People are obviously outraged about the massacre in Orlando. There is nothing most of us can do. However, those in Congress can pass legislation. Unfortunately, bills proposed in the heat of the moment can be seriously flawed.
Among the proposals flooding Congress is a ban on anyone on a government watch list, including the no fly list, from purchasing a weapon. We certainly want to keep guns away from terrorists but this bill has some real problems.
The no fly list only contains names. If a John Smith is added to the list, anyone named John Smith is on the list as are all Smiths whose first name begins with a J. The late Senator Ted Kennedy used to have lots of problems flying because a T. Kennedy was on the list. There are provisions to help travelers in this predicament but the gun law has no appeal. This means millions of ordinary Americans will not be able to purchase a firearm.
There is also the possibility of government mischief like we saw with the IRS. There is nothing to stop them from putting people on the list as an act of political retribution.
If we can find a way to keep people who pose a true threat from buying guns, I’m all for it. But let’s not pass bad legislation just because it makes us feel good.