Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 28, 2013

Terrorism watch list has loophole

— In response to Lloyd Brubaker’s letter regarding gun rights (The Goshen News, Wednesday), I feel compelled to pass on the following news segment excerpt heard on NPR’s Morning Edition the same day:

“Even al-Qaida gloats about what’s possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released a video message rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.

“‘America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms,’ Gadahn says, explaining that ‘you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center’ and buy a gun without a background check. Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn’s face. ‘So what are you waiting for?’ he asks.

“Under current laws, if a background check reveals that your name is on the national terrorism watch list, you’re still free to walk out of a gun dealership with a firearm in your hands as long as you don’t have a criminal or mental health record.

“Data from the Government Accountability Office show that between 2004 and 2010, people on terrorism watch lists tried to buy guns and explosives more than 1,400 times. They succeeded in more than 90 percent of those cases, or 1,321 times.”

Was Mr. Brubaker aware of this? I was not. In an earlier letter to the editor, I cited the Second Amendment in full. It bears repeating: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“A well-regulated Militia” surely does not refer to suspected terrorists with guns, whether U.S. citizens or not. To read the entire NPR segment, including quotes from gun rights activists defending the terrorism watch list loophole, visit http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/04/24/178668578/people-on-terror-watch-list-not-blocked-from-buying-guns

— Sandy Fribley