Jackson: ‘Presumed Guilty’ At Heart Of Democrats’ Sit-in

Due Process Seems To Be Forgotten By Dems

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A handful of House of Representatives Democrats did Wednesday what they do best: They occupied space, whipped up emotion and otherwise achieved nothing.

Only their location was unusual: alone in the well of the House. Never mind that the body had been gaveled into recess for its annual Independence Day getaway. Some 40-odd Democrats, led by Georgia’s John Lewis — one of the Last Remaining Icons of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement™ — sat themselves down and vowed not to move until members were allowed a vote on one or more gun-control measures.

By now, you know the game.

Democrats, responding to the latest (a regrettable word, but there it is) slaughter of innocents by a butcher declaring his fealty to Islamic extremism and the leader of ISIS, want to clamp down on the purchase of firearms.

Simultaneously, many in their camp blame supporters of Christian bakers and nuns for creating an atmosphere that encourages Muslim fascists to shoot up gay nightclubs and Christmas parties.

Their solution: If you’re a on a government watch list, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. Or if you’ve been on a government watch list in the past handful of years. Or if you might somehow wind up on a government watch list.

In his glory years, Lewis — who knew the insult of being suspicious based on skin color alone — would have stood against such outrageous nonsense. Now he’s leading the charge to preempt the Fourth and Fifth amendments and probably the 14th as well in some quixotic quest of heading off the next mass shooting.

Not the ambition isn’t noble. But even as Democrats blame Republicans for being lapdogs for the National Rifle Association, their politics are on equally naked display. We know this because, needing a 60-vote majority to pass, Senate Democrats rejected Texas Republican John Cornyn’s proposal that would require a judge to find probable cause that a purchaser was involved in terrorist activities to block a sale.

Democrats and a handful of Republicans, stamping “canceled” on their civil libertarian cards, complained the burden of proof was too high. Instead, they retreated to their position that some 80 percent of Americans want both universal background checks and imposition of a no-fly/no-buy rule.

Then again, too many Americans, when they hear “gun-show loophole” think gun shows are background-check-free zones. (They’re not. By law, licensed dealers always conduct background checks.) The “loophole” allows individuals to sell to individuals, which is the case whether at gun shows or across their kitchen tables.

Meanwhile, what’s the over-under on the number of the 80-something-percent who have weighed the implications of no-fly/no-buy? Half? Two-thirds?

You’re always going to have about a quarter of Americans endorsing any fresh gun-regulation proposal that comes along, because that’s about how many think the Second Amendment should be repealed outright. Call them the Mother Jones Abolitionists.

Otherwise, we’re entrusting a government that can’t keep track of a person of interest in the Orlando nightclub massacre — Noor Salman, triggerman Omar Mateen’s wayward wife, said to be traveling — and that operates under a directive not to mention “jihad” or “sharia” or “takfir” or any of a number of other religiously charged words, to manage a data base for the purpose of keeping guns out of the hands of people in the United States.

Hey, so we make it a law to deny people on a super-secret list access to the Bill of Rights, without any due process recourse. What could go wrong? Before you answer, consider:

You know who’s been on the no-fly list? Teddy Kennedy, the late, legendary senator from Massachusetts. I mean, the no-drive list, sure. But no-fly? C’mon. Also Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens. Journalists Drew Griffin (CNN) and Stephen Hayes (the Weekly Standard) made it, as did former child star David “Ozzie and Harriet” Nelson.

And then there was the time John Lewis — the icon himself — himself popped up. But occupiers are an irony-free species; don’t expect any mention of the obvious problems when the man is being righteous.

So here’s an idea: Let’s ask people with links to groups with “tea party” or “912” or some other right-leaning term in their name about their experiences with a super-secret government plot, and the potential for political appointees to release their inner Machiavellis. Nobody really thinks Lois Lerner was a one-off, right?

Meanwhile, Democrats are squatting in the people’s House, playing on raw emotions, ginning up sympathy and counting on favorable coverage from their media base.

Just remember that what they’re asking us to sacrifice — the right to be considered innocent until proven otherwise — is among the most precious of American rights. If they can take that — if we can be presumed guilty — they can take anything.

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Veteran journalist and center-right blogger Tom Jackson has worked for newspapers in Washington D.C., Sacramento, Calif., and Tampa, Fla., racking up state and national awards for writing, editing and design along the way. Tom also has been published in assorted sports magazines, and his work has been included in several annual “Best Sports Stories” collections. A University of Florida alumnus, St. Louis Cardinals fan and eager-if-haphazard golfer, Tom splits time between Tampa and Cashiers, N.C., with his wife, two children and a couple of yappy dogs.