Twitter is blowing up with people blaming the NRA and their “co-conspirators”, the Republicans, for the horrific terror attack in Orlando. What they are saying lacks common sense but it won’t stop them and they appear to be winning the argument. Nothing would have stopped Omar Mateen. If he couldn’t get guns, he would have bought a pressure cooker.
FBI agents first began investigating Omar Mateen in 2013 after co-workers complained he made inflammatory remarks and said he had ties to terrorists. The FBI conducted an investigation in 2013 and interviewed him twice. They reviewed records, his activities and talked to witnesses.
Nothing could be verified.
In 2014, Mateen came back in the FBI’s attention and they were then looking into his possible connections to American suicide bomber Abu-Salha. Mateen also boasted of knowing the Boston bombers.
“We determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or threat at that time,” FBI agent Ron Hopper told CNN.
Mateen was not put under surveillance. In fact, he worked for a security firm and was given a G4s security clearance. They even trained him in weaponry.
When he went to buy his guns, he passed the FBI background check.
There are those who think Mateen should not have been able to get a weapon because he had contact with the FBI two years ago. They are essentially making the same argument President Barack Obama made after San Bernardino. Obama would always say terrorists on no-fly lists should not be able to purchase firearms.
However, it would deprive US citizens of Due Process and that would irreparably harm our Constitutional Rights.
Sen. Diane Feinstein and others asked for the power to do exactly that and strip Americans Constitutional Rights “Not based on a past criminal conviction or even a restraining order issued in court under a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard, but based just on the government’s suspicion,” Professor Eugene Volokh wrote at The Washington Post.
The constitutional law professor concluded it would be unconstitutional. The government should be required to do more than simply reply upon mere “suspicion and speculation as a basis for denying” one’s Second Amendment right, he wrote.
We all would like to turn back the clock on the horrific events of this weekend, but lawmakers who want to make a difference should not start with any proposal that lowers the government’s burden to take away an American’s constitutionally protected right.
We should go after the cause – radical Islamic terrorists. Everything else is a distraction.