I’m seeing a lot of friends and others who generally hang out near me on the left of the political spectrum express outrage at a recent vote in Congress to reject fixing what at first glance seems like a terrible loophole: People on the terrorist watch list can still buy guns. Even President Barack Obama, who called Sunday night for a law that would prevent people on a subset of the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm, is among this crowd.
Their outrage stems from the logical reaction, “If there are people we think are bent on doing us harm, why are we giving them easy access to the tools to do it?”
The concern is reasonable. The proposed remedy—to deny people on the watch list the ability to buy guns—is not, however. Not because it has anything to do with guns, but because it has to do with lists.