Who's not interested in protecting Americans?
Slate's Dahlia Lithwick goes justifiably apeshit over John Ashcroft's "quasi-religious zeal" for guns today. I was floored to read the following paragraph:
"(L)ast fall, Ashcroft blocked the FBI from using gun purchase records gathered under the auspices of the federal Brady Act to determine if any of the 1,200 suspected terrorists detained after Sept. 11 had purchased a gun. This is the man who didn't hesitate to lock these same people up for months without charges, insisting that looking into their gun records violated their privacy." [Italics Ms. Lithwick's.]
So, in Ashcroft's view, suspected terrorists can have guns but not lawyers, the right to a trial or even the knowledge of that for which they're being accused. Has anyone told this guy that the Bill of Rights doesn't stop at the Second Amendment?
She goes on to point out that Ashcroft lied his way through his confirmation process when he said that "being attorney general means advancing the national interest, not advocating my personal interest."
While I disagree with many gun opponents' views on the Second Amendment, Lithwick excellently points out that much of this has already been decided in court and Ashcroft is singlehandedly changing the very nature of how our nation views guns. In the process, he's made our country a little safer -- if, that is, you're a terrorist or a drug dealer.
This is, sadly, the defining aspect of the Bush Administration, though. It seems to me that Ashcroft believes that he's on a mission from God to turn this nation into the country he feels it should be. Someone should remind him, though, that, as Cicero said, the voice of the people is the voice of God. Florida aside, a half million more of the people of this nation would have preferred that his boss confine his views to Texas and, by extension, that Ashcroft's political career would have ended in the ignominy of losing his last election to a dead man.