As has become infuriatingly standard fare these days following a terrorist attack, the conversation has shifted from how we should combat radical Islamic terrorism to how can we infringe upon the rights of American citizens.
At the behest of hyperventilating Democrats, Congress is now seriously discussing, in a bipartisan fashion, using the secretive and error-prone terror watch list and no-fly list to prevent American citizens who have not been convicted, charged, or even accused of any crime from legally purchasing a firearm.
This is what is known as an “infringement.”
It should go without saying that literally no one wants terrorists to be able to legally buy guns, except terrorists of course. That said, there is that pesky hurdle in the Constitution that must be cleared before the government can strip an individual’s rights away, known as due process.
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy knows a thing or two about due process, since he was a career prosecutor, and he took an arrogant, know-nothing government official to task over her ignorance of it during a committee hearing last year after the terror attack in San Bernardino regarding this very same subject.
“What process is afforded a U.S. citizen, not someone who has overstayed a visa, not someone who crossed the border without permission, but an American citizen; what process is currently afforded an American citizen before they go on that list?” Gowdy asked.
“I’m sorry, um, there’s not a process afforded the citizen prior to getting on the list; there is a process should someone feel they are unduly placed on the list,” the witness responded after a seemingly confused pause.
“Yes, there is,” Gowdy interjected. “When I say process, I’m actually using half of the term due process, which is a phrase we find in the Constitution — that we cannot deprive people of certain things without due process.”
He then noted that the idea being put forward would require citizens to wait until their rights had been infringed upon, and only then would they be allowed to petition the government to get their rights back.
“My question is, can you name another constitutional right that we have that is chilled, until you find out it’s chilled — and then you have to petition the government to get it back?” Gowdy pressed. “Is that true with the First Amendment?”
The former prosecutor then listed off what it might look like if the the First, Sixth and Eighth Amendment rights of a citizen could be infringed by the government without due process. It wasn’t pretty.
You can watch Gowdy’s epic questioning here:
“Is there another constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens that we do the Second Amendment. Can you think of one?” he asked again.
The woman could only sit there silently with a smirk on her face, eventually admitting, “I can’t think of one, sir.”
This is why we love Trey Gowdy, as he is one of the rare few lawmakers who truly understands the document he has sworn to uphold and actually works to uphold it.
The Second Amendment protects a natural right that we possess simply by virtue of being alive. It was not granted us by government, and it can not be taken away arbitrarily or secretively without due process, a fundamental linchpin of the legal foundation of our form of representative democracy.
H/T Hot Air
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