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Op-ed Placement

The ‘No Fly, No Buy’ Gun Control Policy is Actually Modern Day McCarthyism

BY Jason Pye and Nathan Leamer
06/27/2016
Originally Published in Independent Journal by Jason Pye and Nathan Leamer on 6/27/16.

Having watched their Senate counterparts try and fail to get the requisite 60 votes for any of four separate gun-control measures last Monday night, House Democrats took the worst idea of the bunch and made it their last stand.

Conducting an unprecedented sit-in, the chamber’s Democrats occupied the House floor to demand a vote on legislation that would ban Americans from exercising their Second Amendment rights if their names happened to appear on a secret and error-prone government watch list.

On first blush, this “no fly, no buy” concept might seem reasonable. But, as with most bumper sticker slogans, it makes for a profoundly bad public policy. To allow government agents to strip Americans of their freedom to travel, much less their constitutionally protected right to bear arms, based on nothing more than their presence on a secret blacklist, is nothing short of modern-day McCarthyism.

Indeed, the “no fly, no buy” policy is a slippery slope at whose terminus is government authority to rob individuals of their rights without any semblance of Due Process. Why stop with the purchase of guns? If the government thinks a person is a danger to national security, why not bar them from making “unpatriotic” films, using social media or owning a car? Given this precedent, any and all of these actions could be taken at any time, against anyone, without so much as the opportunity to stand and contest formal charges in a court of law.