Saturday, April 08, 2006

SERIOUSNESS WATCH From Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearing:
REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: General Gonzales, since you indicated that you don't think that terrorists or suspected terrorists should have access to firearms, would you support legislation that would specifically prohibit terrorists or suspected terrorists from having access to firearms? Because I know you've previously said that you needed to get back to my colleague from Maryland on that, and we have not heard back from you on that.

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: Well, I guess I would like to look at that. And let me give you--

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Are you still looking at--General Gonzales--because you've already told that several months ago to my colleague.

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: I'm waiting for the work of the working group within the Department of Justice.

Now, let me just--

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: How long is too long?


REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thirteen months?

ATTY GEN. GONZALES: Let me give you an--I agree. I'm frustrated as well.

But let me give you an example of why that may be problematic. We may have information about someone that we honestly believe is a terrorist. We may think that they may be involved in some kind of terrorist plot. As part of that plot, they may be wanting to purchase a weapon. We may want them--we may have them under complete surveillance, and we may be okay with them purchasing that weapon because they may lead us to other--

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: General Gonzales, can I just stop you for one second before you go on? Because under current law, we prohibit firearm sales to anyone suffering from a drug addiction. They don't even have to have to have been convicted of anything, and we prohibit firearm sales to them.

We also--based on mere suspicion, we limit an individual's ability to even get on an airplane if they're on the no-fly list. So why wouldn't we pass a law--why wouldn't--why can't you unequivocally say that you support a law that prohibits suspected terrorists from possessing firearms?

That seems like a no-brainer.
Let's get this straight.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales doesn't support legislation prohibiting people on the government's terrorist watchlist from purchasing guns. Why? Because their gun purchases may fit neatly into the government's own plans.

Can he possibly be serious?

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.