Governor of Connecticut Says He Will Push Gun Control Order

Governor of Connecticut Says He Will Push Gun Control Order

Governor of Connecticut Says He Will Push Gun Control Order - The Boston Globe:

"With last week’s mass shooting in California focusing attention on terrorism and guns, Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut announced Thursday that he intends to sign an executive order barring people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying firearms in the state.

'Like all Americans, I have been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris,’ Malloy, a Democrat, told reporters. ‘This should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is a moment to seize in America, and today I’m here to say that we in Connecticut are seizing it.'"

In theory and practice, I support restricting the ability of terrorists to buy guns here in the US. But here's the problem with Malloy's executive order. First, there are many people on the terror watch list who are there by accident. The story notes that the late US Sen. Ted Kennedy was even on the watch list, presumably in a case of mistaken identity. I know people whose minor children were on the list and even pets! Given these problems, the odds are that people who have nothing to do with terrorism are going to lose their constitutional rights. What criteria is used to place someone on the watch list and how rigorously are those entries checked?

That leads to my second problem, namely that I have a problem with restricting constitutional rights based on suspicions. Most of the people on the watch list have committed no crime and are not suspects in crimes. They are merely suspected of the capacity or inclination to a crime. That's a very loose basis on which to strip people of their constitutional rights and such a precedent is very scary.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli