For the last 22 hours, the democratic members of the House of Representatives have not been filibustering for gun control. They have been holding a sit in of the House chamber. Literally sitting on the floor for the last 22 hours intermittently chanting “No Bill No Break.” They’re of course referring to the fact that they will keep doing nothing until Speaker of the House Paul Ryan schedules a vote on a “#NoFlyNoBuy” bill. NFNB means if a person is on a watch list and not allowed to fly, they should not be allowed to buy a gun.
Problem #1: This sit in is largely in response to the Orlando nightclub shooting
This sit in is largely a response to the admittedly tragic shooting at the Orlando nightclub early this month. Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) tweeted that no mother should have to receive texts like the ones sent from the nightclub during the shootings.
— Rep. Gwen Graham (@RepGwenGraham) June 22, 2016
I don’t usually agree with Rep. Graham but in this case I do. I 100% agree no mother should ever have to read those texts. However, it is also 100% clear that the bill they want a vote on would have done nothing to stop the Orlando shooter because he was not on the no fly list. In fact, Omar Mateen was investigated by the FBI twice but no decisive action was ever taken. We already have good checks in place, we need to utilize those not violate rights with new, unconstitutional ones.
Problem #2: The bill violates constitutional rights
This one should be obvious. There is no established judicial process for getting on the “no fly” watch list. This means that a federal bureaucracy can make a decision and unilaterally take away one of your constitutional rights. Period. No questions asked. Not even a scrap of oversight.
My mom grew up under an authoritarian regime in Syria that used secret lists to deny rights. Shameful that some in Congress demand same.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 23, 2016
Even if you think the government won’t take away your right today, the NFNB bill opens up the ability for an unelected, unaccountable arm of the government to do it whenever they want and gives you no way to protect yourself. Your rights are important not because you need them right now, but because you never know when you might need them in the future. Even if giving up your rights to the government doesn’t hurt you now, someday you will need that right but it will be too late to get it back.
Unlike the other sit ins Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) has been a part of, this is not about giving rights to people who are being denied them. This is taking away rights from people who have them now.
Denying due process to captured terrorists at Gitmo = outrageous
Denying due process to gun purchasers = "We're just like Selma!"
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) June 23, 2016
Problem #3: The bill they want to vote on already failed in the senate
Because of checks, balances, and things of that nature, for a bill to become a law it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. As Speaker Ryan pointed out, the bill the sitters in want to vote on has already failed in the United States Senate. This means that even if the bill is presented before the House (unlikely) and passes the House (unlikely) nothing will happen because it won’t pass the senate. This isn’t rocket surgery, just a simple understanding of the constitution.
Problem #4: Este es un truco publicitario
The in-sitters know the bill will fail the House and they know it has already failed the senate. This is not a filibuster, that is provided for within the House rules. They are breaking the standing rules of the Congress.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 23, 2016
While the highest ranking republican in America is getting things done and allocating money to help those suffering from the Zika virus and keep the VA accountable, the democrats are scoring political points by doing nothing; sitting in a government building and not conducting business. On second thought, democrats not conducting business might not be a bad thing.
Note to Democrats: you cannot effectively strike from an activity we don't want you doing anyway.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 22, 2016