Terror Watch List, Your Rights & Guns

A lot of people have been giving me a hard time lately.

You've probably heard about the vote in Washington in which Republicans opposed a measure that would have made folks on the terror watch list unable to purchase guns.

It sounds ridiculous that anyone would oppose it at face value, right? Why on Earth would we want to make it easy for a terrorist to buy a gun?

In the wake of the vote, it made for great, sensational headlines as well. I imagine these headlines drove clicks and people at the HuffPo made a ton of money. It sounds treasonous if you don't think about it.

Of course, the headline was typically followed by the left-wing response of, "The Republican politicians are putting the needs of the National Rifle Association in front of the American people again!"

Finally, today, I saw this story in my local paper that gives this story an entirely different flavor.

Photo credit: Saul Young / Knoxville News Sentinel
A local veterinarian by the name of Patrick Stephen Hackett is on the no-fly list. To his dismay, he shares a name with a famous terrorist from the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The IRA Hackett was jailed in the 1970's for planting bombs throughout the United Kingdom.

A photo proving Hackett doesn't
always wear Santa Hats.
The Hackett who lives in Tennessee, serves as President of the local humane society and enjoys the use of all his limbs. Unlike Hackett the terrorist who is missing both an arm and a leg.

His son attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. When the younger Hackett left for school in 2004, his father applied for a pass that would have allowed him to go to the gate when his son departed.

He was denied.

After filing a grievance with the Transportation Security Administration, they gave him a letter of "duress" that he was to present whenever questioned. Sort of reminds me of Casablanca:

Still, Hackett the veterinarian has been denied access to airplanes on more than one occasion and was even held in a foreign jail. Today, he has no idea how to get his name off the list and because it's a "secret list", nobody at the TSA will answer questions media have posed about it. Because, you know, secret lists are the one thing American values, pre-teen girl clubs and college fraternities share.

Hackett reached out to John Duncan, Jr.'s office (local congressman) for help. The Congressman isn't a big fan of the list but so far, there hasn't been any help for Dr. Hackett.

"I would consider a gun ban for people on this list if I felt that it was limited to people who were truly terrorists," Duncan said in a statement. "Unfortunately, as the New York Times reported, the no-fly list has 'run amok' and is 'vastly overbroad.' Even the late (U.S. Sen.) Ted Kennedy ended up on a watch list in 2004. This effort to turn the no-fly list into a no-gun list is just a political gimmick that is being used by the far left to try to impose gun control on law-abiding Americans following (the recent mass shooting in) San Bernardino, (Calif.)."

I'm not an attorney but in my opinion, Hackett needs to file a lawsuit. His rights have been violated by the United States government in a way that is Unconstitutional.

So, if you're a gun owner and you're catching flak from friends (or even non-friends) here's proof that a government list isn't enough to fairly restrict any of your rights - no matter what they are. It used to be you were entitled to a fair trial in this nation, now you'll be detained at an airport in a foreign country because our security organization is too stupid to realize who has two arms and two legs and who doesn't.