By Dave Workman
The American Civil Liberties Union – which recognizes nine of the first ten amendments in the Constitution, that section known as the Bill of Rights – is in something of a huff, as are a growing number of airline passengers, over new and intrusive security checks that will be instituted over the next few months.
Travelers have learned that the Transportation Security Administration – the same federal agency that is deliberately dragging its feet to prevent pilots from flying armed and providing a last line of aircraft security – will begin testing the new system soon. This invasive system will “color code” passengers, and could be accessing such things as credit history and medical records to do it, according to published reports.
Known as CAPPS II (Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening), this program will require airline passengers to provide ticket agents with their name, address, telephone number, and date of birth. This information will serve as something of a gateway to all sorts of personal data. A lawyer for the ACLU in Washington D.C., Katie Corrigan, is very unhappy about this.
Where was Corrigan, and where were all the other critics of this new program, when federal legislation was passed that requires background checks and personal information on firearms buyers, and law-abiding citizens who want to obtain concealed pistol licenses? Where was the outrage, or even the concern, about the privacy rights of millions of Americans whose only crime is that they’ve wanted to exercise the constitutional right of gun ownership?
The right to bear arms is a civil right, recognized by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and specifically delineated as an individual right by the constitutions of most states. Air travel enjoys no such constitutional protection, yet the howls of anguish about invasiveness from the ACLU – which claims through some tortured logic that the right to bear arms is some sort of “collective” right – are all over the concern of people buying a lousy airplane ride.
For years, non-gun owners have wondered why their fellow citizens who do own firearms were so offended at having to submit to a background check. After all, the reasoning went, if gun owners have nothing to hide, what’s the problem? Now airline travelers and the ACLU have suddenly discovered what the problem is. Gun owners, like rape victims, feel violated. Yet, we’ve essentially been advised repeatedly in condescending tones, the rape is inevitable so “relax and enjoy it.”
The ACLU contends that this new security system could become “a real nightmare.” You want a genuine nightmare? Try being the guy whose gun purchase was denied because he was mis-identified by the National Instant Check System (NICS) as a convicted felon. Try being the man whose vengeful ex-wife or girlfriend falsely accuses him of domestic violence and obtains a restraining order against him, thus turning him into an instant federal felon for having a shotgun with which he hunts ducks. Try being the single mother who, terrified of an abusive ex-husband or boyfriend (who typically ignore restraining orders), suddenly finds herself having to endure a waiting period and background check before she can buy a gun to protect herself and her children.
Every day in this country, some poor citizen becomes a victim of a regressive gun law. Those people frequently turn to such organizations as the National Rifle Association or Second Amendment Foundation for help, because the ACLU won’t lift a finger – other than the middle one, perhaps – about their plight.
Gun owners have been told in patronizing terms that “If it saves the life of one child,” they must be willing to submit to insidious, guilty-until-proven-innocent requirements to exercise a right. Perhaps the ACLU and millions of offended airline travelers ought to be reminded that “If it saves one high rise building or a plane load of passengers” they ought to also just shut up, sit back, enjoy the wand rape, and allow the airlines to snoop into their private lives.
Or, perhaps we ought to get together and change things.