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Ashcroft's Policy

From: Chris Brose <mailto:krleese@cox-internet.com>
To: editpage@seattle-pi.com
Cc: means@hearstdc.com ; joannbyrd@seattlepi.com
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 5:41 AM
Subject: Ashcroft's policy

To the Editor,

Marianne Means wrote a column in yesterday's Seattle P.I. (Dec.12) regarding Ashcroft that was so slanted and ignorant that it was downright embarrassing to read. In particular, Means doesn't like the fact that Ashcroft is not allowing the NICS information about gun purchases to be given to the FBI so they can check up on 1200 people detained as potential terrorists (among many other things she doesn't like).

Unstated in her column was the fact that the FBI already has had access to NICS information. The FBI already receives information on people who attempt to buy a gun, but who are rejected by NICS. Those that are allowed to proceed with a gun purchase have successfully been screened by the FBI database. I might add at this point that a gun purchaser must be a U.S. Citizen, which means that they are subject to U.S. laws and have constitutional rights. Non-citizens do not have those same rights. They may not vote or purchase a gun. They are subject to deportation, which U.S. Citizens are not. With perhaps a few exceptions (none that I know of), the terrorist suspects are not U.S. Citizens. Since that's the case, and since only U.S. Citizens can legally buy a gun, there would be no information the FBI would be able to use to directly tie gun purchases to these suspects -- unless of course, they merely wanted to fish for information which might be useful. And it's at that point that they would be stepping on the constitutional rights of U.S. Citizens. They aren't allowed to eavesdrop on telephone conversations on the chance that there might be some illegal activity going on, and this would be no different (memo to Means: buying a gun is still a legal activity). If they suspect a U.S. Citizen of something, let them get a warrant -- that's due process.

Means also doesn't like Ashcroft's position on the 2nd Amendment, that it protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms. She likes the "collective right" nonsense, and believes that the 2nd Amendment protects the state's right to organize a militia. Has she ever actually read the 2nd Amendment? It clearly refers to the people's right to keep and bear arms, not the state's right to organize a militia. And the term "collective right" is meaningless if it can be used to squash individual rights. How would it appear if the "collective right" argument were applied to the right of the people to vote? Would we be able to disallow certain groups of people to vote as long as at least some people could vote? And who would get to choose?

Ashcroft was not "catering to the National Rifle Association", he was catering to the constitutional rights of U.S. Citizens.

Sincerely,

Chris Brose
Mountlake Terrace, WA 980xx
krleese@cox-internet.com
915-2xx-xxxx
425-7xx-xxxx (message)

P.S. I have taken the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States on seven occasions, and I take that oath seriously. I serve in the Marine Corps, and am currently stationed in Texas, although my legal home of record is in Washington.


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