In America, we are “innocent until proven guilty.”
In Massachusetts? Not so much.
It’s been more than a year since the Newtown tragedy, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
This week, a panel of “academic experts” recommended 44 new gun-law restrictions for Massachusetts, even though the commonwealth’s gun laws are already some of our nation’s most restrictive. According to Boston.com:
The panel made 44 recommendations, including that Massachusetts join a national mental health database for screening potential gun owners, that it beef up firearms training requirements, and that it eliminate Class B gun licenses, which are seldom used.
It recommended that the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association help define a series of factors that could be used to prohibit “unsuitable persons” from acquiring firearms. The panel said the current process allows local law enforcement officials too much discretion to determine whether a person is suitable to be granted a license to carry.
It also said Massachusetts should require anyone wanting to purchase a hunting rifle or a shotgun to pass those standards of suitability. That could allow local police chiefs to deny gun purchases to people who have been arrested, but not convicted, of a crime.
In other words, “innocent until proven guilty” has now become “guilty if questioned and even proven innocent” in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes on National Review:
Let’s just repeat that, for clarity’s sake: Massachusetts is considering denying “gun purchases to people who have been arrested, but not convicted, of a crime.” In other words, an American state is thinking about denying a constitutional right to the innocent because they happen to have been picked up by authorities that couldn’t prove that they had done anything wrong. I hope I speak for everybody here when I say, No, no, and no again. No to the abject hysteria that has slowly grown in small parts of the country; no to the ignorance that is burning like acid through reason and through the law; and no to a cabal of politicians whose disdain for the Second Amendment is so pronounced that they are happy not only to undermine that provision in pursuit of their quixotic goals but to dilute the rest of the American settlement into the bargain. Enough is enough.
Then, he asks an interesting question. “Where art thou, ACLU?”
The American Civil Liberties Union calls itself “our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”
What rights, you might ask?
Well, their website says they will activate if “your right to due process — fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.”
Well, here’s a clear-cut example as Massachusetts considers stripping the Constitutional rights of people who have been arrested — but not convicted — of a crime.
Though their website says they are non-partisan, the ACLU says they defend “people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities.” I wonder what they’ll say about people who aren’t even prisoners who have lost their constitutional rights?
I suspect I know the ACLU will remain silent. The left likes to pretend the Second Amendment doesn’t exist and, while it busies itself with inventing rights (like the deadly “right” to abortion), it ignores the plain words on the constitutional page.
In other words, ideology trumps liberty, and the law-abiding citizens of Massachusetts pay the price.