It is somewhat ironic to be having a discussion today about closing the "Terror Gap." It just happens to be the same day that the only surviving member of the Mumbai massacre--when a gang of extremists waged war on innocent Indian civilians for the better part of 72 hours, using only assault weapons and grenades--has been sentenced to death in India for his role in this mass murder.
You should really watch the chilling documentary on this tragedy, as militants armed only with weaponry you could get at any gun show around the country--without a background check in 33 states--attacked national landmarks and mass transit centers taking 166 lives and grievously injuring many more. The only question at this point, with all the homegrown extremists and international terrorists out there that would love to pull something like this off in the USA--is why with our open invitation for terrorists to buy guns in this country it hasn't yet happened here.
Sadly, though, if history is any guide, it will (you may remember that members of extremist Islamic groups had plans to fly planes into buildings and monuments such as CIA HQ and The Eiffel Tower as far back as 1993, before their eventual "success" in New York and Virginia).
This is why it is even more important than ever for the Obama Administration to live up to a promise made by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (watch video below) and close the "Terror Gap."
Not to mention Attorney General Eric Holder, when in answering a query from Senator Feinstein in November of 2009, said:
Yes. We will support that legislation. It seems incongruous to me that we would bar certain people from flying airplanes, because they are on the terrorist watch list, and yet we'd still allow them to possess weapons. I think that the legislation that was initially proposed by the Bush administration was well conceived. And we will continue to support that.
Because there is not much courage these days in the Halls of Congress. While faux-moderates (only in today's GOP!) such as Lindsay Graham worry ever-so-much that someone could accidentally lose their right to buy a gun, they call at the same time for stripping citizenship, withholding Miranda Rights and taking away trial by civilian jury for the very same potentially, accidental terrorists.
Translation: You do not have the right to remain silent while exercising your Lindsay Graham & Company-granted right to point that Kel-Tec SubRifle 2000 at American citizens, soldiers and police officers. As both Gail Collins and my friend Digby point out, that is just some brilliant logic there.
Similar to the logic employed by the NRA, who in opposing this provision, it has been pointed out, is doing its darndest to enable terrorists--while opposing the will of only 82% of the American people (according to known Commie Frank Luntz).
I didn't just pick the Kel-Tec SubRifle 2000 out of the thin air either. It is the very weapon our would be Times Square bomber had loaded in his car when caught at Kennedy Airport--and it was pretty easy for him to get. Even though, like the shooters at Fort Hood, Fort Dix, the Little Rock Military Recruiting Station, etc., Faisal Shahzad was on a watch list (Dept of Homeland Security). But hell, that's no reason to deny him access to a deadly weapon.
For my progressive friends worried about government mistakes leading to one being falsely put on this list, I understand and it is a worry. But the Terror Gap legislation gives you means to rectify that. There is no means to rectify standing over friends or family members as they bleed to death, because a guy who couldn't get on a plane was still able to get a AK-47. It is not a huge inconvenience to not be able to buy a gun for a short period of time, before any error is fixed. It isn 't like you're being tortured. Which by the way, many of these same gun nuts think is A-OK to do to a "suspected terrorist."