In June, Congressional Democrats conducted a sit-down protest on the floor of the House of Representatives in order to advocate for gun control following the shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Democrats claimed the proposal to ban individuals on the No Fly List from purchasing firearms was a “no-brainer” and made specific appeals to the LGBT community to support their cause.
Not only is this strategy insulting — as it implies I, a gay man, should automatically support this policy because of Orlando — but it is also counterintuitive. All Americans, especially those of a minority status, should be opposed to “No Fly, No Buy.”
The No Fly List has ballooned in recent years, with roughly 10,000 individuals being on the list in 2011, which grew to more than 47,000 in 2013. Additionally, individuals are not notified they have been placed on the list until they are blocked from attempting to board an airplane.
The government also has the authority to label evidence against individuals on the list as classified, meaning they are not required to let you know why you’ve been placed on the list. If you’re placed on the list by mistake you have only one method of recourse, which the ACLU labels as “constitutionally-inadequate.”
All Americans ought to be concerned about the use of the No Fly List to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights. The lack of transparency, lack of adequate recourse and potential for abuse make it clear, according to both the NRA and the ACLU, that the constitutional right to due process is infringed by the list.
Democrats are advocating for a policy that is grossly unconstitutional and disconcerting. Due process is not something that should be taken lightly — it exists for an important reason: to protect us from undue government interference. Do we really want the government to be able to take away the rights of anybody in the United States without any due process?
Anybody truly concerned with the foundations of our country should oppose “No Fly, No Buy” and instead advocate for due process and the continued expansion, not degradation, of our rights.