gun control

Obama Calls No-Fly List Gun-Ownership Loophole ‘Insane’

Photo: New York Times

In his weekly radio broadcast on Saturday, President Obama once again called for stronger gun control laws in the aftermath of this week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. He referred to that attack as an “act of terror,” though also stressed that the precise motive for the attacks was still under investigation, and Obama added that it was “insane” for there to be a loophole that allows possible terrorists on the country’s no-fly list to be able to purchase guns in America. Said the president:

We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons — weapons of war — to kill as many people as they could. It’s another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.

For example, right now, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole, now.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans voted down a pair of Democratic measures aimed at stricter gun control, including one by Senator Dianne Feinstein that would have restricted anyone on the federal terrorism watch list — also known as the no-fly list — from being able to purchase firearms in the U.S. 

Also on Saturday, in their first front page op-ed since 1920, the New York Times editorial board declared that it was “a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency”:

The Times further insisted that “no right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation”:

Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.

The last time the Times went front-page op-ed on a subject, nearly 100 years ago, was to lambaste newly-nominated presidential candidate Warren G. Harding. Back then, of course, those who disagreed with the Times didn’t have military-grade assault rifles or Twitter like RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson: 

Erickson — who recently announced that he would be bringing a concealed handgun to defend himself against ISIS when he goes to see the new Star Wars movie — also asked his followers on Saturday to conduct their own New York Times target-practice sessions and tweet the results, because nothing discourages a newspaper’s editors like buying their newspaper.

Obama Calls No-Fly List Gun Loophole ‘Insane’