U.S. officials are not very good with lists

Amid the rhetoric surrounding the Orlando, Florida, killing, the fact has been lost that the massacre could have been much worse except for a man with a gun.

That man was a still-unidentified off-duty police officer who was doing security and checking out a possible underage drinker outside the club when Omar Mateen began shooting inside.

Still the 49 murders and many injures have prompted hand-wringing and guilt shoveling responses from public officials.

There have been some amazing revelations. The U.S. terror suspect database contains at least 800,000 names. Don’t bother to ask who because, like the no-fly list, this is secret. But some officials have suggested that honorably discharged military veterans are potential terrorists.

Could it really be that there are 800,000 terror suspects in the United States or is this just another example of federal government overreach.

Some officials, primarily Democrats, want to prevent these 800,000 persons from purchasing a firearm. First they should explain how people end up on that list. Some say the list includes nearly 2 million names.

Some expats can still remember Kevin Iraniha, who found out when he tried to fly home after his 2012 graduation at the University for Peace that he was on the no-fly list. The California native is a Muslim who had visited Egypt and Iran.

There still is no way to challenge inclusion on the list.

The U.S. Senate is about to consider legislation that will prevent anyone put on the terror watchlist from purchasing a firearm. There is a companion measure that would give those prohibited from purchasing a firearm certain rights to find out why.

Without considering the effectiveness of such a measure, one can easily say that the U.S. federal government cannot handle lists well. The case of the University for Peace grad is just one example.

Consider also the way in which U.S. Embassy workers summarily reject Costa Ricans who apply for American visitor visas. There is no reason given. A.M. Costa Rica has called this procedure in the past un-American.

We can see the same results from the terror watch list. We have seen U.S. senators and even a 3 year old being banned from flying based on the U.S. no-fly list.

Without transparency with this list, they will only grow and grow and become more and more worthless. A news story about the Senate vote is HERE!

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