“No-Buy Lists” Violate Americans’ Constitutional Rights


13514233_1836030679960625_1849369144_nLibertarians are the sole philosophical camp that stand for the defense of everyone’s rights on all issues. Recently, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for the 2016 US presidential election, Hillary Clinton, took a stance in favor of “no-fly lists” and “no-buy lists,” meant to prevent the private consumption of firearms by those suspected of being affiliated with terrorist groups. Following that, allegations of possible cooperative measures between factions suggested that this upcoming election’s Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump, might be willing to work with the Democrats to pass legislation in favor of these laws.

The brave men and women who diligently worked to establish the nation we live in today would be disgusted – and every American should stand against this. These sorts of restrictions fall in line with other breaches of liberty which have slipped past the American people over the last few decades, whether it be wiretapping without a warrant, collecting enormous amounts of personal user metadata from Americans, or detaining prisoners without trial indefinitely in prisons like Guantanamo Bay.

Where is the due process? What happened to the principle of “innocent until proven guilty?” Sure, in war there is nuance; governments have historically always violated their citizen’s privacy, rights, and personhood during wartime, stripping away their most fundamental human rights and treating them like statistics – an ironic twist when it comes from liberal camps who normally point fingers about this sort of infringement. The funny thing is, our government forgot to issue the memo that, even when the U.S. isn’t legally at war because Congress hasn’t declared war, our government intends to transgress against the autonomy of citizens anyway.

As per the chair of the Libertarian National Committee, representing the platform of the Libertarian Party, “There shouldn’t be a no-fly list, terrorist watch list, or any other secret government list you can be put on without due process of law.” This election’s Libertarian Party nominee, Gary Johnson, echoes the sentiment. These lists essentially impose a preventative block on people already listed in “no fly” lists, so they can’t buy firearms. What a lot of people don’t realize is that these lists are arbitrary, unconstitutional entities with regular clerical errors and poorly documented suppositions which lead to unjustified aggressions against completely innocent Americans.

If there exists such reasons so compelling that individuals should be legally prevented from using private transportation infrastructure in their own right, then those legal entities delineating these allegations should immediately take said individuals to trial by jury and present that evidence to a judge so that their constitutional rights are fairly observed. Further, if it’s found during that trial that a person is affiliated with a terrorist organization, planning to engage in violence against others, they should immediately be detained and prosecuted for their crimes as justice would have it.

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Mike Avi

Mike Avi is a student at Florida State University studying Economics and Portuguese. He is president of the university's College Libertarians RSO and a Campus Coordinator for Students for Liberty.