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December 10, 2015
 

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I CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, December 10, 2015 This editorial appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal Dec. 8, 2015. In 2010, the Government Accountability Office con- cluded that "membership in a terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explo- sives under current federal law." Indeed, according to the GAO, between 2004 and 2014 suspected terrorists attempt- ed to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. They succeeded 91 percent of the time. Sounds scary, particularly in light of the recent ter- rorist attacks in Paris that were carried out largely with small arms. That would appear to be a glaring loop- hole. that threatens domestic security: But the way some in Con- gress have proposed closing it would create an even big- ger threat to civil liberties. It all hinges on how you define a "suspected" terror- ist. For Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., all it requires is for your name to be on a govern- ment list. She is sponsoring, a bill that would prohibit anyone whose name appears on the FBI's terror watch list from buying a firearm or an explosive while traveling in the United States. That list, which contained 47,000 names at the end of George W. Bush's presi- dency, has grown to nearly 700,000 people on President Obama's watch. The fact that they are names, not identities, has led to misidentifications and confusion, ensnaring many innocent people. But surely those names are there for good reason, right? Not really. According to the technology website TechDirt.com, 40 percent of those on the FBI's watch list - 280,000 people - are considered to have no affilia- would deny an individual's Second Amendment rights. Current law prohibits felons, fugitives, drug ad- dicts and domestic abusers tion with recognized terrorist from purchasing firearms. groups. All it takes is for the The difference is, those government to declare it has people's rights are subjected "reasonable suspicion" that to due process before they someone could be a terror- are taken away. Under Fein- ist. There is no hard evidence stein's measure, you don't required, and the standard is even have to be arrested or notoriously vague and elastic, charged with a crime. You Last year, The Huffington just have to have your name Post listed "7 Ways That You pop up on a list, because (Yes, You) Could End Up someone in the government On A Terrorist Watch List." said it should be there. They include being nomi- Something as opaque and nated by someone else. In corruptible as the terrorist 2013 alone, HuffPost notes, watch list should not be the 468,749 watch-list nomina- basis for denying a person tions were submitted to the his constitutional liberties, National Counterterrorism whether it be the right to Center. It rejected only 1 per- bear arms or the right to due cent of them. process. There is no easy way to Distributed by Creators.com. have one's name removed Disclaimer: This guest edito- from what amounts to a se- rial does not necessarily reflect cret blacklist. On that flimsy the opinions of the Cheney Free premise, Feinstein's bill Press. Write to the Point continue t By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter The push notification came across my phone promptly at 11 a.m., Dec. 2 with news of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. dance arc confirm multiple casualties and within three hours after the first reports, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan announces 14 fatalities and 14 injured inthe attack. Ultimately the injured count would rise und th mass shootings, but to improve the odds." But the President was hardly alone with - pardon the very badly timed pun - shoot first, think later rhetoric. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), ira- obvious problem At 3:20 p.m., law enforce- ment received a tip that a black SUV seen leaving the scene was spotted at a nearby home. What ensued was a high-speed chase with guns a blazing. Soon two suspects, who will later be iden- right fell silent when it came to fingering possible Islamic extremists. Hour=by-hour as the inves- tigation continued, it became more and more evident that this was not a case of "workplace Calls,placed to local 911to 21. mediately blamed the Second tiffed as Syed Farook and Tash- Ol: rat6rsftom But it did not take long for Amendment and suggested feen Malik, were b6th dead:' and Re- the gun control politicking to implementing the Alcoholics But the story was really just gional Center begin. told authori- And there's no one better ties shots had than President Barack Obama at been fired at a speaking before all the facts are Christmas par- collected. He's proven that on ty for workers ofthecounty's. Paul Delaney too many occasions to count. "Obviously our hearts go health department, out tothe victims and the fami- By 11:04, San Bernardino lies," he told CBS. "The one police were beginning to arrive thing we do know is that we to survey the carnage - andhave a pattern now of mass the story - that was about to shootings in this country that unfold, tweeting of a"20 victim has no parallel anywhere else shooting incident." in the world. And there are Two hours later, while num-some steps we could take, not bets are not specific, police do to eliminate every one of these FREE SS Vol. 119 - No. 34 Press Production Manager Editor Randy Warwick John McCallum Pressman RePorters Mark Cordes Paul Delariey AI Stover Sales Steve Barge Graphics Brittani Montecucco DeeAnn Gibb John Myers Front Office Dawn Chernak Bookkeeper/Office Manager Rachel Stuart Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger ~7~ Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, AI Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press isThe Free Press re- published every Thursday quests that contributors by the Free Press Publish- observe the following dead- ing Company, William Ifft, lines, which will be strictly president. Periodical post- enforced: age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT First Street, Cheney, Wash. AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. 99004. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon POSTMAsTER: Send DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. address changes to: Cheney LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, S p.m. Free Press, P.O. Box 218, CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. a.m ID PUBLICATION # 102240 Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable[ HOWTO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 email: cfp @ cheneyfreepress,com www, cheneyfreepress.com violence" as some desperately wanted to cling to. Still days later no one in Anonymous 12-Step Program beginning to unfold, the president's administra- to combat gun violence. Suddenly when it was re- tion could spit it out - that A former FBI official jumped vealed that the home of Farook this mass murder - the worst on the militia bandwagon, peg- and Malik was a virtual arsenal linked to terrorism in the United ging the event to domestic ter- with several thousand rounds State since 9-11, was tied to vio- ror. And because a Planned Par- of ammunition, a store of pipe lent, yet small elements of the enthood office was "just blocks bombs and materials to build Muslim faith. away," that, too, could have improvised explosive devices By 6:45 p.m. the identity of been a motive, said one talking - IEDs - those so quick to head on a news broadcast, cast blame on Whackos on the See Write to the Point page 5 MEETS TIlE rM NG TO PUNI N John McCallum AI Stover Paul Delaney Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Main contact for all edito#al content. Coy- Covers all Education (Cheney, Medical Covers all Business, Medical Lake High ers Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Lake and Eastern Washington University) School and Eastern Washington Univer- Heights news as well as selected Cheney as well as selected Cheney High School sily sports. Contact for miscellaneous High School sports. Sports. sports. jmac @ cheneyfreepress, cornal @ cheneyfreepress, com pdelane y @ cheneyfreepress.com