There was a time not too long ago when I would have listed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as one of the most arduously conservative politicians in Washington DC. Then, Donald Trump happened. Since then, Sessions has abandoned several of his conservative perspectives to favor the more liberal approach that Trump has in mind for the GOP.
The latest example may be the most shocking. Trump’s hopes to ban those on the “terror watch list” from buying a gun is 100% populist and completely against the Constitution. For those who think it’s a good idea, it’s important to keep in mind that the so-called watch list does not rely on due process. This means that anyone can be placed on the list arbitrarily. This means that some people WILL be placed on the list arbitrarily.
Perhaps more important to note is that any “compromise” on the 2nd Amendment will open the door for further actions. The old saying says that if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. The left’s incessant attacks on gun purchasing and ownership rights will pry open such arbitrary bans like the one Trump is promoting. If you can ban watch-listers, there will be more added to the list the next time there’s a mass shooting. This is guaranteed.
Sessions knows this. He knows that circumventing the 2nd, 5th, and 14th Amendments with Trump’s plan is a pathway towards destruction for conservatism and eventually America. He has completely and utterly sold out at this point. His solution: make people prove they don’t need to be on the list.
“A lot of people may be wrongly on the list. In fact I’m sure there are a lot of people on that list that shouldn’t be on it,” Sessions said on CNN’s State of the Union. “So if you’re going to deny a person a Constitutional right like free speech or the right to have a firearm, then that person has to have an opportunity to explain that they shouldn’t be on the list.”
As Red State pointed out, it’s a version of guilty until proven innocent.
Sir, the problem would not be solved by Trump’s plan. The problem would get much, much worse if you get your way. As many law-abiding American have learned in recent years, trying to get off a watch list once you’re on it can take several months, even years. With that said, who cares if it takes 3 months, 3 days, or 3 hours? I person who has not been convicted of a crime should not have their rights revoked, period.
To the populists that argue that we have to do something, I agree. This isn’t a very good “something.” The FBI had a shot. They failed. Since he was (or should have been) on THEIR watch list, it should have been flagged when he bought guns. Then, he should have been investigated. That’s fine. There’s nothing in the Constitution that prevents such actions. This massacre could have been stopped if those actions were taken. Using the watch list as proposed by Trump would not have worked.
The bottom line is this: if you are to have your Constitutional rights revoked, it needs to be because you were found in a court of law to deserve to have those rights revoked. The Trump plan will not make people safer. Omar Mateen was not on a watch list. Senator Sessions used to understand this. Now, all he sees is an opportunity to get something out of Trump.