable inclusion of those are guilty or under indictment for what, nothing other than being the wrong race, outspoken against the government policies, a mistake by a government employee, can we say RACISM, naw that is too cliche.

    Maybe you people have the evidence to support that those 1,196 people on the no fly list who bought a firearm then committed a crime with that firearm eh? Nope, no evidence, and if they did, does the rate of crime any different than current levels in the US, doubt it, unless you have the hard facts to prove otherwise. Problem is for gun control advocates, they have a really hard time producing anything other than lie based rhetoric.

    It really is simple, have the politicians apply the guaranteed constitutional protections to the no fly list and you will get gun owners to agree, don’t include our guaranteed constitutional protections on the no-fly or any list for that matter, and any who support such an unconstitutional law can frankly stick it where the sun don’t shine. It isn’t the pro gun advocates being stubborn in this instance, it is the POLITICIANS wishing to establish an unconstitutional abuse of their power that are being stubborn, prove otherwise

  • ExNuke

    As usual, Bloomberg is using oranges to sell apples. The No Fly List is not the same thing as the Terrorist Watch List. The No Fly List is supposed to be KNOWN TERRORISTS except they leave out names of the really dangerous ones to avoid tipping them off that they are known. Bloomberg wants to deny the rights of people who may share a common name like “TED KENNEDY”. And to allow an unelected avowed gun control promoter (Eric Holder) to add any name or group of names to the list that he wishes.

    It is always a bad idea to pass a law that you wouldn’t want your worst enemy enforcing.

  • RAP

    Everyone is missing the point. A no fly list? What the he** is that? If a person is so dangerous that we can’t allow them to fly, then they need to be arrested and put in jail. If that person is a US citizen and has committed no crime then our government is in violation of their rights if they refuse to let them fly on a plane. The no fly list is unconstitutional to begin with. The same applies if they want to buy a gun. In America we are innocent until proven guilty. The second amendment is as at lest important as any other right, including the guys Miranda rights. If the person is a non-us citizen then they have no rights and should be arrested and deported. This is what Chuck Devore means when he does not support denying citizens their right to buy a gun if they are on some unconstitutional no fly list. And yes any citizen arrested must be read their Miranda rights or they get a get out of jail free card. Anti-gunners like the mayors are trying to frame the debate so that unconstitutional laws will sound right and just. Once passed they will use it to deny most of us our Second Amendment rights. And don’t tell me they won’t. I heard that story before in California before they used the gun registration list to illegally steel the citizens Simi-automatic rifles. Take D.C. for example. They lost in the Supreme Court and their unconstitutional gun ban was overturned in Heller. What did they do? Just reworded their same unconstitutional gun ban law and flipped the bird at all the citizens. These mayors and most of the California government needs to be arrested and tried for treason.

  • CentristNYer

    Jarhead1982 // May 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

    “Last I checked, the legal system in the US is supposed to be based on innocent until proven guilty.”

    You don’t have to be convicted of a crime to be denied access to weapons. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been determined to be mentally defective or been committed to a mental health facility from purchasing a gun, which is how it should be. There’s no reason that the government can’t extend the same prohibitions to those who are deemed too dangerous to fly.

  • Jarhead1982

    You hit the nail on the head as I verbatim referenced the text from the 1968 GunControl Act. Of course you refuse to conveniently acknowledge that anyone that is adjudged mentally ill still has to go through due process of the court and legal system to be legally declared and committed. Yet you choose to ignore this fact in the lame a$$ attempt to justify da guberments attempt to overstep the limitations of government power that the US Constitution has and to this day represents and that is why such a moronic attempt at power grabbing will be fought and ultimately defeated.

    Did you know that one of the several cases where the FBI has written their own warrant, attempted to file it, specifically against a 80 yr old librarian? The FBI arrested her and the 78 yr old assistant Librarian she gave the warrant to (illegal under the Patriot Act to divulge the existence of the warrant). They were arrested, yet such a supposedly good thing as the Patriot Act, why then were the FBI told to drop the charges by the AG? Because to allow the Patriot Act to go to legal binding court would lose the case as the GOVERNMENT KNOWS the Patriot Act is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Just because it has happened before doesn’t make it right or allowable! Unless of course you fully subscribe to might makes right, then you are truly an anarchist!

    DUE PROCESS ya putz, and if you cant understand what that means, go look it up. Every single one of those nine categories is by the US Constitution and the BOR provided DUE PROCESS. That is one of the corner stones of our legal system and the NO FLY LIST does not follow that standard. Nothing you say, no matter how you spin it will change that fact. Go home and study up and come back with a better response or stay home little child, you are boring!