It’s something that every lawyer learns in law school: Never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to.
Despite having attended one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, Barack Obama in his Sunday primetime address to the nation asked why anyone on a no-fly list should be permitted to buy a gun.
If you go back to the transcript of the speech you find the declaration that “Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun” followed by the question “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon?” He conflates “person on a no-fly list” with “terrorist,” but his meaning is clear enough.
Anyway, he asked the question, and the media have answered. Here’s Fox News Channel:
Granted Fox News is Obama’s public enemy number 1, but the president won’t find much support from his friends in the mainstream media on this point. An editorial in Monday’s Los Angeles Times takes the same position. The article, titled “Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes,” notes:
One problem is that the people on the no-fly list (as well as the broader terror watch list from which it is drawn) have not been convicted of doing anything wrong. They are merely suspected of having terror connections. And the United States doesn’t generally punish or penalize people unless and until they have been charged and convicted of a crime. In this case, the government would be infringing on a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — and yes, like it or not, the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Constitution, for those who have forgotten, was Obama’s area of expertise as a young attorney. He was a lecturer in Constitutional law at the University of Chicago.