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Senator Collins Moves to Ban Gun Sales to Law-Abiding Americans


She Calls for Adapting the Failed and Busted FBI “No Fly” List to

Prohibit Sales of Firearms


Collins Ignores FFJ Request for Clarification on the Bill


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, March 14, 2018


   U.S. Senator Susan Collins (S-Maine) recently announced her sponsorship of a bipartisan bill designed to ostensibly keep guns from the hands of terrorists by prohibiting sales of firearms to anyone on the F.B.I.'s now infamous “No Fly” list. Also co-sponsoring the bill, from Maine was fellow Socialist U.S. Senator, Angus King.  They were joined by Socialist-Democrats, Heidi Heitkamp (Nevada); Martin Heinrich (New Mexico); Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin); Bill Nelson (Florida); and  Joe Manchin (West Virginia).  Left-leaning Socialist-Republicans, Jeff Flake (Arizona) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) also joined in, thinking the No Fly list's lack of due process or judicial oversight to be a wonderful idea at prohibiting the rights of people to purchase firearms for personal protection and defense of their family.

  The rosy presentation of the proposed bill in Senator Collins' press release suggested that just because it's “bipartisan” it's somehow a good thing.  Upon closer examination though, nothing could be further from the truth. 

   The F.B.I. greatly expanded the “No Fly” list after the government-staged terrorist attacks on 9/11.  These attacks were designed to provide a catalyst to pass the authoritarian “USA PATRIOT” Act which had been languishing in Congress since 1996 with little congressional support to strip the rights and privacy of people in the united States.  After 9/11 that bill got passed into law in less than a month without its final form ever being read by most of the Congressmen and Senators who voted for it.

   The No Fly list has now morphed into a burgeoning federal government/bureaucratic nightmare of red tape, secrecy and errors.  Due to their need for “national security” the F.B.I. keeps the list secret, secretly places names on it, rarely admits its own errors and suffers very little from the checks and balances that would otherwise be imposed upon them if they actually had to prove their case for putting a name on the list in a court of law.  In fact, court decisions or jury verdicts aren’t even a factor when it comes to populating the No Fly list with names.

   “Our bipartisan bill is based on one simple principle: if you are considered to be too dangerous to fly on an airplane, you should not be able to buy a firearm,” said Senator Collins.  “This bill is a sensible step we can take right now to reform our nation’s gun laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.  I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this legislation and close the loophole that allows known and suspected terrorists to legally purchase firearms.”

   None of the recent school and church shooting mass-murderers were on the No Fly list to begin with, so this law would not have stopped them.  Furthermore, just because a person's name is on the “No Fly” List doesn't mean they are in fact a terrorist.  There is no court trial, no judge, no jury, no presentation of evidence, no rebuttal, no cross-examination of witnesses and no verdict.  The only way a person's name gets put on the list is on the whim of an FBI bureaucrat - and in a lot of cases, people are placed on that list simply for having a similar name to a known terrorist, or a bumbling bureaucrat checking the wrong box on a form. These decisions are not made in front of a judge, but rather in secret, in the dark voided vacuum of a federal bureaucracy with absolutely no judicial oversight and no clear process or motivation for error-correction.  U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy had been continually harassed at the airport because his name was similar to a terrorist, T. Kennedy.  Musician Cat Stevens was also on the list, as was late actor, David Nelson who starred as a child on the 1950's television program Ozzie and Harriet.  Interestingly, many young children under the age of ten years old also end up on the No Fly list not because they have names similar to terrorists, but because of F.B.I. errors.  The federal government is so inefficient and error-prone that when it comes to keeping an accurate list on anything of value they historically and continuously fail catastrophically.

   A person may be added to the No Fly list not necessarily for anything they have done in the past. But under a sort of Orwellian “Precrime” government prediction, they can be placed on it for what a government bureaucrat thinks they might do in the future.   “The government has emphasized that it is making predictive judgments that people like our clients — who have never been charged let alone convicted of a crime — might nevertheless pose a threat. That’s a perilous thing for it to do,” said Hina Shamsi, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project.  “As we’ve told the court based on evidence from experts, these kinds of predictions guarantee a high risk of error. If the government is going to predict that Americans pose a threat and blacklist them, that’s even more reason for the fundamental safeguards we seek.”  Furthermore, Shamsi states, “the standards for inclusion on the No Fly List are unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error.”

   The F.B.I. is no longer an effective law enforcement branch of government.  Since its inception the bureau has been used as a political tool to threaten and extort politicians.  The F.B.I. also runs assassination squads on behalf of the U.S. government to kill Americans who espouse views not popular to government.  For example, the murder of Randy Weaver's wife and ten year-old son at Ruby Ridge, the mass murder at Waco, Texas and most recently the murder of LaVoy Finicum were all committed at the hands of F.B.I. agents - none of whom were ever held accountable for their crimes.  Now, the F.B.I. is becoming increasingly politicized and it is on them that the airlines rely to compose an accurate, effective and efficient list of people who truly are a danger to society - a task to which they are failing miserably.

   Not all F.B.I. agents are bad.  For example, Richard Taus a former special investigator for the F.B.I. in New York discovered collusion between the C.I.A., the Mob and various government officials all the way up to George W. Bush, related to the illicit drug and arms trades and brought that to the attention of his supervisors.  He was rewarded with being railroaded into prison on fabricated charges of “child molestation” and is now essentially serving a life sentence on those fake charges.

  This writer asked Senator Collins how her legislation proposes to fix the glaring inconsistencies and erroneous entries in the “No Fly” list promulgated by FBI mistakes and misidentifications.  She was also asked if this legislation would prevent the arbitrary addition of a name to the list without first obtaining a conviction in a court of law and allowing the accused to face their accusers, offer a reasonable defense and rebuttal.

   Senator Collins has refused to answer those questions.

   In her press release, it was promised that those on the list in error would receive speedy attention by the feds if they are denied a gun purchase.  “Any American denied a purchase under this bill would have the opportunity to have his or her case heard before a federal district court judge within 14 days.”

   However, getting your case heard in a federal district court in 14 days is about as likely as getting your local U.S. Senator or Congressman to actually listen and respond to you.

   Just because a case of erroneous entry on the No Fly list gets heard in a federal district court, there is no real guarantee that the error will be expeditiously fixed.  For example, in 2005 Rahinah Ibrahim, an architect with a doctorate from Stanford University, learned her name was improperly added to the No Fly list when she was arrested and jailed for attempting to board a flight to her home country of Malaysia.  She sued a year later to have her name removed.  In September 2006, she was completely removed from the Terrorist Screening Database, with federal officials concluding there was no “nexus to terrorism” involved in her case.  Six months later, in March 2007, Ibrahim reappeared in the database. Two months after that, she was again removed.   Bumbling of data is endemic in today's F.B.I.

   Other people aren't so lucky.  After years of fighting and attempting to deal with courts who are unable to break the veil of secrecy the F.B.I. and Homeland Security have walled themselves in, it is nearly impossible for redress of grievances for those innocent, law-abiding Americans who unfortunately ended up on the No Fly list and would - if this bill proposed by Senator Collins gets signed into law - be no longer able to purchase a firearm to defend themselves or their families from aggressors both in and outside of government who choose not to follow the rule of law.