I've written a lot (here, here, here, and here) about S. 1237/H.R. 2074, the "Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007"--and I've made little secret of my view of such legislation as being evil, and fascist to the core. The insanity of bestowing upon the Attorney General--an unelected official--the power to unilaterally strip a citizen of his Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms; without a conviction, without an indictment, without even criminal charges, is utterly stupefying.
The sponsor of H.R. 2074, by the way, is Representative Peter King (R-NY)--adviser to Rudy "Freedom is about authority" Giuliani, and holder of so much respect for the First Amendment that he thinks part of the danger posed to the U.S. by terrorists stems from the presence of "too many mosques" in the country (whatever one's thoughts are about Islam, that's a chilling thing to hear from a lawmaker).
Today, I'll talk about not just the threat posed by that legislation, but the even more ominous prospect of a combination of H.R. 2074/S. 1237, with H.R. 1955, the "Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" (or the similar S. 1959, "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007").
Back in October, War on Guns superbly illustrated how easily H.R. 1955 could be used to paint just about anyone who realizes that the Second Amendment is about fighting tyranny as a "terrorist."
Let us think, for a moment, about the tyrannical nexus of H.R. 1955 and S. 1237. H.R. 1955 would seem to have the potential to be twisted into defining any group that holds that the Second Amendment exists as a means of resisting tyranny as a "terrorist organization." That would seem to be bad news for any members of Gun Owners of America, or of Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (maybe the NRA, as well, if the would-be tyrants are feeling particularly ambitious), and for supporters of Ron Paul. Then, with S. 1237, all these newly minted "terrorists" can be unilaterally disarmed.SEC. 899A. DEFINITIONS.And we all know advocating the so-called "insurrectionary theory" of the Second Amendment, that is, saying We the People should take up arms and resist, meaning shoot and kill tyrants and their agents, is "extremist."
`For purposes of this subtitle:
`(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.
`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
`(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.
So if we react to an outrage by reminding our countrymen of Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" quote, or cite the Declaration of Independence, or even worse, the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking up Arms, what risks will we now assume?
If we ever get to the point that exercising the rights protected by the First Amendment can be used as justification to strip away one's Second Amendment rights, the Bill of Rights will have become a dead letter. By the way, H.R. 1955 passed in the House by a margin of 404 to 6.