Michael Bloomberg has a post up at the Huffington Post that addresses something very important in this age of terror:
It’s amazing but true: we can prevent terror suspects from boarding an airplane, but the FBI doesn’t have the power to block them from buying dynamite or an AK-47.
I believe strongly that they should. And so do the 500 mayors who are members of our bi-partisan coalition of Mayor Against Illegal Guns.
It is time to close the “Terror Gap” in our gun laws.
This morning I will be testifying at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee about the easy access that terror suspects have to guns and explosives. I wanted to share with lawmakers the hard-earned perspective New Yorkers have on this national security risk.
Democrats always run when it comes time to talk gun control. They are afraid that the NRA might attack them. In this instance I say “good – let them attack”.
Since 9/11 we have seen the right attack the 1st and 4th amendments. National security should trump freedom of speech and our rights against unwarranted search. It’s funny though. If we say that it should also prevent certain people from buying guns, the right goes into full defense mode accusing people of trying to violate constitutional rights. I missed the part of the Constitution that states the 2nd amendment trumps all others, but apparently the Republicans have found it somewhere in their minds.
So how big of a problem is it when talking about suspected terrorists buying guns? It’s this bad:
Today, the Government Accountability Office has released new data showing that suspects on the terrorism watch lists were able to buy guns and explosives from licensed US dealers 1,119 times between 2004 and 2010.
Democrats need to push through legislation this year closing this gap. If Republicans or the 2nd amendment folks want to oppose, then I say, in my Bush speak voice, “Bring it on!” Think of the political ads this could generate. “Democrats wanted to make it illegal for suspected terrorists to purchase guns in the U.S., but Republican X doesn’t think so. Instead Republican X wants to protect the rights of suspected terrorists when it comes to purchasing some of the tools of their trade”. It’s a win I tell you!
Hopefully after today’s hearing we can see some movements on closing the terror loop hole in our gun laws and if Republicans act predictably, we will also expose just how weak they are when it comes to actually preventing terrorism.