Hey, remember the week after the Fort Hood shooting, when it seemed like every single conservative on the planet was repeating the same “political correctness is to blame” talking point in perfect 814-part harmony? Well, it turns out they were right about there being a politically-driven communication breakdown after all:
During the Clinton administration, the FBI had access to records of gun background checks for up to 180 days. But in 2003, Congress began requiring that the records be destroyed within 24 hours. This requirement, one of the many restrictions on gun data sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), meant that Hasan’s investigators were blocked from searching records to determine whether he or other terrorist suspects had purchased guns. When Hasan walked out of Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., the FBI had only 24 hours to recognize and flag the record — and then it was gone, forever.
As former FBI agent Brad Garrett has said, “The piece of information about the gun could have been critical. One of the problems is that the law sometimes restricts you in what you can do.”
The Tiahrt amendments passed by Congress interfere with preserving, sharing and investigating data on gun purchases by terrorist suspects. If that weren’t bad enough, Congress has also failed to close a gap in federal law that prevents the FBI from blocking a sale to an individual under investigation for terrorist activity.
Even Dubya thought this was a bad idea:
The Bush administration asked Congress to authorize the FBI to block gun sales to terrorist suspects, to no avail. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed the Obama administration’s support for this legislation — for good reason. A Government Accountability Office report published in June found that individuals on the terrorist watch list had purchased guns and explosives from licensed dealers in the United States on 865 occasions over the past five years.
Whether or not Hasan turns out to be the islamofascist terrorist mole the conservatives say he is, the Fort Hood shootings are another tragic reminder that their own extreme pro-gun legislation actually makes it easier for Islamic terrorists to buy guns without the government being able to stop them or trace them. Nice going, Daddy Party! Way to keep us all safe!
I just don’t understand the logic of destroying most of the Bill Of Rights in the name of catching terrorists, and then expanding the only Amendment that would make it easier for those same terrorists to buy deadly weapons. Hey, terror suspects! You may not be entitled to a fair trial, but you can have all the guns you want!