The gun blogosphere is ablaze with this video hawked by Mayors Against
Illegal Guns showing a one Adam Gadhan, a high ranking American-born Al-Quaeda operative, naively posting that machine guns can be had at US gun shows without background checks. Most people have focused on the ridiculousness of this assertion, but I think more interesting is the fact that Adam Gadhan is a prohibited person under current federal law because he’s currently under indictment for treason against the United States.
While it’s still an open constitutional question as to whether an indictment is sufficient due process to warrant even temporary removal of a the Second Amendment right, the chances are, because of the temporary nature of the prohibition, it very well may be sufficient. For instance, it’s sufficient to keep a person in jail if a Judge perceives they are a threat to the public, are a flight risk, and the crime is sufficiently heinous. Courts would weigh that against a temporary restriction of one specific right. Since indictments are generally only requires for sufficiently infamous crimes, this might be sufficient to remove the right pending trial on the charges.
So I think it’s safe to say MAIG is full of crap when it’s suggested that our current laws are insufficient to stave off the possibility of known terrorists getting their hands on firearms through legal channels (as opposed to black market channels, where they can get them readily — see Mumbai). Personally, I feel safer living in a country where my fellow citizens are ready, willing and able to shoot back, than I would be in a country like India, where the population has neither the ability, inclination, or training to do so (which apparently applies even to the police). I don’t give a Mumbai style attack much chance even in a place like New York City, where emptying the magazine into the suspect seems to be the standard drill. Our cops shoot back, and in most of other other cities, our citizens do too.