Just the past two months, 130 victims were massacred in the gunfire and explosions resulting from the Paris bombings, 3 killed and 9 wounded at the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado Springs, and 14 murdered at an office Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. All 8 suspects in the Paris bombings are connected with the jihadist group ISIS, as are Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino shooters that spent an entire year strategizing the attack.
In response to the bloodshed, the New York Times printed the first front page editorial since 1920 titled “End the Gun Epidemic in America,” and just last Wednesday, a bill preventing suspected terrorists from legally purchasing firearms was voted on in Senate. The bill was proposed by Diane Feinstein (D.) from California, but the bill was originally put forward by President Bush in 2007.
Yet, despite the conservative origins of the bill, it was voted down by all Republican senators, excepting one. Four of these Senators are presidential candidates for the upcoming election: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham.
The bill bars those on the Federal Terror Watch List from legally buying guns and explosives. Those on the Terror Watch or “No Fly List” are currently forbidden from setting foot on commercial airplane flights, yet according to the Washington Post, suspects on this list legally purchased at least than 2,000 guns at domestic dealers from 2004 to 2014.
A secondary bill supporting more vigorous background checks on customers at gun shows and on firearm websites was also blocked by the Senate GOP. Both bills were blocked due to their potential to restrict those that just might not be a terrorist or mentally unstable individual—even if substantial evidence collected by those in the Terrorist Screening Center and courts across the nation plead otherwise.
Personally, I am fully in support of the right to bear arms. Growing up as an avid hunter and one who has witnessed situations where a gun was necessary for personal protection, I am fully aware of the importance of firearms to the American people.
However, does the right to bear arms mean we should place guns in the hands of those clearly incapable to use them for protection and recreational purposes? Does this mean we should enable terrorists and the insane to carry out mass shootings simply to vote along party lines?
I suppose that after these recent events, one must simply conclude that banning gun sales to probable terrorists is, in the words of Senator John Cornyn (R.), simply “un-American.” And yet, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with having my nationality compared to idiocy.